A.Ss.I.S.T. provides vital legal aid and information to asylum seekers, most of whom reside in Vial Reception Identification Centre (RIC) or 'Vial refugee camp', renowned for over-crowding, sub-standard living conditions and inadequate medical, legal and other basic services.
More than 4000 individuals reside in Vial Reception & Identification Centre, Chios Island, Greece, also known as "Vial camp". As many as 3,000 people are living in tents and makeshift shelters without power, running water or toilets in 'the jungle' outside the camp, in extremely overcrowded and untenable conditions. Information and legal aid services are under resourced and overwhelmed. A.Ss.I.S.T.'s aim is to endeavor to fill this information gap for as many applicants for asylum as possible.
A.Ss.I.S.T. provides asylum seekers with free, up-to-date and easily understandable information on their rights, obligations and asylum application procedures, referrals to other support services, and help to access the labour market. Lawyers answer legal questions and prepare clients for asylum interviews, as well as lodging appeals for failed asylum bids. Our interpreters and translators ensure our services can be accessed by seven relevant native languages of client groups.
It is impossible for asylum seekers to have a clear understanding of the complex and ever-changing legal systems that affect their asylum applications without legal aid, which is a vast barrier to gaining refugee status. Our project will provide this understanding to asylum seekers in Vial camp, helping to restore autonomy, certitude and dignity in situations where there may be none, and ultimately to assist asylum seekers in gaining international protection and a new life for themselves.
A.Ss.I.S.T's annual report