PILnet works with civil society organizations and social enterprises from around the globe to pinpoint their legal needs, connect them with pro bono lawyers in PILnet’s global legal network, and work with both sides to create a strategic partnership for sustained impact.
Launched in 2021 on World Refugee Day, the forced displacement legal assistance matching mechanism is a coordination and referral platform that aims to facilitate access to free legal assistance for civil society organizations, associations, clinics, refugee-led organizations, and legal service providers working with refugees and forcibly displaced persons in a fair and equitable way.
Legal help through this system is only for organizations (NGOs, CBOs, etc.), associations, clinics, and other legal service providers working with those forcibly displaced, including refugee-led organizations.
We cannot help refugees or other individuals, unless referred to us by one of the organizations listed above. If you are an asylum-seeker, refugee or stateless person please see UNHCR’s information page or Rights in Exile Programme.
The types of matters that can be requested may include:
- Individual case matters – Such as family reunification applications; representation or other support for strategic litigation in higher, regional or international courts; support for interventions with UN bodies; country of origin information; or legal research.
- Organizational legal support – Such as assistance with registration of the organization and preparing relevant documents (e.g. articles of association), legal support relating to conflicts with various stakeholders, review of commercial contracts, assistance with drafting of employment contracts, internship/volunteer agreements, or other issues related to residence/ work permits of staff.
- Legal training – Including training for NGOs and paralegals on certain non-asylum areas of law (business law, criminal law, SGBV response) or legal-practice related skills (such as negotiation and mediation of disputes).
- Legal research – Such as research, including multi-jurisdictional and/or comparative research, on a given issue affecting refugees or others forcibly displaced (e.g. detention, deportation processes, legal aid).
Are you eligible for pro bono assistance? Check the flowchart outlining the legal help-seeking process.Process Flowchart
Types of Assistance
Looking for ideas on what kind of legal assistance our network of pro bono lawyers can provide? Check out the menu.Menu of Options
Need more information? This Guide provides detailed information on project background, scope, and protocols, and more.Matching Guide