managed by A. Heinlein
The Society of St. Yves has been founded by the former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, under the patronage of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem in 1991. The goal has been and is to support the needy and oppressed in the Holy Land with free legal aid in human rights issues. The Society offers support to everybody, who cannot afford a lawyer by themselves. One important policy of St. Yves is its “Open-Door-Policy”: people of all religions, nationalities, colors or race are helped.
The major interventions of the Society of St. Yves are legal cases in Jerusalem and the southern West Bank. The topics include issues related to identity documents (Jerusalem residency cases), refused social benefits (National Insurance Institute cases), family reunification procedures (family unification) and the registration of children. Additionally, St. Yves handles mainly cases related to land confiscation, demolition orders and freedom of movement/permits in the West Bank. Another issue is visas for the clergy.
When necessary, St. Yves accompanies its clients through all instances of the courts. As soon as similar issues arise in individual cases, then, the Society undertakes class actions to help to improve the lives of as many people as possible.
Today, St. Yves is handling about 700 cases per year, thus, helps about 2,000 people in cases where the opening of a case is not needed (e.g. affidavits, certifications, submission of applications, informal objections). Furthermore, the Society visits communities, schools and universities to inform the people about their rights and legal possibilities.
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