KIND provides pro bono legal representation to ensure no child stands alone in court.
WASHINGTON (July 12, 2018) — USA for UNHCR is proud to announce a new multi-year grant to KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), a nonprofit founded with the core mission that no child faces U.S. immigration court alone. The $400,000 in funding will strengthen three key programs that together address the protection rights and needs of vulnerable unaccompanied children at all points during their search for safety.
“KIND has helped thousands of children find a safe haven and freedom from fear, many for the first time in their young lives. USA for UNHCR is proud to support KIND as we collectively prioritize the best interests of children as they flee some of the most dangerous countries in the world,” said Anne-Marie Grey, Executive Director and CEO of USA for UNHCR.
The number of children fleeing horrific violence and abuse in their home countries and seeking protection in the United States has increased to unprecedented levels. According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, since 2014, the U.S. has received over 227,000 unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children seeking protection from violence and abuse. Most of these children are victims of child abuse, neglect, abandonment, sexual assault, human trafficking or other violent crimes.
In addition to providing pro bono legal representation for unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in court proceedings, USA for UNHCR’s grant will support KIND’s signature outreach project, Voices That Matter Most, which empowers young people to conduct public education and advocacy by sharing their personal stories, as well as the Gender Migration Initiative, a project that addresses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as a key driver of child migration.
An immediate $100,000 allocation of the overall grant will assist KIND as it plans and executes efforts related to challenges faced by children and families seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.
KIND has sent rotating expert teams to the border starting in late June to assist separated parents being held in the Port Isabel Detention Center in coordination with other providers on the ground. KIND staff has provided initial and follow-up consultations to dozens of separated parents including orientation on their legal rights, rapid preparation for asylum credible fear interviews and advising on the appeals process, explanation of the Health and Human Services system holding their children, facilitating identification of separated parent-child units and helping to coordinate shelter for a small number of released parents.
“Now more than ever before, KIND’s expertise and experience is being called upon. The family separation emergency is straining our capacity at all levels,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “The financial support from USA for UNHCR helps us give children their best chance at achieving protection and provide critical social services.”
USA for UNHCR partners domestically with organizations like KIND to help address needs of refugees and asylum-seekers in the United States. The legal services, advocacy and education programming facilitated by KIND complement USA for UNHCR’s mandate to help and protect refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution.
In 2017, USA for UNHCR awarded a $100,000 grant to KIND that enabled the organization’s newest offices in Atlanta and San Francisco to respond to increased demand for pro bono legal representation for unaccompanied children. Last year, the Atlanta office celebrated its first of a growing number of asylum approvals—10 by year’s end.
About USA for UNHCR
USA for UNHCR helps and protects refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution. It supports UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners in providing lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety and protection worldwide. Through education, advocacy and fundraising in the United States, USA for UNHCR helps refugees survive, recover and build a better future. Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Learn more at UNrefugees.org or on Twitter at @UNRefugeeAgency.
KIND ensures that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation; advances laws, policies, and practices that ensure children’s protection and uphold their right to due process and fundamental fairness; and promotes in countries of origin, transit, and destination durable solutions to child migration that are grounded in the best interests of the child and ensure that no child is forced to involuntarily migrate. Learn more at supportkind.org or on Twitter at @supportKIND.