What We Do
Asylum Access is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making refugee rights a reality in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
We empower refugees using these five tools:
Our advocates provide legal counsel and representation to refugees and asylum seekers. We help our clients navigate the legal process to obtain status, vindicate workplace rights, access education, healthcare, and financial institutions, and demand equal protection of police and courts.
Community Legal Empowerment
We train refugees as Community Legal Advisors, so they can provide basic legal advice and facilitate civic engagement within their communities. We
train refugees as Community Interpreters so they can assist other refugees to access justice. We also conduct broader Know Your Rights education with refugees and their host communities.
We advocate for changes in law and policy that improve refugees’ access to rights. Working with local governments and UN field offices, we develop and
promote solutions to systemic rights violations.
We establish legal precedents for refugee rights through test cases in local and regional courts. Our strategic litigation works in tandem with our policy
advocacy. Ultimately, we aim to reduce the need for legal aid by making refugee rights the norm.
We are committed to advancing the global refugee rights movement. We have established an effective and sustainable model for change in Africa, Asia and Latin America and our advocates are continually expanding our reach and bringing our services to more refugees every year.
Advancing Refugees’ Right to Work
Asylum Access puts refugees’ right to work on the international agenda. Our goal is to empower refugees to rebuild their lives themselves. With the right to work, refugees will be able to feed their families independent of humanitarian handouts.
We are advancing refugees’ right to work through policy advocacy and our Refugee Work Rights Campaign (see below). Our work is paving the way for the recognition of refugees’ right to safe and legal employment. For example, we successfully lobbied the Ecuadorian government to include refugee employment rights in its new Constitution, permitting an estimated 250,000 refugees to work and feed their families for their first time in history.
Asylum Access also successfully advocated the US State Department to include information about refugees’ work rights in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. Together with other NGOs, we played a key role in advocating for a new United Nations policy towards urban refugees, which prioritizes their human rights, especially the right to earn a livelihood.
Asylum Access’s Refugee Work Rights Campaign
Launched on World Refugee Day 2011, Asylum Access’s Refugee Work Rights Campaign is expanding common understandings of refugees’ right to safe and lawful employment as a key component of a comprehensive long-lasting solution for refugees.
With the means to provide for themselves, refugees can rebuild their lives with their own hands. In addition to enabling host countries to benefit from their valuable skills and experience, the recognition of their right to work will reduce their dependency and vulnerability and help them become active contributing members of civil society. The right to work for refugees promotes the integration of a marginalized population and enables refugee assistance to move beyond maintaining the status quo through long-term humanitarian assistance.
You are invited to join us in advancing refugees’ right to work through our Refugee Work Rights blog. Subscribe to receive email updates at the bottom of our homepage or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.