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Help us to defend people’s rights amidst the pandemic

Saturday, April 4 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all of us in extraordinary ways, so many asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants are at even greater risk and in desperate need of our help and protection now.

Amidst this unprecedented crisis we need your help to help them.

For so many of these vulnerable people, isolation and uncertainty are already part of daily life. This pandemic risks making life even more difficult – and creating further barriers to accessing basic supports. The dangers are even more acute for people who are detained.

Despite lockdowns across the nation – and globally – the Federal Government continues to process peoples’ cases.

Regardless of the tightening of restrictions on us, the Refugee Legal team has not scaled back. In fact, we have been able to adapt and maintain frontline services because we acted early to work differently.

• We’ve set up our legal team to work from home – continuing to do what they do best: provide vital legal help.
• We’ve invested in boosting our IT and phone infrastructure and purchased essential equipment to set up home offices for staff and volunteers.
• We’ve upgraded our IT server and internet capability so that any closure of our office building does not close us down and ensures enhanced connectivity.

If you are able to help us meet the additional costs of working differently under pandemic conditions, we would be very grateful for any gift from you now.

The Refugee Legal Pandemic Response Strategy is three-pronged: continuity of legal service; protection of client rights, staff and volunteer well-being; and core services.

This means that all of our core services from telephone advice, to night service, to our special TPV Clinics, to full casework representation and strategic litigation are being provided daily by our legal team working from their home offices.

With 32 years’ experience as a specialist legal service, Refugee Legal has often had to develop new approaches to how we deliver services.

As I am sure you would appreciate, acting early and working differently comes at a cost.

In the past we have relied heavily on you and your generosity. We still do. If your current circumstances are uncertain due to the pandemic, we understand that you may not be able to help us with a donation at this time, but please stay connected – and stay well.

If you are in a position to help us now by maintaining, repeating or, indeed, increasing your donation to Refugee Legal, thank you.

Let’s, together, do all that we can in these turbulent times to ensure that vulnerable asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are cared for and protected.


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