For Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey, arrival in this new, unfamiliar country brings specific challenges: The only non-Arabic-speaking state in the region, Turkey’s language and legal system are unfamiliar to many Syrians—leaving them vulnerable to basic rights violations. Clear, accurate information about refugee entitlements is also hard to find. As a result, large numbers of Syrians struggle without basic support; children remain out of school, and families’ socio-economic security is put at risk.
Now, however, Souktel and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) are partnering to change this reality, launching a first-ever cell phone based legal information service for Syrian refugees. Through the service, Syrians will be able to send legal questions via SMS at any time, with text messages received and analyzed through a secure, Souktel-designed analytics platform. After being sorted, tagged by topic, and translated into Turkish, the requests are sent to Turkish lawyers–who offer real-time advice via secure SMS channel, with translation back into Arabic so the Syrians can easily understand the content.