PILnet joins the Refugee Participation Pledge and commits to mobilize the legal community to support greater refugee participation and leadership.

In recognition of the importance of refugees and others forcibly displaced being involved in decisions that affect their lives, and of the role that the legal community can play to address barriers to greater refugee participation and leadership, PILnet and the Global Refugee-led Network (GRN) are delighted to announce PILnet’s joining of the Refugee Participation Pledge.

The Refugee Participation Pledge:

In accordance with the commitments established under goal 6 of the Grand Bargain to support a “Participation Revolution”; we pledge to support the meaningful participation of refugees and host communities in decisions that affect their lives. Participation should take into account the diversity within communities, including age, gender, and disability. This pledge will support the agency of those we seek to assist while improving the relevance, quality, transparency and accountability of that assistance. We furthermore commit to share experiences on the implementation of this pledge at subsequent Global Refugee Forums and/or high-level officials’ meetings.

In addition, PILnet, further specifically pledges to:

  1. Mobilize the legal community to partner with refugee-led organizations and other NGOs to address the legal needs of those forcibly displaced. This includes legal needs relating to a lack of status and documentation, detention or a lack of freedom of movement, and the absence of work rights which may strip refugees of their agency and prevent them from being able to freely participate in decisions that affect their lives. 
  2. Mobilize the legal community to partner with refugee-led organizations (RLOs) to strengthen their organizational and legal resilience. This includes facilitating pro bono support for RLOs seeking a  recognized legal identity or legal advice on banking, employment, data management, legal compliance, or other organizational related issues. Having a legally recognized identity can help RLOs to receive and disburse funds and be viewed as legitimate humanitarian actors with capacity to design and implement their own programmes. 
  3. Partner with the refugee community to advance refugee-leadership within legal aid programming and in wider access-to-justice initiatives. This includes creating platforms to showcase the work of RLOs engaged in legal aid programming and support connections and mutual learning between RLOs, as well as with non-refugee legal stakeholders (e.g. national legal aid providers, private sector legal professionals, law schools/universities). 
  4. Work with members of the Global Refugee Forum Legal Community Pledge to embed meaningful participation and leadership within the design of projects and in the governance structure and strategy development of the Pledge. This will enable the direction of the Pledge to respond to the needs and priority-setting of those directly affected by forced displacement and increase the impact of the Pledge. 
  5. Mobilize the legal community to support those with a displacement background to study and advance a career in the field of law, as well as to develop the capacity of refugee-leaders. This includes providing scholarships, mentoring, placements, and training to refugees and refugee-leaders.

PILnet makes this pledge both in its own organizational capacity and in its role as the coordinator of the ‘Mobilizing the Global Legal Community to Protect and Find Solutions for Refugees and others Forcibly Displaced’ (known as the GRF Legal Community Pledge) made at the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019.

The Refugee Participation Pledge is coordinated by the Global Refugee-led Network (GRN). PILnet commits to work with GRN, together with other refugee-led networks, organizations and initiatives, in fulfillment of this pledge.


 Photo from June 2018 when 72 refugee representatives from 27 refugee-hosting countries gathered in Geneva for the first-ever Global Summit of Refugees.