The World Refugee & Migration Council (WRMC) announced today — the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture — that it will support resettling in Canada refugees who have suffered torture and/or sexual violence. The WRMC will partner in this effort with global law firm Reed Smith, the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture and other international organizations.
The partnership announced that it has received a C$500,000 grant from the Boston-based Shapiro Foundation.
The Lamp Lifeboat Ladder partnership combines the creativity of the private sector, the regulatory capacity of the public sector, and the social representation of civil society to protect 90 refugee families and help them rebuild their lives. WRMC member Allan Rock is an active participant in Lamp Lifeboat Ladder.
“Today there are more than 25 million refugees around the world. Less than 1% are ever resettled to safe countries. Most live in camps or shadow-communities and they are excluded from participating in our communities, our economies and our world,” said the Honorable Lloyd Axworthy, WRMC Chair. “Among the Council’s main recommendations for addressing this issue is our call for shared responsibility: we all have a role to play in responding to the humanitarian needs of people who are forcibly displaced.”
Reed Smith has run programs to protect refugees and survivors of torture for nearly 20 years. Over the past decade, the firm has resettled more than 300 survivors from Jordan, Greece, Haiti and Central America to safety in Canada, the United States, Spain, Germany, Australia, France and the United Kingdom. Since 2015, the firm has committed over $2 million on refugee projects in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
“Our initiative comes at a critically important moment,” said Reed Smith Global Managing Partner Sandy Thomas. “Many states have slashed or ended funding for the UN and international humanitarian organizations. Such reductions have crippled programs aimed at protecting refugees. Our initiative builds upon Canada’s long and exceptional history of refugee protection and creates an additional privately funded pathway for protecting refugees in a time of overwhelming need. We’re proud to be leading this project and hope other entities and individuals will team up with us on the initiative.”
Read more about Lamp Lifeboat Ladder.