Role: Asylum Lawyer
Start date: November 2019
Organization: European Lawyers in Lesvos ( www.elil.eu )
Location: Lesvos, Greece
Working hours: Full-time (9.30 - 17.00 Monday - Friday)
There are currently over 15,000 asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos, the vast majority of whom have fled Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq. The asylum process they go through is a complex and ever-changing legal procedure that is difficult to navigate. Despite this, there is no state-provided legal aid available to asylum seekers before their asylum interviews, and so most of them attend their interview without speaking to a lawyer. The only way an asylum seeker can get legal assistance is through one of the few NGOs on the island.
Without access to legal assistance, asylum seekers often do not know their rights or understand the process and the criteria applied when their asylum applications are assessed. They are therefore significantly disadvantaged when they attend their asylum interview and often suffer problems and delays in the processing of their asylum applications. This lack of legal information and legal assistance puts human rights at risk and undermines the rule of law.
European Lawyers in Lesvos ("ELIL") is a charity registered in Germany and Greece. It was founded by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the German Bar Association (DAV) in 2016. These organizations represent the bars and law societies of 45 European, Associated and Observing Countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers
Our team of Greek asylum lawyers and volunteer European asylum lawyers provide free, independent legal assistance to asylum seekers in Lesvos.
ELIL was inspired by the belief in the fundamental importance of upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights and ensuring meaningful access to legal assistance. We believe that every asylum seeker should be able to receive a free legal assistance from an independent lawyer who has experienced the asylum law prior to their asylum interview.
We are one of the few providers of legal assistance in Lesvos and have been working in Moria camp, the main camp on Lesvos since August 2016. Since then, we have provided free legal assistance to over 9,100 people.
We are the largest provider of legal assistance to asylum seekers in Lesvos. We are also the primary provider of legal assistance to unaccompanied minors incorrectly registered as adults and providing assistance to asylum seekers in detention.
Our main activity is the provision of one-on-one legal consultations to prepare asylum seekers for their asylum interview. We also help reunite families by assisting with family reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation. In addition, we provide three group legal information sessions in Moria each month. We have also recently prepared a legal information leaflet in collaboration with Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees, which was translated into 10 languages - 13,000 copies of this leaflet are currently being distributed to asylum seekers in Lesvos.
Our work has a real impact and demonstrates the importance of asylum seekers having access to legal aid: of those we have assisted, 74.5% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece.
We operate from an office in the Olive Grove, next to the Moria camp, which allows asylum seekers to freely access our services and guarantees direct access to those we assist. All the assistance is provided in our three dedicated consulting rooms in our office in Olive Grove, ensuring that privacy and confidentiality are preserved. We also operate in the detention center in Moria.
Our team is a mix between permanent staff and shorter-term volunteers. Our core staff are two full-time Greek asylum lawyers (one as legal coordinator), a legally-trained coordinator, a project manager and Arabic and Farsi interpreters. Our team also includes up to six volunteer European asylum lawyers and two volunteer legal assistants.
To respond to the unprecedented need for legal assistance in Lesvos, we are looking to recruit a committed and experienced asylum lawyer to join our team in Lesvos to provide legal assistance to asylum seekers.
The starting date for this role is November 2019. We offer a competitive salary, details of which are available on request.
The role reports to the Legal Coordinator.
The role is based in Lesvos, Greece.
Skills and experience required:
To apply for this role, please send CV and cover letter in English by email to Project Coordinator, Philip Worthington ().
Closing date for submission of applications: 17 November 2019.
Applications will be processed as they arrive and the position may be filled before the deadline above.
Only short listed candidates will be contacted.
All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality.