Asylum Access

Making human rights a reality for refugees in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East

aka Asylum Access   |   Oakland, CA   |  http://www.asylumaccess.org

Mission

Asylum Access believes all refugees deserve a fair chance at a new life. All over the world, we challenge barriers that keep refugees from living safely, moving freely, working and attending school – because when refugees can rebuild their lives, nations thrive.

Ruling year info

2006

President & CEO

Emily Arnold-Fernandez

Main address

C/O Port Workspaces 344 Thomas L Berkley Way

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3642040

NTEE code info

International Migration, Refugee Issues (Q71)

International Human Rights (Q70)

International Economic Development (Q32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 25 million women, children and men have fled violence or persecution in their home countries. Most spend decades or generations confined in camps, prohibited from working, or otherwise prevented from rebuilding their lives. Asylum Access was founded to change this.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Legal Aid

Our advocates provide legal counsel and representation to refugees and asylum seekers in their first countries of refuge. We help our clients navigate the legal process to obtain status, vindicate workplace rights, access education, healthcare, and financial institutions, and demand equal protection of police and courts.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

We train refugees as Community Legal Advisors, so they can provide basic
legal advice and facilitate civic engagement within their communities. We
train refugees as Community Interpreters so they can assist other refugees
to access justice. We also conduct broader Know Your Rights education
with refugees and their host communities.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

We advocate for changes in law and policy that improve refugees’ access to rights. Working with local governments and UN field offices, we develop and promote solutions to systemic rights violations.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

We establish legal precedents for refugee rights through test cases in local and regional courts. Our strategic litigation works in tandem with our policy advocacy. Ultimately, we aim to reduce the need for legal aid by making refugee rights the norm.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

We are committed to advancing the global refugee rights movement. We have established an effective and sustainable model for change in Africa, Asia and Latin America and our advocates are continually expanding our reach and bringing our services to more refugees every year.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

InterAction - Member 2017

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Asylum Access believes all refugees deserve a fair chance at a new life. All over the world, we challenge barriers that keep refugees from living safely, moving freely, working and attending school – because when refugees can rebuild their lives, nations thrive.

We believe that when refugees enjoy their human rights, they can access effective, lasting solutions.

We focus on the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America because most of the world’s refugees remain in these regions.

Asylum Access empowers refugees to become their own champions. By giving refugees the tools to advocate for themselves, and by encouraging host governments to expand refugees’ rights and opportunities, Asylum Access works toward a world where all refugees, everywhere, can rebuild their lives.

Asylum Access makes human rights a reality for refugees using three core strategies: Legal empowerment, policy reform and global systems change. Together, these strategies improve refugees’ lives today and build a better world for refugees tomorrow.

We are a team of committed and accomplished legal advocates and community empowerment experts who have helped millions of refugees find safety and rebuild their lives. Our international operations are all locally registered and locally led, and are staffed with members from the affected communities. This ensures we are able to reach as many refugees as possible, and we are able to focus on the specific needs of the refugee community.

We've reached thousands of refugees with direct legal aid or community empowerment programs, and have helped changed policies that effect over 2 million refugees.

For example, Asylum Access sustained advocacy has helped lead to the following policy changes:

New Refugee Legal System in Thailand (2019/2020)
Through our sustained engagement with the Thai government, Thailand is expected to finalize its new refugee legal status system. For the first time, thousands of refugees currently considered undocumented migrants will have legal status in Thailand.

Ending Child Detention in Thailand (2019)
Through our sustained advocacy, including engagement with the government, use of the UN Universal Periodic Review process, strategic litigation, and coalition building, the Thai government officially agreed to end the detention of refugee children in January 2019.

Ecuador Enshrines Refugee Work Rights in its National Constitution (2008)
Asylum Access brought a group of refugees to speak with legislators drafting Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, sharing the importance of access to work. Ecuador’s constitution now includes equal work rights for refugees and nationals, enabling equitable labor market access.

Malaysian Government Rescues 7,000 Rohingya Refugees Stranded at Sea (2014)
Asylum Access Malaysia met with MPs and urged Malaysian parliament to allow abandoned boats carrying Rohingya refugees to dock on Malaysian soil. If they had not been allowed to dock, the 7,000 refugees would have perished at sea.

Constitutional Court in Guatemala Blocks “Safe Third Country” Agreement with US (2019)
The Constitutional Court in Guatemala cited a document submitted by Asylum Access Mexico in its decision to block the ‘safe third country’ agreement with the US without prior congressional approval. Asylum Access and several partner human rights NGOs submitted a technical note stating that Guatemala does not have the capacity to ensure that refugees can obtain sufficient protection in Guatemala.

Financials

Asylum Access
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Asylum Access

Board of directors
as of 2/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Susan Simone

U.S. Army and Air Force and Exchange Service (retired)

Michael Teshima

Oliver Wyman

Amir Ghowsi

LinkedIn

Michael Diedring

European Program on Integration and Migration (EPIM)

Steven Solinsky

Doctors Without Borders USA (retired)

Rachel Gordon

Freelance Researcher

Mary Gardiner Huang

LinkedIn

Shalini Nataraj

Ing Foundation

Susan Lieu

Independent Playwright and Performer

Lindsay Toczylowski

Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Leah Zamore

New York University

Joyce Song

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Hany Aziz

Teach for All

Mohammed Badran

Syrian Volunteers in the Netherlands (SYVNL)

Camila Mena

SF Black Wallstreet

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No