More than 4 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the conflict in the country, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In response to the humanitarian crisis, more than 150 lawyers at Amazon and its pro bono partners have teamed up from the U.S., Europe, Mexico, India, and Australia to provide free legal assistance to organisations that are helping Ukrainian refugees.
The Amazon legal team has partnered with global law firm DLA Piper and PILnet, an international pro bono clearinghouse, to develop comprehensive guidebooks about resettling in 18 European countries. The guidebooks answer legal and administrative questions for refugees, such as how to apply for work permits and where to find housing, mental health support, and childcare services.
The information is being shared with a wide variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Europe that are providing on-the-ground assistance to Ukrainian families. The organisations include the European Union Agency for Asylum, United for Ukraine, and the European Young Bar Association.
“When the Ukraine conflict erupted, we immediately reached out to our pro bono partners to identify Ukrainian refugees’ most urgent legal needs,” said Najib Saïl, senior legal counsel at Amazon France and head of the European Pro Bono Taskforce.
“Millions of Ukrainians have been forced to leave their country, and when trying to start a new life—either temporarily or permanently—they have a lot of questions about their rights and what kind of assistance they can access. We can use our expertise and network of law firms to help them,” Saïl said. “At Amazon, pro bono work is a mechanism to serve communities and NGOs in efficient and scalable ways, and we work to meet people’s needs and provide them with access to tools and resources about their rights.”
Amazon's pro bono programme encourages and enables Amazon legal professionals worldwide to provide free legal services to underserved communities. Since 2014, Amazon legal teams have donated tens of thousands of hours of pro bono legal services to clients in need. Amazon partners with a variety of community organisations and law firms globally.