Asylum Access is pleased to announce the soft launch of its refugee rights toolkit, now available to selected pilot users in the global south for testing and feedback. Since 2010, the Asylum Access team has been working to develop the toolkit as an online office-in-a-box tool to help refugee rights advocates anywhere in the world set up their own local refugee legal aid project.
The refugee rights movement emerged from the idea that rights-based advocacy is both a critical necessity and a realistic driver of change in all countries around the world. Building on the experiences of Asylum Access’s three offices in Ecuador, Thailand and Tanzania, the toolkit includes a range of resources from basic international refugee law trainings, modules on ethics, human resources manuals, engaging in broader advocacy efforts, and outreach to refugee communities as a new organisation.
Asylum Access’s refugee rights toolkit is unique. No other resource directly targets the development and implementation of an actionable plan to make refugee rights a reality. While topic-based academic and video trainings exist in isolation, the toolkit will be the sole comprehensive tool powering change on the ground in refugees’ first countries of refuge in Africa, Asia or Latin America. The toolkit will also include references to existing resources, with suggestions on how to adapt these resources to a variety of local contexts.
Components of Asylum Access’s refugee rights toolkit have already proven effective across borders. Our offices in Ecuador, Thailand and Tanzania share a common case management system, use similar staff/volunteer training manuals which have been adapted locally to suit the context, and participate in joint training on strategising for effective advocacy.
While there are existing networks and reference resources, the toolkit addresses a different need. Combining the best elements of an instructional video, training course and reference tool, the toolkit incorporates interactive tools such as videos, quizzes and sample templates for easy customisation and use. Building upon existing connections between refugee rights advocates worldwide, an advanced version of the toolkit will also encourage dialogue around best practices in refugee legal aid and policy advocacy in a forum that will be widely available to a broad community of users. Now, Asylum Access invites you to join us in our effort to improve refugee legal aid and continue empowering refugees across the globe!
Asylum Access is currently looking to expand our pool of enthusiastic pilot users. Are you currently working in refugee rights? Seeking to expand your organisation’s work to include refugee rights advocacy or direct legal aid? Or simply planning to review your refugee legal aid programme? The refugee rights toolkit may be a helpful resource, and we invite you to join us in improving the Toolkit while gaining exclusive early access. Depending on your interests and expertise, you may also have the opportunity to participate in the development of new Toolkit content such as sections on refugee rights and protocols for working with survivors of gender-based violence.
To date, our pilot users range from the regional director of the International Detention Coalition to individuals looking to launch their own refugee legal aid project. They have been a valuable source of support and feedback as we continue to improve the toolkit with their input.
The ideal pilot user is an organisation or individual advocate who might directly benefit from the toolkit resources, and has a keen interest in contributing to a global community of refugee rights advocates. By sharing Asylum Access’s model, the toolkit aims to connect refugee rights advocates across borders and catalyse the growth of the emerging global refugee rights movement.Following further improvements, the toolkit’s official release is planned for early 2013. Please contact Zoë McKinney for more information, or simply send us your email to receive an update when the Toolkit is officially launched.