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IRAP presentation


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  • 1. Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project
  • 2. Our Strategy:
    Organize law students around the world to deliver a system of legal rights for refugees
  • 3. The Resettlement System
    For refugees who will never be able to return home and cannot remain in their country of first asylum, the only option is resettlement to a safe third country.
    Resettlement is a legal process: it is defined and governed by the laws of the United Nations and its member countries who process and accept refugee applications for resettlement.
  • 4. The Resettlement System
    Typically, refugees seeking resettlement will have a minimum of four interviews
    Interviews range from one to seven hours in length
    Refugees will also be asked to produce numerous documents
    At the end, a decision will be made, according to the appropriate laws, on which the refugees’ lives literally depend.
  • 5. The Resettlement System
    Yet, refugee applicants lack even the most basic rights to help them understand and navigate a terrifying and complex process, such as:
    A right to have an advocate present with them at their interviews
    A right to appeal an incorrect or arbitrary decision
    A right to understand where they are in the process and what is happening to them
    A right to know why they are accepted or denied.
  • 6. Activate law students to develop and enforce a system of legal rights for refugees
    Our Approach:
    • 17 chapters at law schools in the United States and the Middle East
    • 7. Partnered with supervising attorneys from more than 20 of the world’s top law firms.
    • 8. Working on individual cases, systemic policy advocacy and impact litigation.
  • 9. Our Cases
    More than 1,000 refugees (Iraqi, Sudanese, Somalian, Syrian, Libyan) referred by NGO’s, community and religious leaders, governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in urgent need of resettlement
    Children with medical emergencies; women who are survivors of trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence; interpreters at risk for their work with the U.S. military; LGBT refugees.
  • 10. Our Successes
    Last year on a total budget of $126,000, we provided more than $3.5 million in pro bono legal services directly to refugees most at risk
    We have won 90% of our cases- and because the law works on a system of precedents, each of these victories can be invoked by refugees anywhere in the world in similar situations looking to enforce their own rights.
  • 11. Our Successes (cont’d)
    Using the Freedom of Information Act, we have declassified more than 5,000 pages of documents about U.S. and international refugee processing methods and statistics.
    We have been invited to brief numerous members of Congress and the administration on reforms to refugee law, including three visits to brief White House Officials and members of the National Security Council
    These briefings have already resulted in a number of high level, high impact reforms to refugee processing.
    We were featured in a cover story on The New York Times.
  • 12. Enforceable legal rights and access to counsel for millions of refugees worldwide
    Our Goal: