As 2020 draws to a close we reflect on the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on people around the world, particularly on refugees and survivors of torture and sexual violence. It has also shown us their enormous strength and resilience. Throughout the pandemic, our initiative Lamp Lifeboat Ladder has continued to accompany refugee survivors of sexual and gender-based violence on their journeys to resettle in safe countries and rebuild their lives.
Lamp Lifeboat Ladder (LLL) is a survivor-led initiative striving to transform the refugee ecosystem and make it more humane for those seeking safety, while broadening pathways for resettlement to safe countries. Survivors of sexual violence and torture themselves are leading the process of developing the vision and goals based on their experiences, needs and what they want their futures to look like.
“But despite our fears that the pandemic would grind government activities to a halt, we’ve figured out new ways of working, and government officials in Canada, Jordan and Greece are pulling through after all. As a result, two families have won their resettlement cases and will be moving to Canada early in the new year!”Jayne Fleming, LAmp Lifeboat Ladder
LLL’s first pilot project is a public-private partnership with the Government of Canada and the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture focused on protecting and accompanying women and girls seeking safety. Through a special program with the Canadian Government we are working to provide safe, new homes for 90 families. Doing so amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic has made resettlement work immensely more complicated.
But despite our fears that the pandemic would grind government activities to a halt, we’ve figured out new ways of working, and government officials in Canada, Jordan and Greece are pulling through after all. As a result, two families have won their resettlement cases and will be moving to Canada early in the new year!
We don’t know how long it will take to resettle all 90 families in our project—but we’re committed to staying with them until they are safe. Our teams would do anything to support people who’ve lost their country rebuild their lives. Sadly, many countries that could help don’t want to admit people seeking safety. But we are working our hardest to change this reality and create more pathways for protection.
Violence against men, women and children will not end in 2021, but with our partners, and hopefully many others, we’ll continue to work with and accompany refugee survivors to rebuild their lives.
Join us as a partner. Learn more at Lamp Lifeboat Ladder or write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jayne Fleming is a human rights lawyer and director of international refugee protection programs at Reed Smith LLP, which leads Lamp Lifeboat Ladder, a public-private partnership aiding refugees who have survived torture and trauma to discover a new life by supporting their resettlement to Canada and other safe countries. The World Refugee & Migration Council is a founding partner of Lamp Lifeboat Ladder.