Asylum seekers and refugees in Europe receive vital rights advice from DLA Piper

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Dozens of asylum seekers and refugees across Europe are benefiting from DLA Piper's legal empowerment project, Know Your Rights.

The objective of the program is to empower asylum seekers and refugees by increasing their core knowledge on important legal issues, and teaching them about their rights in their host country. The program also aims to help asylum seekers and refugees across Europe better integrate into society, become better advocates for their own interests, and pursue their professional and personal goals.

As part of the program, DLA Piper lawyers host weekly training sessions covering various topics including: asylum and immigration law, employment law, education, housing health law, courts and justice, writing and advocacy, contract law, and entrepreneurship. Each participant is allocated a mentor from DLA Piper, who supports them throughout the program, helping them on work and personal projects such as university applications and job applications. The sessions are interactive, fun and informative and are a way for newcomers to network and make friends, socialize and feel welcomed in their new home.

Following its successful introduction in Amsterdam last year, the program is now opening in Paris and Vienna, with further launches planned for Hamburg, Luxembourg and Rome.

In each city, DLA Piper hires a refugee law student intern to help run the program. Every asylum seeker and migrant leaves behind lives, families and career paths in their home countries. Some were lawyers or law students. The Know Your Rights project seeks to collaborate with such persons, drawing from their legal expertise and giving them exposure to the international legal practice of DLA Piper. The project also provides them with an opportunity to use their unique skill-set to support other migrants in their new country.

DLA Piper's Head of Responsible Business, in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, Nicolas Patrick, said, "This program has delivered incredibly positive outcomes for refugees, and it has also been a unique learning experience for our lawyers. All of the work we do with refugees across Europe helps in bringing people together and learning about the life experiences of others, which in itself is extremely important and valuable."

For more information on the project, interns and the future cities where we will run the Know Your Rights project, please contact ozgur.kahale@dlapiper.com.