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Legal assistance
Poverty violates Human Rights, whether they are social or civil and political rights. A violation of the right to housing can have numerous consequences, for instance on the right to vote. Although these rights are recognised in law, their effectiveness is often linked to levels of access to justice; this is particularly true for people experiencing poverty.
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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.

Image 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.

Legal support

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.

Collective claim against air pollution

Auteur : Maria Jeliazkova - Publié le : 2013-08-13 15:50 -

To improve the quality of air in the city of Plovdiv, to break with some legal stereotypes and to create a qualitatively new concept of justice, subject to public interest and human rights.

Business centre for people with disabilities

Auteur : Maria Jeliazkova - Publié le : 2013-08-13 15:14 -

By working with and for people with disabilities, the project aims to provide equal opportunities and better life chances for them. The activities simultaneously increase the level of public awareness on issues of people with disabilities and lobby for their rights.

Social Cohesion Clinic

Auteur : Roman Kryvosheia / Lorna Muddiman - Publié le : 2013-07-16 13:42 -

The project deals with issues like the social exclusion of vulnerable groups of citizens, due to their limited ability to exercise their rights, and the exclusion of recent law graduates from the labour market due to a lack of work experience.

Street Lawyers

Auteur : Anne-Iris Romens - Publié le : 2013-05-14 10:40 -

Street lawyers work to inform people in poverty, and more specifically homeless people, about their rights and to assist them in legal proceedings.

Aucun article.

Reference Address

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.

Aucun article.

La domiciliation associative

Auteur : Anne-Iris Romens - Publié le : 2013-05-14 12:34 -

In France, the provision of a registered address enables an asylum seeker, who is homeless, to declare his or her address at any NGO that has been specially approved by the French administration.

Virtual addresses

Auteur : Anne-Iris Romens - Publié le : 2013-05-14 10:45 -

This practice consists in creating physical or virtual places that have the same legal force as private homes, which anyone can declare as their official address when voting or claiming entitlements.

Other Actions and Policies

Civil movement "Protect Yourself"

Auteur : Maria Jeliazkova - Publié le : 2013-08-16 13:36 -

Citizen initiative against bank policies and privileges set out in legislation, which has been initiated by lawyers working in the public interest and is supported by different civil society structures.

Collective claim against air pollution

Auteur : Maria Jeliazkova - Publié le : 2013-08-13 15:50 -

To improve the quality of air in the city of Plovdiv, to break with some legal stereotypes and to create a qualitatively new concept of justice, subject to public interest and human rights.

Business centre for people with disabilities

Auteur : Maria Jeliazkova - Publié le : 2013-08-13 15:14 -

By working with and for people with disabilities, the project aims to provide equal opportunities and better life chances for them. The activities simultaneously increase the level of public awareness on issues of people with disabilities and lobby for their rights.

Greek Forum of Migrants

Auteur : Mariani Papanikolau - Publié le : 2013-08-01 15:56 -

A self-organised network of migrants’ communities and associations, formed through continuous consultations with the objective of representing and strengthening the voice of migrants, organisations and communities in Greece as well as struggling for equal inclusion and participation in Greek society.

Released Ex-colorificio /Project Rebeldia

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-22 11:03 -

The Project Rebeldia, a social center which was for two years without a space to carry out its activities, together with the Municipality of the Commons (consisting of groups and citizens' associations that have always worked with the Project Rebeldia) occupied a former paint factory (Ex Colorificio), located in an industrial area of a multinational of about 14,000 metres, and which had been abandoned for 5 years. The main purpose of the occupation was to return it to the associations and citizen groups as a shared and common good; a place for the provision of many different activities and services to the city.

Social Cohesion Clinic

Auteur : Roman Kryvosheia / Lorna Muddiman - Publié le : 2013-07-16 13:42 -

The project deals with issues like the social exclusion of vulnerable groups of citizens, due to their limited ability to exercise their rights, and the exclusion of recent law graduates from the labour market due to a lack of work experience.

Consumers' Schools

Auteur : Louise Hain - Publié le : 2013-07-02 11:07 -

The consumers’ schools provide a place for exchanges, training and information for inhabitants around challenges of their dailylife (budgeting/food/consumption/health…)

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