Since 1991 the Society of St. Yves is fighting for Human Rights in the Holy Land. Originally founded during the second Gulf war to reach in court the distribution of gas masks to the Palestinian people, St. Yves became over the years more and more a contact in many human rights issues. Finally it was necessary to focus on certain areas; today the organization operates primarily on the topics:
- Jerusalem residency for Palestinians
- Registration of children in Jerusalem
- Family reunification for spouses from Jerusalem and the West Bank or abroad
- Registration with the National Insurance Institute, which is responsible e.g. for health insurance and pensions
- House demolitions
- Land confiscation
- Applications for permits to enter Jerusalem, especially in emergencies
The demand is huge, St. Yves urgently needs another lawyer.
To give some examples: Alone until 2007 the Jerusalem residency of 8.558 Palestinians was revoked; estimated 10,000 unregistered Palestinian children live in Jerusalem without health care and education because they do not exist before the law. Since 2005, more than 120,000 couples live separately because Israel denies the partners in the West Bank the permission to live with their spouses in Jerusalem.
To help more of these people St. Yves needs another lawyer. At the moment, six advocates work in two offices in Jerusalem and Bethlehem on around 700 cases per year. In addition, nearly 2,000 people a year receive help immediately: affidavits, letters, phone calls and informal requests to the authorities are made to solve problems without opening a case. But if a case is opened and it is necessary, St. Yves accompanies its clients through all levels of court until the Supreme Court.