Jul 11, 2014 • 13M

#61: One Woman Working To Free 15 Million Refugees

Open in playerListen on);
Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
Episode details
itunes pic

July 10, 2014 - Read the full Your Mark on the World article and watch the interview here: http://bit.ly/1xU2cJv. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwitunes or on Stitcher by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwstitcher. Over 15 million people in the world are living as refugees. According to Emily Arnold-Fernandez, the executive director of Asylum Access, the average time in a refugee camp is now almost 20 year. “Less than 1% of refugees reach the US, Canada, Europe and Australia combined each year,” she says. “In many places, refugees aren’t allowed to move freely, work, attend school, or open a bank account, so they can’t rebuild their lives. They’re forced to depend on aid.” Tweet: “Less than 1% of refugees reach the US, Canada, Europe and Australia combined.” -@asylumaccess via @devindthorpe http://ctt.ec/w0knA+ Emily says, “Asylum Access is changing this, by focusing on refugees’ rights. We believe that when refugees enjoy their rights, they can fulfill their own needs.” More about Asylum Access: Asylum Access is an innovative international nonprofit dedicated to making refugee rights a reality. Asylum Access empowers refugees in Africa, Asia and Latin America to live safely, work, send children to school and rebuild their lives. Asylum Access is the only international organization solely dedicated to making refugee rights a reality in first countries of refuge. By helping refugees assert their rights, we are putting power back into their hands. We provide direct legal assistance and education to over 10,000 refugees annually in Ecuador, Thailand and Tanzania, reaching hundreds of thousands more through policy advocacy and strategic litigation. Our work transforms the traditional approach of endless humanitarian handouts to a sustainable solution that gives refugees the tools to provide for themselves and make choices about their own lives. image Emily’s bio: Emily Arnold-Fernández, the founder and executive director of Asylum Access, is a social entrepreneur and human rights pioneer. A lawyer who has advocated nationally and internationally for the human rights of women, children, and other vulnerable individuals, Emily first became involved in refugee rights in 2002, when she represented refugees in United Nations proceedings in Cairo, Egypt. Recognizing that refugees throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America – some of whom flee with nothing more than the clothes on their backs – were almost always unequipped to go into a legal proceeding in a foreign country, alone, and explain why they should not be deported, Emily founded Asylum Access to advocate on behalf of refugees seeking to assert their rights. For her innovative approach to the global refugee crisis, Emily was honored by the Dalai Lama as one of 50 “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” from around the world (2009), Waldzell Institute’s Architects of the Future Award (2012) and Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (2013). She has also been recognized as Pomona College’s Inspirational Young Alumna (2006), awarded the prestigious Echoing Green fellowship (2007), and recognized as the New Leaders Council’s 40 Under 40 (2010), among others. Emily holds a B.A. cum laude from Pomona College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. A visionary human rights activist, Emily Arnold-Fernández takes her inspiration from a line in a June Jordan poem: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.” Emily is particularly passionate about Asylum Access because it has the power to transform refugee rights from paper promises to on-the-ground reality. “For half a century, international law has given refugees the rights to live safely, seek employment, send children to school and rebuild their lives. But those rights are meaningless unless they are respected on the ground,” she says. “Asylum Access provides a rare opportunity to fill a gaping hole in our human rights system – by making refugee rights a reality for real people.”