Startup offering Legal advice Via Text Message to Tackle Refugee Crisis



In the last few weeks, the world has shifted its focus towards the European migrants & refugee crisis. Scores of people fleeing conflict and terror group ISIS from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have taken the dangerous journey through land and sea as they seek better and safer places to live. The migrant crisis has also been activated by economic refugees mainly from Africa seeking to move to Europe in search of better livelihoods and sources of income.

The tech world has been blamed for not coming with tangible solutions likely to solve the crisis, which threatens to spill over into a global one. Earlier last week, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel asked Facebook to do more, in cracking down racist posts on the site related to the crisis. Now a Palestinian startup called Souktel, has launched a service that allows the refugees to receive free legal advice via text messages. Using their mobile phones, the refugees can check if they have the right to work, if their children can access education services as well as critical information to make the transition bearable.

Souktel launched the service in Turkey and has seen over 10,000 people use it in just three weeks since launch.  It currently employs 30 individuals with a background in humanitarian services and who understand issues faced by refugees as well as a team of software engineers who sort, tag and translate the queries before sending them to Turkish lawyers according to Financial Times. The service has also partnered with the American Bar Association, which fronted the idea.