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11 November 20213 minute read

DLA Piper collaborates with CILD to assist migrants facing human rights violations

DLA Piper has partnered with the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights (CILD) in an association with other international law firms to launch Rule 39 Initiative, led by Dr Daria Sartori. The collaborative initiative will assist migrants in Italy, Greece and Turkey to seek reprieve in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), for rights violations committed against asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants by the authorities.

The collaboration will see lawyers from DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters, Orrick, Osborne Clarke, and Reed Smith assist in the drafting of Rule 39 requests for the benefit of asylum-seekers and migrants. Rule 39 requests are a measure typically utilised by non-governmental organisations seeking urgent help before the ECtHR in stopping collective pushbacks of asylum-seekers, preventing expulsion or extraditions of vulnerable individuals to countries where their human rights are at risk. It is also used to move individuals out of refugee camps ill-equipped to cater to vulnerable groups, or to ensure provide access to medical care and treatment for people with special needs.

The initiative, which will run for at least a year, is being launched at a critical moment in European migration flows, as the recent regime change in Afghanistan has led to significant ramifications for existing and potential new Afghan refugees in the region. The Rule 39 Initiative will primarily focus on Afghan asylum-seekers; however, given the extensive need in this area, it will also assist asylum seekers and migrants of other nationalities.

Dr Daria Sartori, a lawyer and expert in European Court of Human Rights actions who will lead the work of the initiative says of the project: “The Rule 39 Initiative is a unique project, which I am honoured and proud to lead. Measures adopted by the European Court of Human Rights under Rule 39 are a powerful instrument - yet often unknown to those who are most in need of urgent relief. Our Initiative aims at enhancing a correct and consistent use of Rule 39 requests for the protection of vulnerable individuals in countries that are “critical” for the reception of migration flows.”

Raffaella Quintana, partner and Head of Responsible Business activities at DLA Piper Italy, said: “We are grateful to be taking part in this initiative, confirming our commitment and dedication to spreading the culture and protection of human rights at a global level. This project is an important challenge that will provide concrete and immediate help to those who are deprived of their fundamental rights. Our support is in line with other actions we’ve taken over the last few years in defense of migrants. In the face of the humanitarian tragedies we witness on a daily basis, it is our responsibility to offer our legal support to those who are most vulnerable”.