rlc abroad only works with legal volunteers who have a sound background in EU and national asylum law as well as experience with the provision of legal information to refugees. Most of our legal volunteers are experienced members of refugee law clinics, and some are fully qualified lawyers. Prior to being sent to Chios, all legal volunteers are required to familiarize themselves with the legal situation on the island.
In July 2016, the AIRE Centre and ECRE published a report on the legal aid situation and recommendations for legal aid organizations working in Greece.
rlc abroad takes these recommendations seriously.
In particular, we agree on the principle that any legal aid or information should ideally be provided by or at least in close cooperation with existing Greek legal aid organizations. We have contacted all (to our knowledge) existing legal aid organizations in Greece. None currently have the capacity to provide legal information or aid on Chios. This is why we decided to launch the rlc abroad project on Chios.
We know our limits: Legal volunteers can provide information to refugees and assist with the family reunification procedure. They can obviously not replace, but rather support Greek lawyers.
From the very beginning we have worked with Greek lawyers whenever possible. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to find a Greek asylum lawyer working on Chios with whom we can cooperate long term and on a stable basis. We are doing our best to change that and would appreciate any suggestions or contact sharing.