Language Justice for Refugee Communities

Hello Friend,

My name is Maya*, and I want to share with you about how the program that I coordinate helps refugee communities advocate for their rights.

The refugee communities in Thailand come from all over the world and speak many different languages. My program trains bilingual members of our communities to become interpreters and paralegals so that our communities can access our services and learn about their rights in the language they understand best. 

Sharing information in the languages that refugees speak is simple yet powerful — it helps our communities to understand the law and use it to advocate for ourselves. I know this because I also trained as a paralegal after my family was forced to flee to Thailand. 

I remember that first day of training so well — I was nervous because I had never done anything like this before! Thankfully, Asylum Access Thailand provided a lot of support and I got to meet lots of new people from different refugee communities in Bangkok. With what I learned in the workshops from Asylum Access, I was able to support members of my community who were being exploited at work, which was just an incredible feeling. Now, I get to help new paralegals and interpreters support their communities and experience that same satisfaction.

What makes me most proud of this program is that it is run by refugees, for refugees. Our trainees understand first-hand the struggles that our communities face, which makes them a trusted source of information that people can easily turn to for support.

We train over a dozen paralegals each year to become bilingual advocates for their communities. These transformative programs are supported by people like you, so please give to our appeal so that our paralegals and interpreters can continue their vital work.

All the best from Bangkok,

Maya* (she/her)

Paralegal and Interpreter Coordinator

Asylum Access Thailand

*A different name has been used for safety reasons