FAQs

FOR VOLUNTEERS

How can I apply to volunteer?


If you wish to become a volunteer with RLS-Athens, please see the volunteer page for more information.




Will my expenses be covered by RLS?


All volunteers are expected to bear their own subsistence costs during their time volunteering for the organisation. Those volunteering at RLS-Athens are expected to arrange and fund their own flights to and from Athens. We are happy to reimburse volunteers for those expenses we have agreed to cover for tasks they have been required to undertake on behalf of RLS-Athens. We are happy to discuss these with you before asking you to incur those expenses.




Will my accommodation be provided in Athens?


RLS-Athens has arranged a flat for volunteer lawyers. We are unfortunately unable to extend the offer to legal support volunteers at present. We suggest www.greecevol.info as a starting point for accommodation resources. We are also happy to put you in touch with other volunteers who may have other leads on accommodation. We do not expect volunteers who are not based at RLS-Athens to require accommodation.




How long am I required to volunteer for?


We believe that it is useful for the refugees we see at RLS-Athens to have some continuity in the assistance they receive from us. As such, volunteer lawyers are expected to give a minimum of three weeks. Preference is given to those who can spend a longer period of time. Legal support volunteers are expected to commit a minimum of six weeks with RLS-Athens. For all other volunteering opportunities, we are happy to discuss with you the length of your commitment. We would like you to enjoy being part of our team. We hope that you will be able to commit at least two months volunteering with us in order to get the most out of your experience with us.




Where will I work?


RLS-Athens is hosted at the Athens Solidarity Center (ASC) where most of our activities take place. You may from time to time have to undertake activities on behalf of RLS-Athens outside the ASC, such as attending the Greek Asylum Service, relevant embassies, the UNCHR offices, and visiting refugees at camps in or around Athens. For all other volunteering opportunities, we are happy to discuss the most appropriate way of working dependent on the tasks you are asked to carry out on our behalf once we’ve accepted you as part of our team of volunteers.





FOR REFUGEES

What can I expect when I attend my appointment at RLS-Athens?


The RLS-Athens clinic operates on a rota of volunteer asylum lawyers from the United Kingdom who provide assistance to refugees in Greece. All volunteer lawyers have expertise in immigration and asylum law. We can assist with your application for asylum or international protection but are currently unable to provide court representation in Greece. Individual RLS lawyers are in Athens for a limited period of time only. If you are attending the RLS-Athens clinic for more than one meeting, it is very likely that you will see a different lawyer each time. However, we keep a detailed record of all our meetings. This information will be available to the next RLS lawyer so you do not have to repeat information already given each time you attend an appointment with us.




What if I already have a lawyer?


We want to be able to offer support to those who have not obtained legal advice already. If you do already have a lawyer we may in some circumstances agree to help you if you wish to seek assistance from RLS-Athens. However, we ask that you obtain agreement from your existing lawyer for us to consider your case and provide assistance. We may also work with your existing lawyer, where that is appropriate, to provide additional support but we won’t do this unless your lawyer agrees to this.




Will the details about my case be confidential?


RLS is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of individuals with whom we work and support. RLS understands that confidentiality is very important and that much of the information we obtain is sensitive. All of our volunteers and contractors are required to abide by our Confidentiality and Data Protection policy. We will not discuss details about your case with anyone else without your permission. If, after an initial assessment, we are able to help you, we will explain the details to you at your first appointment with us. If you would like to know more, you can ask one of our project coordinators at RLS-Athens when you come for your first appointment.





FOR DONORS

How can I donate money?


We are grateful for the generosity of our supporters to date, which has helped fund interpreters, project coordination and infrastructure and operational costs of staffing a pro bono clinic in Athens, Greece. To donate online please visit our donation page. To donate by bank transfer by cheque or for information on how to gift from abroad, please contact us. Thank you!





OTHER QUESTIONS

What is Refugee Legal Support?


We are a voluntary organisation comprised of immigration and asylum lawyers with experience in EU asylum and international protection law. We run a pro bono project in Athens, Greece. You can find out more about our project here. We also run ‘Know your rights’ sessions for refugees and Greek non-governmental organisations and are happy to discuss any requests for training from our volunteer lawyers.




Do you provide legal support outside the clinic?


From time to time we have collaborated with Greek non-governmental organisations based in and around Athens to provide legal advice and assistance to their client groups at their premises by prior arrangement. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please get in touch via our 'contact us' page. We would be interested to hear from you.




What if I have a concern to raise?


If you have a concern about an RLS volunteer or contractor or have a safeguarding matter to discuss, please contact us through our 'contact us' page.