Civil society organisations and institutions can facilitate people's access to rights and justice by:
- Informing. Enabling entitled persons to know that they can exercise their rights. Certainly, being aware of one’s rights is the first step towards exercising them, and consequently a prerequisite of accessibility. This also includes providing information that is comprehensible by the person concerned, eg. translated into different languages.
- Providing legal assistance and helping to engage legal proceedings. This may imply the identification of and meeting those who are concerned, especially homeless people and asylum seekers. It could also pertain to establishing an assistance desk in an accessible place, eg. in a railway station, etc.
- Facilitating access to justice by using complaints instruments, such as the collective complaints procedure of the European Social Charter or by identifying ways of accessing rights for those who do not have a residence address.
Picture by A Varos Mindenkie and Avvocato di Strada
Below are some examples of types of actions (in orange) and policies (in green) that aim to facilitate the access to justice.
All over Europe, different organisations reach out to victims of poverty (homeless people, asylum seekers, etc.) to enable them to know their rights and have access to free legal aid.
Below are examples of type actions (in orange) and policies (in green) that provide legal support.
Access to rights is often subject to official proof of residence, which marginalises the Roma and the homeless persons. It is necessary to break the link between entitlement to rights and having a fixed address. At present, having such an address is a condition for access to numerous services and rights, such as the right to vote.
Below are examples of the types of actions (in orange) and policies (in green) that enable access to a reference address which is often requested to have access to certain rights.
Other Actions and Policies
The Athens Time Bank was created in May 2011, at Sydagma Square, when thousands of people gathered there to participate in mass strikes and demonstrations.