For over five years, ELIL has been running successful legal assistance programmes providing free, independent legal assistance to asylum seekers on Lesvos and Samos and in Athens. We are now seeking support to meet the increased need for legal assistance to Afghan refugees in Greece and to ensure that we are able to respond to a fast-changing context. Donations are tax deductible in the UK and US.
Over the past two years, more than 70% of those we have assisted have been from Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans already in Greece have now seen the situation in their home country deteriorate drastically, with major implications for their asylum process, and we expect that many more will seek to apply for asylum in Greece in the coming months. Due to a recent ministerial decision, they are also at risk of being denied a substantive assessment of their claim and deported.
ELIL provides comprehensive legal assistance to asylum seekers in Greece, acting as a crucial bridge between the islands, the mainland and our Europe-wide network of lawyers for cross-jurisdictional cases. We provide legal assistance in relation to asylum interviews and tailored assistance to unaccompanied minors, support family reunification cases, run group legal information sessions and contribute to knowledge-sharing across the country.
ELIL has assisted over 12,000 people since 2016 and our work demonstrates how important access to legal assistance can be. 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. We have also helped 1,500 people, including 900 children, be reunited with family members elsewhere in Europe.
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