Advocate for Refugee Rights

Advocacy is fundamental to our work, and with the Jewish community beside us we stand up for the rights of forcibly displaced people globally.

HIAS Advocacy Courthouse 2020

Activists from HIAS and other refugee-supporting organizations demonstrate at Ronald Reagan Airport in response to the decision to reduce the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. Washington, D.C., October 16, 2019. (Eric Kruszewski for HIAS)

Overview

HIAS’ advocacy work in the United States and abroad is guided by over a century of expertise in assisting forcibly displaced people. We advocate for the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and other forcibly displaced people, regardless of their national, ethnic, or religious backgrounds. HIAS works to protect and advance fair and humane refugee and asylum policies. In the U.S., our work largely focuses on refugee resettlement and asylum; throughout the world, we advocate for policies that serve displaced people, including through protection and safety, economic integration, ending gender-based violence, and responding to emergencies. Through this work, we seek to create a world in which all forcibly displaced people can rebuild their lives and find safety, welcome, and opportunity.

800+

congregations have taken action for forcibly displaced people with HIAS

111,816

letters were sent by HIAS supporters to government representatives in 2021, advocating for humane refugee and asylum policies

Strategies

HIAS works to uphold and expand the rights and protections of refugees, asylum seekers, and other forcibly displaced people around the world. We accomplish this by:

  • Engaging directly with Congress, federal governmental agencies, and the administration to protect refugee rights.

  • Urging the international community to support international and local organizations in their response to ongoing and emergent humanitarian crises.

  • Mobilizing our supporters to stand up for the rights of forcibly displaced people by contacting their elected officials.

    Take Action
  • Engaging the Jewish community in grassroots advocacy.

  • Carrying out local, on-the-ground advocacy for displaced people served by our country offices around the world.

Impact

“They Tell Us They Finally Feel Heard”

In April 2021, Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered the government to consider the asylum applications of 2,445 refugees. This was due in part to HIAS Israel’s legal advocacy on behalf of Sudanese asylum seekers, about 435 of whom were included in this ruling.

Read More
HIAS Israel's deputy director Nimrod Avigal (R) helps a Sudanese asylum seeker fill out forms to get temporary residency status. January 2021. (HIAS Israel)

Resources & Publications

Jul 27, 2022

At Risk and in Need

Jul 27, 2022

In this policy brief HIAS examines the serious protection risks that certain groups — women and girls; unaccompanied and separated children; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; and non-Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons — are experiencing.

Sep 13, 2022

Waiting for the Sky to Close

Sep 13, 2022

As part of a partnership with HIAS, VOICE conducted a four-week rapid assessment of Ukraine and five bordering countries to assess the needs of women and girls affected by the war and the needs of WROs and groups responding to the emergency.

A HIAS local staff member meets with an Ethiopian family seeking asylum. He helps make sure that the needs of the family are met as they wait.  (Glenna Gordon for HIAS)

Give Now

A HIAS local staff member meets with an Ethiopian family seeking asylum. He helps make sure that the needs of the family are met as they wait.  (Glenna Gordon for HIAS)

Help HIAS provide vital services to refugees and asylum seekers around the world