Global Systems Change

Transforming the system so it works for everyone.

Image shows a side shot of of a Somali woman with a head covering


Asylum Access works to transform the global system of displacement response so it prioritizes refugees’ human rights and recognizes their power.

Refugees have already been forcibly displaced from their homelands against their will. Wherever they seek refuge, they should be allowed and supported to rebuild their lives in ways they choose.

But the global response to refugees continues to prioritize stopgap measures designed by outsiders — instead of dismantling the barriers that keep refugees from designing and achieving their own solutions.

Asylum Access believes two key changes are needed:

1. Refugees must enjoy foundational human rights. When national laws and state practices keep refugees from living safely, working under fair conditions, attending school and accessing healthcare, aid-based approaches are insufficient.

Instead, institutions of power must prioritize improvements in the laws and practices of all nations that are home to refugees. This means leveraging their own power to promote and encourage such improvements from the outside, and supporting those best equipped to advocate on the inside: Local civil society actors, including both host community- and refugee-led organizations.

2. Refugees must design and lead solutions. Refugee communities know what they need to thrive — but refugee-led organizations are routinely denied resources and access to decision-making spaces.

Instead, refugees should be at the center of displacement response, as decisionmakers and designers. When refugees have a leadership role in displacement response, it is more likely to be legitimate, accountable, transparent and impactful.

We advocate for these changes by:

Let’s change the system together

If you or your organization would like to join the movement to push for transformational change in refugee response, check out our Partner With Us page or Contact Us.