ELIL has been running a successful legal assistance programme on Lesvos since 2016 and launched a project on Samos in 2020. We have now further expanded our operations to meet the significant need for legal aid on the Greek mainland, providing legal assistance from an office in Athens. In light of recent events and of the increasingly strict asylum framework being imposed in Europe, guaranteeing meaningful access to legal assistance is more important than ever.
Although arrival numbers have dropped, thousands of refugees remain stranded in Greece. Due to the onset of Covid-19, the devastating fire that destroyed Moria camp and external political factors, the situation is in constant flux. In recent months, thousands of people, including many unaccompanied children, have been transferred from the islands at short notice. The vast majority of them are vulnerable and need legal assistance, which adds pressure to the legal organisations on the mainland.
ELIL offers legal information and assistance to refugees, including unaccompanied children. Over the past year, we have worked to adapt to fresh challenges and, thanks to our incredible team and community of volunteers, we have been able to continue to provide our vital services. Your support can help ELIL defend access to much-needed legal assistance for asylum seekers in Greece.
ELIL has assisted over 12,000 people in the past four years.
Of those we have assisted, 74.5% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece, meaning they are granted protection and do not have to return to face war, violence or persecution in their home country.
As our organisation is volunteer-based, our operational costs are low: it costs only 25€ to provide an asylum seeker with free, tailored, one on one legal assistance from a practising, experienced asylum lawyer.
We are extremely grateful for all donations, no matter how small.
Thank you for your support.