Pre-defined Project title: Quality assurance of asylum procedures and free legal aid to vulnerable asylum seekers

Project PromoterProgramme outcome the project contributes to:Project grant rate:Maximum project grant amount:
UNHCROperational procedures and capacity of the Greek Asylum Service and Appeal Committees 100%€ 3,000,000

The project will provide expert support to the Greek Asylum Service and provide free legal aid to vulnerable asylum seekers related to first instance asylum procedures. The following two activities shall be supported:

Activity l: Quality assurance support to the asylum procedures in Greece
The UNHCR and the Greek State have agreed that the UNHCR shall provide support to the Greek asylum system.
Within this framework, the project shall support the UNHCR in providing support to the Asylum Service (AS) for the quality assurance of the procedures at first instance.

-contributing to the conduct of status determination made by the Greek authorities’ assessment of asylum claims, developing operational tools to address the challenges of fair and efficient asylum-procedures in accordance with international and European standards,

– ensuring that guidelines and country of origin information are appropriately disseminated and utilized, – supporting the establishment of a quality assurance institutional framework within the Asylum Service(AS),

– contributing to the elaboration of Guidance issued by the Quality Department of the AS on complex refugee status determination issues, as well as on examination of claims of specific nationalities

Activity 2: Legal aid support to asylum seekers in Greece
Furthermore, the project will provide for free legal aid to asylum seekers. UNHCR will focus on asylum seekers in detention, urban areas as well as on islands. The scope of the free legal aid supported by UNHCR shall include:

– legal counseling and representation within the asylum procedures

– challenging administrative acts concerning detention or deportation/return challenging administrative acts related to treatment of vulnerability (SGBV, UASC etc.)

– the further administrative treatment of asylum seekers

The legal aid activity includes also both civil and penal proceedings.
Priority shall be given to vulnerable individuals in need of international protection including UASC and SGBV survivors as well as asylum seekers in detention. In particular, in the mainland (Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina), legal aid shall be provided mainly at reception desks in the legal aid partner’s premises. On the islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, KOS, Leros, Rhodes) and Evros, legal aid services shall be provided also within Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) and within other (open) accommodation facilities. In addition, UNHCR shall prioritize legal assistance to asylum seekers in detention, which may also include other relevant administrative procedures, such as challenging detention for asylum seekers and non-asylum related cases. The implementation of the activity will be supported by UNHCR’s protection team.

All activities shall complement other programmes of legal aid, in particular the state-run legal aid scheme for provision of legal assistance at 2nd instance.

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