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.

News On Purpose

In This Issue

  • Another Banner Year, 2023 in Review
  • Activating Humanitarian Resources Near Rafah
  • Bringing Safe Water to Schools
  • New Canadian Bar Association President Leading By Example

Legal Resources to Support those Responding to Humanitarian Needs Near Rafah

In light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis near Rafah, our Lex Mundi member for Egypt, Shalakany, has generously provided high-level guidance for NGOs seeking to activate resources in the area.

Find answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the regulatory framework for incorporating a foreign NGO in Egypt?
  2. What are the challenges associated with the incorporation of a foreign NGO in Egypt?
  3. What are the available alternative forms of registration?

News on Purpose

In this Issue

  • Landmark UN Resolution on the Social Economy Passes with the Help of the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation and its Collaborators
  • Congratulations to Alfredo Silva, an Incredible Lex Mundi Member Lawyer and Champion
  • Afghan Musicians Find a New Home Thanks to Lex Mundi Member Law Firms

News On Purpose

In this Issue

  • 2023 Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awardees
  • Ensuring No Woman Delivers in the Dark
  • Lex Mundi Recognized at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • Unleashing the Full Potential of Scientists Worldwide

Awards Honor 5 Lex Mundi Member Law Firms for Providing Critical Pro Bono Legal Services and Support to Social Impact Organizations

The 14th Annual Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation Awards were announced during the 2023 Lex Mundi Connect + Collaborate Annual Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, May 4, 20023. 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.

Guidance on Authorized Transactions Related to Earthquake Relief Efforts in Syria

This guidance responds to specific questions OFAC received related to earthquake relief efforts in Syria and explains how to provide legitimate humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in compliance with U.S. sanctions.