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Online Seminar on European Legal Practices to Assist Ukrainian Refugees

Council of Europe, EU and UNHCR seminar for Ukrainian lawyers and Asylum/Migration HELP e-Desk managers on European legal practices to assist Ukrainian refugees will be held on September 27, 2022 via Zoom. Work languages are English and Ukrainian.

The main objective of the event is to provide the most updated information to Ukrainian and European legal professionals assisting people forcibly displaced due to the war on different European and national procedures and practices regarding inter alia the implementation of the EU Temporary Protection Directive and relevant international and European standards.

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, as of August 2022, more than 7 million people have fled the country, mostly women and children. In response to this unprecedent situation, the EU activated a Temporary Protection Directive, offering immediate protection and a clear legal status to these people.   Despite the elaboration by the Commission of operational guidelines to support the Member States in applying the Directive, many problems exist in the different legal interpretation of this Directive by the Member States, as well as legal cases which do not fall under the scope of the application of the Directive.

To assist lawyers and all legal professionals dealing with the huge increase of refugees, the Council of Europe took immediate steps, thanks to the flexibility of its Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme.

Thus, as of 1st March 2022, virtual Asylum/Migration HELP e-Desks were set up, managed by HELP tutors and legal experts to support lawyers assisting refugees from Ukraine in four EU neighbouring countries (Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland); as well as for Moldova.

These HELP e-Desks are being gradually fed with resources and information as it becomes available in each country. The initiative is coordinated with the Migration Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe (CCBE). National HELP e-Desks have also been set up for Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Several others are in preparation (for Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia). The Asylum/Migration HELP e-Desks facilitate access of legal professionals to information about effective handling of cases at national level related to refugees and displaced persons and mainly training (based also on the joint UNHCR & HELP online courses we have developed on Asylum related issues with the CoE).

In parallel, a similar Asylum/Migration National HELP e-Desk exists for Ukraine for those still in the country who need legal information on asylum/migration/displacement issues.

Since the creation of the HELP e-Desk the tutors and legal experts who manage national help desk had no chance to meet in person. The idea of the seminar is to bring together in Poland all tutors managing national pages, as well as UNCHR country experts and EU officials to provide the update on legal information and procedures related to the application of the Temporary Protection Status and human rights protection of vulnerable persons. The seminar will be followed by Ukrainian legal professionals helping Ukrainian refugees on-line.

Join here. You can find more information in the attached files.