Hogan Lovells volunteers help Afghan refugees to reunite with families in the UK

Hogan Lovells volunteers help Afghan refugees to reunite with families in the UK

Press releases | 11 March 2022

London, 11 March 2022 – Hogan Lovells is one of 14 law firms supporting a new pro bono initiative in collaboration with Refugee Legal Support (RLS) and Safe Passage International. 

The Afghan Pro Bono Initiative will offer pro bono legal representation to Afghan refugees after up to 150,000 people applied for evacuation as the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last summer. It is thought that less than 5% of those received any legal assistance.

As part of the initiative, Hogan Lovells lawyers and lawyers from 13 other law firms will provide pro bono immigration advice, support, and representation as Afghan refugees try to find safe routes to sanctuary and reunite with family members in the UK. Volunteers will be trained and supervised by two specialist immigration lawyers and supported by an experienced project coordinator provided by the Afghan Pro Bono Initiative. The community engagement and research element of the project will be led by an expert social researcher and data analyst who is an Afghan refugee living in the UK. 

The project will help people apply to be reunited with their family in the UK and access the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme, as well as providing information on the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme. 

Commenting on the firm’s involvement, Yasmin Waljee OBE, International Pro Bono Partner at Hogan Lovells, said: “This collaboration will offer critical advice on family reunification. With each organization involved playing to their strengths, this unique network will, in time, also provide evidence of the effectiveness of the UK’s family reunification policy.” 

Through the Afghan Pro Bono Initiative, RLS, and Safe Passage will also identify gaps in legal aid provision, and advocate for more publicly funded legal aid.