AMERA International works with refugee-led and community-based organisations, NGOs, legal aid clinics, and law firms around the world to offer free of charge high quality legal advice and representation on issues relating to asylum determination, durable solutions, family reunification and other matters relating to the enjoyment of fundamental rights of people who are displaced.
We advance coordination, information sharing, and knowledge transfer, in particular among lawyers and paralegals, in matters relating to forced migration and law affecting refugees globally.
We encourage networks of practitioners and experts to strengthen quality legal programming, develop and influence policies and practices, and advocate for change that advances justice for refugees.
We seek to support the provision of or coordination with mental health and psychosocial services – for medico-legal assessments, to enable refugees to present their testimonies at interviews conducted by state authorities or by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and to help refugees deal emotionally, mentally and practically with their past and present struggles.
We promote the use of tools and approaches to advance best practices in refugee case management.
AMERA International pursues projects with like-minded organisations to develop quality legal aid provision through knowledge transfer, capacity building, and advocacy. If you are interested in discussing potential partnerships and projects with AMERA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do this through programmes:
The Rights in Exile (RiE) Programme: A well-respected and established ‘one-stop shop’ of resources for legal aid providers and refugees, globally.
The Rights in Exile Programme aims to achieve better protection of refugee rights by networking legal assistance providers with resources, expertise and training, and providing refugees from around the world with access to free legal assistance and information.
Key features for lawyers and refugees include a comprehensive, centralised database of contact details (regularly updated) of pro bono legal assistance providers in more than 230 countries; a database of country of origin experts; information on legal processes relating to refugees; a list of resource persons who are experts in special issues, such as gender issues in asylum claims or human trafficking. The website also offers learning materials on refugee law and case preparation and much more.
We do this through our current projects:
AMERA International’s Therapeutic Legal Assistance Model
AMERA International advocates for a model of therapeutic legal assistance for refugees. This model pulls together what AMERA considers to be three core pillars to effective legal aid, informed by and supportive of emotional and mental health needs throughout legal processes:
- Quality legal representation
- Therapeutic casework & advocacy
- Mental health assessments, reports and access to treatment
AMERA supports organisations to implement the model, directly or through cooperation with other service providers. Resources and training are available for legal aid and MHPSS practitioners. For more information see our project page on our Therapeutic Legal Assistance Model.
AMERA International and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN): Mapping of legal aid and MHPSS for Afghan refugees
AMERA International is partnering with the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) to map organizations providing mental health and psychosocial services for Afghan refugees in the Global South, and to coordinate these services with legal aid provision. This is in line with AMERA’s therapeutic legal assistance model, aiming to strengthen integrated legal and MHPSS services. AMERA is working with APRRN to increase access to complementary services to improve outcomes for Afghan refugees.
For more information, please see our project page on Legal Aid and MHPSS for Afghan Refugees.
AMERA International and St. Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS): Mental health reports in legal processes
AMERA International is working with St. Andrew’s Refugee Services (StARS) developing training curriculum and resources for legal advisors and mental health practitioners. These strengthen the use of mental health assessments and reports to facilitate quality legal representation and fair refugee status determination and other legal processes for refugees with mental health needs.
AMERA also operates a bank of mental health practitioners and other specialists who can provide free of charge or low cost mental health assessments and reports for legal processes.
Please see out Mental Health Reports page for more information.
AMERA International’s Deportation Monitoring Network
AMERA has recently taken on the work of the Deportation Monitoring Network (DMN). Organisations and individuals can provide a report of deportation to AMERA. AMERA coordinates and connects with relevant organizations in the country of return. This coordination can be to provide relevant information and support before deportation, including providing information to inform legal representation. It links the individual in with assistance with an organisation or individual who can provide support upon deportation or return.
AMERA works closely with those conducting monitoring and support in receiving countries, to ensure the provision of assistance wherever possible, and to collect information and data on outcomes which then informs wider advocacy. For more information see the Deportation Monitoring Network project page.
We do this through organisations, networks and advocacy:
AMERA International supports the use of the Refugee Information Processing System (RIPS) to standardise case management and create a secure repository of information to assist refugees and legal teams.
Developed and managed by Applied Network Solutions (ANS) RIPS has helped in the management of thousands of individual cases per year by leading legal aid providers across the world. Read more about RIPS here.
AMERA International advocates for refugees’ rights through coordination with networks and organisations.
AMERA International coordinates with a range of networks and organisations to further its vision of strengthened access to legal aid for refugees globally. This currently includes: special consultative status at ECOSOC, the International Council for Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the Global Refugee Forum Legal Community Pledge, EuroMed Rights‘ Migration and Asylum Working Group, the Global Strategic Litigation Council, among others.
AMERA International supports organisations to assess legal aid needs and opportunities
AMERA International is currently working with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to support their work assessing legal aid and advocacy needs and opportunities in Africa.