Friday, August 27, 2021

Feel Good Friday - International Refugee Assistance Project

No matter your thoughts on the situation in Afghanistan, there are thousands of Afghan refugees who can use some help. That’s why today’s Feel Good Friday is focused on the International Refugee Assistance Project

Founded in 2010, the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is “the legal advocacy organization for refugees and displaced people in need of a safe place to call home.” 

From offices in New York, Washington D.C., Amman, Lebanon, and Berlin, IRAP organizes both lawyers and law students 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.” 

Work focused on the people of Afghanistan is being prioritized and includes providing legal resources for Afghans, petitioning the State Department for the immediate evacuation of Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, and encouraging people to take action such as signing this petition and contacting your elected officials to encourage them to bring as many people to safety as possible.

The other areas of focus for IRAP include: family reunification, helping clients navigate private sponsorshippathways for refugees, protecting the integrity of the US asylum system, expanding legal protections for climate displaced people, and protecting and expanding U.S. refugee resettlement.

 As they explain in their 2020 Annual Report, in the last 11 years, IRAP has:

  • Provided legal aid to more than 30,000 individuals
  • Assisted more than 14,000 people through our artificial-intelligence-powered chatbot, which helps individuals navigate refugee resettlement and visa options
  • Led the passage of 12 provisions of bipartisan U.S. congressional legislation, opening and improving pathways to safety for over 173,620 people
  • Leveraged the courts in cases that could maintain pathways to safety for more than 339,000 individuals 

If you’d like to support IRAP and the people they support, there are several ways to do so. In addition to the actions listed for Afghan refugees, you can also make a donation and help other people learn about IRAP by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @IRAP and Instagram @refugeeassistance.

If you’re looking for more organizations that support refugees. Check out these previous Feel Good Friday blogs on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Rescue Committee.

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