Greece has been the second refugee population receiving country in the EU since September 2015. More than 51.000 people are stranded around Greece (according to data published by the Greek Government1 ). The majority have applied for asylum while others wait for relocation or family reunification applications to be decided so that they can move on to other member states. Applicants for all processes require legal assistance: to ensure the appropriate asylum procedure is pursued, vulnerabilities are detected, deadlines met, the process is fair and that basic human needs are fulfilled, and rights are respected.
However, in reality, provision of legal aid is patchy due to numerous administrative, legislative and practical obstacles. Applicants are most often left to navigate the complicated asylum system themselves often without sufficient information, with linguistic barriers whilst facing multiple other adversities as they try to rebuild their lives in their new surroundings and realise the right to seek asylum, security, health care, education and employment. In the evolving and constantly changing Greek asylum procedures3 legal assistance is necessary not only in the process of examination of asylum claims but also to ensure respect of rights connected to basic needs. The following observations are drawn from the experience of organisations assisting asylum seekers on the ground.
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