This website (the Refugee Rights Information Platform for Lawyers in Turkey) was created within the framework of an ongoing project between US-based non-profit Refugee Solidarity Network (RSN) and the Turkish non-profit Refugee Rights Turkey. Since 2015, RSN and RRT have been working in close partnership toward the goals of:
- making reliable, accurate information available for refugees in Turkey and those providing them services;
- expanding and strengthening legal services for refugees and migrants in Turkey; and,
- developing a comprehensive capacity-building program aiming to channel expertise and experience to lawyers and other legal professionals in Turkey on matters of refugee law, domestic asylum and migration procedures and remedies.
In furtherance of these goals, RSN and RRT have worked together to develop a comprehensive range of legal information materials for refugees made available in multiple languages and covering key aspects of the Turkish asylum system in various formats, including an online Information Platform for Refugees in Turkey.
The Refugee Rights Information Platform for Lawyers in Turkey has similarly adapted information and reference materials compiled by RRT into an easily accessible online resource, this time for legal service providers in Turkey. The contents of this platform are modeled after RRT’s Handbook for Lawyers.
Alongside information and reference materials, RSN and RRT have engaged in advocacy and capacity-building efforts around strengthening the state-funded legal aid scheme in Turkey, and have explored the potentials of pro bono partnerships between NGO service providers and law firms in helping expand the supply of quality legal services available for refugees in Turkey.
While legal protection of refugees and development of legal aid services in Turkey is the immediate focus of the RSN-RRT cooperative framework, the two organizations also work together to contribute to efforts supporting the development of rights-based approaches and capacity-building efforts in other national contexts, particularly comparable countries in the Global South either hosting similarly large-scale refugee populations or dealing with otherwise complex migration flows.
In this way, the Refugee Rights Information Platform for Lawyers in Turkey and broader efforts undertaken in Turkey may represent a relevant example for how civil society and national lawyers in emerging Global South countries can engage together, benefiting from unique and respective strengths while also making significant contribution towards national and Sustainable Development Goals around access to justice.