Migrant Crisis in Europe

Social Entrepreneurs attend Lex Mundi Annual Conference in Berlin

One of the social challenges of our time is the migration crisis, particularly in Europe. Germany took in more than 1 million refugees last year, primarily from Syria and Iraq, and this influx creates significant demands on the German infrastructure as well as raises questions and challenges around culture and integration.

During the Lex Mundi Annual Conference in Berlin, the Foundation hosted a lunch discussion for its Board of Directors to meet with local social entrepreneurs. The lunch was designed to better understand the refugee situation on the ground and to hear examples of how local social entrepreneurs are working to find solutions. The two organizations that shared their time and stories with us were:
Francoise Greve from Sea-Watch e.V., a non-profit organization that rescues refugees from boats in distress at sea. Many thousands of refugees, seeking protection from war and persecution, have died while crossing the sea in unsuitable and overcrowded boats without skippers, navigation or safety equipment. Sea-Watch has purchased old ships exclusively with private money and then outfitted the boats with a crew of volunteers consisting of skippers, medics and sea rescuers. By the end of 2015, Sea-Watch had rescued approximately 2,000 people. Recently, they have raised funds for additional vessels in the Aegean Sea as well as new search areas near Malta, Italy and Libya.

Esther Bernsen from Über den Tellerrand, a social enterprise that uses food and cooking as a mechanism for cultural exchange. Two years ago, UdT began publishing recipes and stories by refugees and offering cooking classes led by refugees from different countries. Their mission is to promote an active exchange among refugees and the local population, giving refugees the opportunity to build a network of friends and giving Europeans a better understanding of the culture and lives of the refugees. The food-based programs are the basis for mutual interest, respect and friendship. The Board was also joined by Moder Sheek, one of the organization’s chefs who is a refugee from Syria. Mr. Sheek shared his personal story of living through war in Aleppo, Syria and then his three-year journey before settling in Germany.

The event led to a fascinating discussion that allowed attendees to learn how social entrepreneurs are involved in addressing this one important issue — from rescue to integration and everywhere in between. The group also discussed the ways that lawyers around the world might play a role in supporting the efforts of those social entrepreneurs that are assisting refugees around the world.

If you or your firm are doing any pro bono work related to the migrant/refugee crisis, please reply to the newsletter and let us know.

Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Honors Five Member Firms for Exceptional Pro Bono Contributions and Support

Awards Honor Lex Mundi Member Law Firms for Providing Critical Pro Bono Legal Services and Support to Social Impact Organizations

The 13th Annual Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awards were announced during the 2022 Lex Mundi Connect + Collaborate Annual Conference in Edinburgh on Thursday, April 28, 20022. These awards honor Lex Mundi member law firms that provide critical pro bono legal services – helping to strengthen the global rule of law, support the global social entrepreneurship movement, and improve lives, the environment, and communities around the world.

Coming Together for Ukraine: Legal Resources to Support those Responding to the Current Situation in Ukraine

Find guidance on immigration regulations and NGO/charitable organization registration requirements in bordering countries, as well as information on how to navigate restrictions. This is a living document. Additional resources will be added in the days and weeks ahead. Check back frequently for more information.

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Launches Definitive Guide to Growing Social Enterprise

The Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, in collaboration with more than 60 Lex Mundi member firms and led by Morrison & Foerster LLP, launches unprecedented report including recommendations to assist policymakers in accelerating the formation and growth of social enterprises.

News on Purpose - January 2022

2021 marked the 15th anniversary of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation! This newsletter reflects on 15 years of service, discusses the newly redesigned website, and highlights ways Lex Mundi member firms are having a positive impact in their communities.

Fighting Climate Change with Circular Economy Innovations

News On Purpose – August 2021

According to a new report issued by the United Nations on August 9, 2021, our planet is warming faster than predicted. Extreme weather, fires, flooding and drought are becoming common headlines around the world.

2020 Year in Review

News On Purpose – May 2021

In the face of uncertain times, Lex Mundi member firms rallied together to give back to their communities. In 2020 alone, 74 member firms matched with 99 social entrepreneurs on 202 matters. This is a record high for the Foundation! These numbers are a testament to Lex Mundi attorneys’ commitment to pro bono services.