European Lawyers in Lesvos gGmbH (“ELIL”) is an independent, charitable non-profit organisation.
Our team of Greek asylum lawyers and volunteer European asylum lawyers provide free, independent legal assistance to asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos. Our lawyers support, and work closely with, their colleagues from the Greek Bar Associations.
We began operations in Moria Reception and Identification Centre on Lesvos in early August 2016. Since then, we have welcomed 131 volunteer lawyers from 17 European countries and provided free legal assistance to over 7,570 people, from 58 different countries.
Our work has a real impact and demonstrates the importance of asylum seekers having access to legal assistance:of the asylum seekers we have assisted and who have notified us of the outcome of their asylum application, 74.5% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece.
All assistance is provided in our dedicated preparation rooms in our container in Moria, to ensure privacy and confidentiality are preserved. We also operate in the detention facility within Moria.
The team includes up to six volunteer asylum lawyers, a legally-trained project coordinator, two Greek asylum lawyers (one as legal coordinator), two legal assistants and full-time Arabic and Farsi interpreters.
Our work has two core elements. Our primary focus is the provision of one-on-one legal consultations to help asylum seekers prepare for their asylum interviews (this interview determines whether or not they will be granted asylum). We are the only legal assistance organisation that focuses on providing information, practical support and tailored advice for asylum seekers at this crucial stage of the asylum process. We also help reunite families by assisting with family reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation.
We believe that every asylum seeker should be able to receive free legal assistance, from an independent lawyer with experience in asylum law, before their asylum interview. Through our activities, we aim to provide this free legal assistance to as many asylum seekers as possible on Lesvos.