About Advocates Abroad
Advocates began operations in Northern Greece in February 2016, in response to the growing call for legal aid from refugees denied entrance at the Idomeni border. Since then, Advocates has run over 550 field missions in four countries. These missions of legal and non-legal aid that were provided often around the clock, ensured that more than 15,000 refugees in Greece and 2,500 outside of Greece have been informed of their rights. Today, needs of refugees are even more fully covered by different Advocates teams.
Here are a few of these critical and much valued teams:
Legal Field Teams, Greece & Italy & Turkey & Switzerland
Advocates provides permanent on the ground legal aid in three regions of Italy and five regions of Greece. Upon request, Advocates will send a team on a short term basis. Advocates provides part time on the ground services in Turkey and Switzerland.
Advocates are trained to operate in crisis situations and to provide reliable, timely, and accurate legal aid. Accordingly, field teams run legal aid clinics in various locations, and also visit camps and shelters where refugees reside. They provide critical assistance in preparing refugees for asylum interviews, and assist in family reunification applications and appeals. Advocates run legal and non-legal information sessions, and report human rights abuses and violations to the national and EU Ombudsman.
Remote Legal Team
The Remote Team consists of attorneys, many of whom previously served on the field teams. This team is responsible for responding to questions and calls for support from refugees and asylum seekers submitted over Facebook and email, oftentimes from around the world. The team provides answers and advice immediately, and refers cases out to field teams or third party partners on the ground.
The Research Team consists of legal professionals and law students who research and draft, often under urgent time constraints, reports on human rights conditions and current legal topics concerning current refugee aid in the EU. This team also reviews and responds to the legal questions of all the Advocates teams and partners. The team focuses on country condition reports that assist particularly traumatized refugees in their asylum claims. The reports cover the basis for recognizing instability in a country by citing only state and well regarded NGO/IGO research, and further cover the macro-political and supranational relations contributing to national instability.
Advocates Interpreters are an indispensable group based both in the field and remotely. They provide around the clock services to Advocates, refugees, and partners in need in over 25 languages. These Advocates are fluent or near fluent in English for reading and writing, and comfortable with working with all refugees in need, regardless of their background or identity.
Medical Advocacy Teams
Advocates has connected with a dedicated group of psychologists, trauma therapists and other medical professionals to attend to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. They provide psychological evaluations and reports for asylum seekers, medical assistance, crisis intervention assistance, and provide support to all the Advocates volunteers. These Advocates have a strong background in both field and academic work in mental health stabilization and trauma therapy. Advocates also always welcome general practitioners and consulting doctors or nurses.