Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally
Centralising resources for refugee legal aid, globally.

Welcome to the Rights in Exile Programme

The Rights in Exile Programme promotes the legal protection of refugees, globally. We do this by centralizing resources for legal assistance providers and refugees themselves.

Refugee or migrant? Words matter

As the refugee crisis in Europe continues, the words ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ are being splashed across media front pages worldwide. But what is the difference between a refugee and a migrant ?  

1. The Problem

Apart from a few countries, legal aid for refugees is sparse, but is crucial to the realisation of refugees’ rights, especially the critical first step: recognition of refugee status. Few law schools offer courses in refugee law. Lawyers representing refugees tend to work in isolation. This limits access to information and resources- for both legal service providers and refugees. Many refugees, particularly in the Global South, have no access to legal aid. It is vital that legal service providers share their experiences and assist in the better development of refugee legal protection everywhere.

2. How the Rights in Exile Programme combats this problem

For Refugees: 

The Rights in Exile programme is dedicated to providing universal legal protection for refugees . 

This website provides information as well as access to resource persons who will help you with special issues. The Refugee Resources tab above is formed to provide the guidance and tools essential for a refugee in their process of applying for asylum and status determination based on their country. There is also assistance for Family Reunification available, which you can access here . Click here to see the Self Help kit if you are applying for asylum through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. 

Further, the Special Issues tab offers helpful resources and contacts on special issues in refugee status determination, including LGBTI, witchcraft accusations, the exclusion clause, gender-based persecution, and other emerging or under-resourced areas.

For Legal Service Providers: 

The Rights in Exile Programme works to achieve better protection of refugee rights by networking legal assistance providers with resources and training, and facilitating access to free legal assistance and information for refugees around the world. The Legal Resources tab establishes a centralised database of contact details of free legal assistance providers in over 230 countries, a database of country of origin experts, our post-deportation monitoring project, and information on legal processes relating to refugees. 

The website also provides platforms for training in refugee law, such as self-study courses. One of our partner organisations, International Refugee Rights Initiative , also provides training opportunities through remote tutoring and — funding dependent — intensive courses implemented in critical sites around the world.

WHAT'S NEW ON OUR WEBSITE:

Our Aims

Our aim is to strengthen and expand rights-based advocacy as well as to promote skilled legal aid for refugees through increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and raising standards of professionalism in the specialty of legal aid for refugees.

We promote information exchange between refugee legal aid advisors, through facilitation connections and providing avenuers for contact. We hope our resources, particularly those outside of our organisation, are helpful. It is important that you check it meets your needs. Please contact us if you find problems. Check here for your organisation. If you are not listed, but you provide legal aid somewhere in the world, please contact editoratamerainternational [dot] org immediately so we can discuss with you your work and list you.

Rights in Exile is a monthly newsletter that updates aspects of refugee legal aid so that legal aid providers can stay current on issues. With a focus on major geographical areas in the global South (Asia, Africa, Latin America, and non-EU Europe), it highlights issues and major events relevant to legal aid providers, clarifies developments in the interpretation of refugee law, and lists cases which might serve as precedent from other constituencies. The newsletter also supplies helpful reports and resources for refugee legal aid NGOs and provides articles that bring forth accounts of struggles and of success in the field.

Moderated List-serv: Rights in Exile Mailing List

In order to join Rights in Exile Refugee Assistance click here . This google group enables lawyers/paralegals to discuss refugee cases & urgent matters in which they need assistance, anonymously. If you are asking a question about a case, remember not to reveal a name, although it is likely that nationality and the particularities of the law in the state you are dealing with will be relevant to any help or suggestions another lawyer may try to give you. You can always ask for help directly via your personal email.

Users can also talk to each other around the globe about policy issues that we might sometimes decide to act together on, and exchange information about relevant conferences, vacancies, and the like.

This is a list primarily for lawyers and researchers. It is not for government officials or UNHCR staff (the latter may be a member of staff where a member of this group is discussing a case they are representing).

Please encourage lawyers/paralegals in your country who represent refugees to post to this group and become members.

This website has been designed to accommodate those who only have low-bandwidth internet access; hence no pictures or logos. The exception is our films .

Please contact us with your suggestions, to get involved, or to help us grow our network.

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