Project “Improving access of persons in need of international protection to legal aid and monitoring reception conditions in Estonia”
The project “Improving access of persons in need of international protection to legal remedies and monitoring reception conditions in the Republic of Estonia”, developed by UNHCR in partnership with Estonian Human Right Centre (EHRC) will seek to improve:
- The access of persons in need of international protection (asylum-seekers, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection) to legal aid in the Republic of Estonia;
- The reception conditions, including in the immigration detention facilities.
In the course of the project period, starting January 1, 2018, the EHRC will provide free legal counselling and, in certain cases, represent an individual in the national and international judicial or quasi-judicial institutions or bodies. This activity will include:
- Provision of free legal counselling to asylum-seekers, including those who are detained or apprehended at border-crossing points, as well as to beneficiaries of international protection (persons granted either refugee or subsidiary protection status, including those who are relocated or resettled to Estonia);
- Representation of asylum-seekers at their asylum interviews in the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB);
- Preparation of written replies and comments on the provisional PBGB decisions.
The EHRC will undertake monitoring visits to the accommodation centres for asylum-seekers in Vao and Vägeva as well as the PBGB detention centre in Harku as well as other PBGB facilities which are used for immigration detention purposes.
The ECHR will provide free legal counselling services at its office in Tallinn. Additionally, legal counselling services will be provided upon request either by phone, social media, WhatsApp, Skype or e-mail and letter to those asylum-seekers who will be unable to visit the EHRC office in Tallinn.