The Ross Trust is providing critical support to Refugee Legal - an independent community legal centre specialising in refugee and immigration law, policy and practice - to enable them to provide vital legal help to many people in desperate need who are impacted by the crisis in Afghanistan.
This legal help is focused on evacuating individuals and families from Afghanistan, and for Afghans in Australia seeking to secure enduring safety in Australia.
The Trust has provided $85,000 to Refugee Legal to help set up an Afghanistan Legal Hotline and Afghanistan Legal Clinic for people at risk of serious harm and who need urgent legal help due to the crisis.
Refugee Legal is also collaborating with members of the Afghan Australian community to discuss the impact of the crisis on individuals and communities and to identify legal and strategic advocacy priorities.
The centre’s Executive Director David Manne says funding from the Trust is extremely important.
“The Ross Trust has been a generous and significant supporter of our work for many years,” he said.
“We’re absolutely delighted and grateful that they have stepped in again at this time of crisis to help us provide fundamental support to so many people in desperate need of help, whether that is being evacuated, reunited with families, or to have their visa applications reassessed.”
“The legal process is notoriously complex and onerous, and it’s vital people understand where they stand before the law and how to take action on their rights. So often we see that this legal assistance can change the course of people’s lives immeasurably for the better”
The Trust funds are also contributing to Refugee Legal’s ability to garner further assistance from pro bono corporate law firms, as well as other volunteers.
“Funding helps us mobilise rapidly and leverage the extraordinary commitment, skill and resources of more than 550 volunteers and 18 law firms," Mr Manne said.
“The funding also means we were able to swiftly set up the legal advice hotline, the dedicated Afghanistan legal clinic and to run online information sessions that were attended by thousands of participants from around the world.”
The Ross Trust CEO Sarah Hardy said Refugee Legal did a remarkable job in assisting people in desperate need.