The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.
IRAP believes in action, accountability, innovation, and candor. They are nimble, collaborative, and nonpartisan. They believe in the power of individuals to change their own circumstances. And they believe in results.
IRAP’s innovative model saves refugees’ lives, assures their passage to safe destination countries, and shapes thought and practice in the United States and around the globe to ensure fair and humane treatment of refugees.
IRAP’s approach is grounded in three distinct but interrelated strategies:
1. IRAP has created a “virtual public interest law firm” that defies geographical boundaries and provides high quality representation to refugees by a cadre of 1,200 law students and over 800 pro bono attorneys. This model is scalable and allows IRAP to take on an increasing number of urgent refugee cases, as well as respond to immediate crises such as the chaos at airports following the implementation of the travel ban signed by President Trump.
2. Through extensive 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. As the only organization that guides refugees through every step of the resettlement labyrinth, IRAP is often able to identify obstacles of which other institutional players are unaware. Their unique model utilizes lessons learned in individual casework to advocate for systemic changes that benefit broader refugee populations.
3. Finally, a crucial prong of IRAP’s approach is to train the next generation of international human rights advocates through their law school chapters. These advocates are essential to assuring fairness, decency, and adherence to the rule of law throughout the refugee resettlement process and promoting pro-refugee policies throughout the country.
Where is International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)