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Access to legal aid for asylum seekers

By providing practical support and assistance, including free legal aid, this project contributed to more fair and objective asylum proceedings.

Project dates 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2010
Total budget€150 373
EU contribution75%
Name of the entity managing the projectHuman Rights League
FundERF
CountrySlovakia

Project Description

This project ensured that asylum seekers had access to comprehensive legal aid throughout the entire Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedure. The free legal services were provided by qualified lawyers and counsellors with many years of experience in asylum law. The assistance was offered in particular to asylum seekers living in Bratislava and Trnava, and residing in establishments belonging to the Migration Office of the Slovak Ministry of the Interior, such as detention and reception centres.

Once an asylum seeker had accepted the offer of free legal assistance, they were able to have a lawyer at every hearing throughout the RSD procedure. As well as providing legal aid, this project also offered asylum seekers support in all phases of the RSD procedure, in the form of social, cultural and administrative assistance.

Benefits and results

During the one-year project, 163 persons received free legal services and 57 received social assistance. The asylum seekers also received practical administrative support during the asylum procedure; some 175 people received help with administrative formalities, while 6 were given help with the translation of supporting documents.

Finances from the project were also used to publish information leaflets in Arabic, English, Russian and Slovak, which helped the asylum seekers find out more about the asylum procedures.

Local law students participated by providing advice within the asylum law clinic, and in return received practical training at the Law University in Trnava. The students’ professional skills were further developed by attending the International Asylum Law Moot Court Competition.

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