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Like you, we at Good Law Project have been searching for a way to respond to the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.
Lawyers who specialise in the law of international conflicts tell us that this war is illegal, but, as we have learned closer to home, the law only binds Governments who choose to be bound by it. The law cannot do everything. But the law can do something.
What we know is that, as of 1 March 2022, 700,000 refugees had fled Ukraine. This exodus took place over only 6 days. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is estimating that a total number of 4 million will leave Ukraine, seeking safety from war, seeking refuge.
Aside from Ukrainian and Russian, English is the most common language spoken in Ukraine and so the UK is a natural destination.
And we know that a growing number of people fleeing as a result of the war will need access to legal support in the UK. We also know that, as with any forced mass movement of people, vulnerable people who have not yet found safety will be exploited by traffickers. This is especially true of groups where the men have remained to fight a war.
Good Law Project does not work in the field of refugee law. But we know, as you do, that those fleeing the war need help, and that we must do our share. So we have decided to fund a legal caseworker at Asylum Aid, working full time for a year, on asylum claims. We will pay their salary, and other employment costs, and a contribution to the costs of running Asylum Aid. The legal caseworker will not deal exclusively with those displaced by this war.
Asylum Aid is a charity that, for over 30 years, has been providing legal representation to some of the most vulnerable people seeking asylum. It has built an expert service, delivering vital, and life-saving services in some of the most complex legal cases, with a particular speciality working with survivors of trafficking, unaccompanied minors and stateless people.
Good Law Project will continue to look for ways in which we can do more and help more, including further financial support for Asylum Aid.
Good Law Project only exists thanks to donations from people across the UK. If you’re in a position to support our work, you can do so here