International Refugee Assistance Project: IRAP
Provides legal advocacy for refugees and displaced people in need of a safe place to call home.
IRAP’s innovative model of mobilizing legal resources to advocate for refugees and displaced people saves lives, assures safe passage to destination countries, and shapes thought and practice in the United States and around the globe to ensure fair and humane treatment of these vulnerable individuals.
IRAP’s approach is grounded in three distinct but interrelated strategies:
IRAP has created a “virtual public interest law firm”—a firm that is not impeded by geographic boundaries and uses technological solutions to deliver free high-quality representation to people living in, and fleeing from, war, persecution, and political upheaval around the world. We have trained an army of volunteers—1,200 students from 30 law schools in the United States and Canada and pro bono attorneys from over 120 international law firms and multinational corporations—to assist thousands of refugees and displaced people on urgent registration, protection, and resettlement cases.
Through impact litigation and systemic advocacy, IRAP is bringing legal challenges to refugee rights violations in the courts, creating solutions to overcoming the legal and bureaucratic impediments in the resettlement process, and developing an enforceable system of legal and procedural rights for refugees and displaced persons worldwide. Working directly with our clients as they navigate the labyrinthine processes, IRAP is often able to identify obstacles of which other institutional players are unaware. Our unique model utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations.
Finally, a crucial prong of IRAP’s approach is to train the next generation of international human rights advocates. These advocates are essential to ensuring fairness, decency, and adherence to the rule of law throughout the refugee resettlement process.