The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that connects law students and attorneys to provide legal representation to those who have none. IRAP helps refugees navigate the rules and processes of resettlement in the US.
War and sectarian violence in Iraq forced thousands to flee for their lives and become stranded in other Middle East countries. These people cannot return to Iraq without risking their lives, so they are forced to seek refuge elsewhere. IRAP was started by students at Yale Law School to provide legal representation and policy advocacy on behalf of Iraqi refugees seeking resettlement, and to assist those who have resettled. 22 other law schools – including the University of Pennsylvania – and over five hundred volunteers including students, lawyers and advocates have joined the effort to deal with this humanitarian crisis. IRAP’s Penn Law chapter was founded in February 2010, and has since become one of the most successful branches.
To date, IRAP has helped more than 1,000 individuals find safety in seven different countries and achieved major policy changes affecting tens of thousands of refugees. IRAP’s focus now extends beyond exclusively assisting Iraqi refugees, with the organization expanding its services to refugees from all parts of the world.