International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is a nationwide organization of law students and legal practitioners who provide assistance to refugees throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region who are navigating the resettlement process, and advocate on their behalf for improvements in the national and international refugee processing systems.
Organizationally, IRAP is structured as “chapters” at law schools around the country (the number of chapters continues to increase every year). Traditionally, IRAP chapters perform clientwork and policy work.
The Columbia Chapter
CLS students have the opportunity to get involved with several IRAP opportunities.
Most importantly, we oversee two pro bono projects: (1) casework, and (2) intakes. The CLS chapter currently has about fifteen open cases and over sixty active student and attorney volunteers. Our client-base is primarily Iraqi and Afghani individuals who worked for the U.S. military or are facing persecution for other reasons (sexual orientation, religion, etc.) and their immediate families. Our chapter has clients located in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and Jordan, and helps settle clients through a variety of resettlement processes, including U.S. and UNHCR processes. CLS students have also conducted several intakes for IRAP National through the intake program that began in 2016.
CLS students can also participate in an IRAP caravan to Jordan or Lebanon over spring break. The caravan involves learning more about the refugee resettlement process and conducting client intakes with vulnerable refugees referred to IRAP by partner NGOs.
Finally, the CLS chapter undertakes various policy projects throughout the year, depending on current events and needs.
For More Info...
For more information about getting involved in the CLS IRAP chapter, please contact the IRAP co-chairs, Meg Gould (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sana Singh (email@example.com).
For further information about IRAP generally, see the national organization’s website at: http://www.refugeerights.org/. Also, check out this segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QplQL5eAxlY
Please contact the IRAP co-chairs, Meg Gould (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sana Singh (email@example.com) if you would like to support our work and caravan!