Assistance to Refugees and Migrants in Legal Clinics

ALL-RUSSIAN SURVEY ON POTENTIALS FOR MORE INTENSIVE WORK WITH MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES IN RUSSIAN LAW CLINICS CONDUCTED BY CSF

One of the outcomes of the working meeting in Moscow in April 2017 was the observed lack of a systematic analysis of existing potentials for more intensive work with migrants and refugees in Russian legal clinics.This is how the idea of conducting a survey about the interest, capabilities, existing problems and best practices in this working field was born.

In June-July 2017, a large scale investigation was initiated and conducted by CSF.67 legal clinics from 25 Russian regions took part in the online survey, answering questions about their experience in working with refugees and/or migrants, existing or failing resources for providing legal assistance for this vulnerable group (equipment, specific knowledge, translators, etc.), as well as general interest in further development of such services and cooperation with other legal clinics or NGOs active in this field.

It is the first time that such a study was conducted and the results are quite diverse. 40% of survey participants stated their general interest in working with a vulnerable group of refugees and/or migrants. 58% indicated experience in legal assistance for refugees and/or migrants at their legal clinics, which was mostly rated as “generally positive”. However, these are mostly particular cases. Only very few clinics work with refugees and/or migrants on a regular basis.

Click here to download the survey (only available in Russian)

The reasons for this observation can be quite diverse: different immigrant proportions in different regions, non-existing statistics and varying general capacities in different legal clinics, etc.  Only very few clinics work with refugees and/or migrants on a regular basis. The reasons for this observation can be quite diverse: different immigrant proportions in different regions, non-existing statistics and varying general capacities in different legal clinics, etc. Most clinics mentioned the need for specialised teaching material, translators, experts and tutorials for curators in order to offer qualified legal assistance for refugees and/or migrants. At the same time, good practices and positive experiences exist in a number of clinics and there is a huge interest in exchange of know-how with other clinics in Russia and/or other countries, as well as with NGOs active in the field. The main outcomes of the survey were presented on October 12th, 2017, during a special session at the VIII All-Russian Legal Clinics Conference in Moscow (see above).

Clinical Legal Education for the Benefit of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants in Europe

Clinical Legal Education (CLE) in Europe has reached a new level of dynamism in recent years; many European law schools are now running CLE programs or are discussing opening one.

This is not entirely new. In some European regions, this has been the case for many years (such as in the UK since the 1970s or in Eastern Europe since the 1990s).

The new quality of the European CLE movement lies in the fact that CLE programs can now be found in almost all European regions. The relatively recent developments (in the last 5-15 years) of CLE programs in countries like Germany, France, Italy or Spain are important elements of this dynamic.

Read more in an intro piece by Ulrich Stege here.

 

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