The United States has a longstanding tradition of providing safe haven to the persecuted. Yet not all refugees receive a warm welcome here. Some are placed in detention and forced to navigate the complex asylum system. The government doesn't provide them an attorney, and most can't afford one.
This is why we've been matching asylum seekers with pro bono attorneys since 1978.
Today, on World Refugee Day, we want to introduce you to refugees who fled persecution and, with the help of our pro bono attorneys, received asylum in the United States. Their stories of persecution, survival, and building a new life are truly inspiring, and have informed our advocacy for better refugee protection.
Photo of Awoke from Ethiopia Awoke owned and ran an internet café in Ethiopia. His clients often used his café to access opposition websites, but the government found out. He was detained and tortured, and was forced to leave the country out of fear of further persecution. Check out his story.
Photo of Patricia from Honduras As a result of Patricia's vocal advocacy for LGBT and women's rights, she was targeted, repeatedly threatened, and eventually became a victim of sexual violence. Afraid for her life, she fled the country and came to the United States. Check out her story.
Photo of Kani from Kurdistan As a Kurd from Turkey, Kani faced difficulties advocating for his community. He came to the United States to work for Kurdish rights. But as his advocacy became prominent, he was forced to seek asylum. Check out his story.
Check out these inspiring stories and share them to your networks on Facebook and Twitter.
Marc Jayson Climaco
Human Rights First