ASF recruits 01 Legal Expert Volunteer

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ASF recruits 01 Legal Expert Volunteer – Samos Legal Centre, Greece


A week ago, Avocats Sans Frontières France – ASF France posted a volunteering offer on all its social media saying that we were looking for a Legal expert volunteer to join our team in Samos, Greece.

After receiving many applications, we would like to clarify the dates of the mission.

We need a volunteer that can start as soon as possible (august would be the very last call possible to start the mission). Unfortunately, we will not accept applications of people who are available in September or after.

Brief Presentation of Avocats Sans Frontières France

Avocats Sans Frontières France (Lawyers Without Borders France or ASF France) is a French non-governmental organization established under 1 st July 1901 French legislation. Its mission is to: 1) Promote access to the law and fair justice for vulnerable persons who are removed from it, arbitrarily detained or tortured; 2) Defend any person deprived of a free and independent defence, as well as human rights defenders threatened or violated in the performance of their duties; 3) Strengthen the capacity and the autonomy of local actors in the defence and promotion of human rights (civil society and actors in the judicial system).

ASF France mission in Greece

Europe is in the midst of the greatest mass movement of people across its territory since the Second World War. Millions have made the long, arduous and often dangerous journey to Europe by land or sea from the Asian and the African continents to flee from the effects of war in those regions. By virtue of its geographical position and the rules of the so- called “Dublin” regulations (requiring that the examination of asylum applications be the responsibility of the first country of entry), Greece has been at the forefront of this crisis in terms of arrivals and responsibility for examining asylum applications. Since 2016, the political agreement concluded between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, aimed at controlling migratory flows, has led to the appearance of “hotspots”; identification centres for migrants who arrive on the Greek islands. The reception conditions in these camps are insufficient and may have reached the threshold of inhuman and degrading treatment (due to overpopulation, violence, hygiene problems, access to water, etc.).

Samos Island, located opposite the Turkish coast in the Aegean Sea, had the second largest number of migrants in Greece (after Lesvos). The need for legal assistance has been both extensive and varied: preparation for interviews prior to refugee status determination proceedings, accompaniment at complex procedures, assistance during judicial appeals, assistance in the recognition of a person’s status as vulnerable and thus giving entitlement to special protection, etc. In order to respond to those needs, ASF France opened a Legal Centre on the Island of Samos in January 2019. The objective of Samos Legal Centre is to contribute to guaranteeing the right to seek asylum and protect the fundamental rights of asylum seekers. In 2020 alone, the Samos Legal Centre assisted approximately 620 beneficiaries with their procedures. The support and assistance of specialized lawyers is key in order to guarantee the protection of the fundamental right of asylum.

To date, new arrivals have stopped and a lot of transfers to the mainland have taken place, leading to a substantial decrease in the population of Samos camp. As of June 27th 2021,1.300 migrants continue to live on Samos Island (the hotspot’s capacity is for only 648 people). Living conditions remain extremely difficult and are denounced regularly by NGOs present on the island. The Covid-19 outbreak has further worsened the asylum seekers’ situation.

Description of the mission:

ASF France is looking for a volunteer to contribute to ensuring a daily legal presence to advise asylum seekers on Samos island. Under the responsibility of the Project Manager on the ground and in close collaboration with the rest of the team (Greek Lawyers, international volunteers and interpreters), s/he will have as primary responsibilities:


– Inform asylum seekers of their rights and the procedures applicable to them;

– Answer asylum seekers’ daily requests on the Legal Centre’s hotline;

– Create, maintain and update files for each assisted asylum seeker on a dedicated database;

– Prepare people for their asylum interview or appointments with the authorities when necessary;

– Identify persons with vulnerabilities and refer them to other organisations present in Samos if needed.

Information sharing

– Deliver online legal information sessions for other international volunteers working on Samos.

– Deliver in-person legal information sessions for asylum seekers.

Research and administrative support

– Assist and support the Greek lawyers with their interventions when necessary;

– Support the work for the cases submitted before the European Court of Human Rights and other identified national, European and international bodies.

Expériences / Formation

? Master’s degree in law (human rights, international and/or refugee law) or Political Sciences

? Experience: first-hand experience of casework and providing legal advice.

English and French are mandatory. Additional languages such as Arabic or Farsi would be an advantage

Qualities requested from the volunteer:

? Ability to work under pressure, intuitively and with a high degree of flexibility.

? Excellent written, research and IT skills.

? Ability to self-organise, prioritise and time-manage effectively.

? Ability to work as a team and on their own initiative.

? Strong communicative and interpersonal skills.


– Minimum 3-month commitment.

– Accommodation on-site in shared housing.

– Accompanied departure not possible.

– 10€ daily per diem

– Round trip tickets from home-assignment posting, at the beginning and at the end of the volunteer’s mission, are paid for by ASF France, according to the organisation’s criteria.

Benefits for the volunteer:

? Gain first-hand field experience of casework and providing legal advice, and of the work of a legal aid NGO.

? Develop professionally within a rewarding international environment.

? Work with and learn from a dynamic international team of asylum experts.

? Contribute to the respect and implementation of asylum seekers’ rights

All volunteers need to register (€15 subscription fee for jobseekers and students) to ASF France to avail of insurance cover during the mission.

COVID-19 context:

The mission is taking place in Samos, Greece. According to the sanitary context, the volunteer can be asked to carry out part or the whole mission remotely. If the sanitary conditions allow it and after validation from headquarters, the volunteer will be sent to Samos. The volunteer will be asked to sign and respect a strict hygiene protocol in order to avoid contamination risks, but as well to sign an acknowledgement of sanitary and security risks. ASF France retains the right to repatriate its team after deployment, according to the evolution of the sanitary context, subject to the direction of headquarters.

Comment postuler

Documents to be sent: CV and cover letter to [email protected]

The volunteer is to start as soon as possible.