The association grounds itself in French law, including those European and international texts ratified by the French State. Its primary goal is to reconcile the right to asylum as it is transcribed in theory, versus the way it is being implemented in practice. As such, although intervening in a highly politicised domain, association members remain apolitical in their actions as they root themselves in a humanitarian rights-based approach.
The association also operates in a highly pragmatic manner, as it observes, documents and reports on those issues that arise when the right to asylum is not upheld, or wrongly implemented. These reports are shared with all actors invested in the upholding of the right to asylum, be they state actors, non-governmental actors, citizen initiatives, or others. The association does not discriminate in its partnerships or information exchanges so long as asylum seekers or refugees remain the primary beneficiaries from these interactions by better accessing their rights.
Concretely, the association is involved in material and legal aid, as well as the integration of asylum seekers and refugees into french social and cultural life. The provision of material aid assumes that access to food, clothing, shelter or related information (e.g. the location of soup kitchens) restores a level of dignity to the individual, appeases tensions that may arise from situations of extreme precariousness, and mitigates social consequences including health and hygiene problems.
Legal aid ensures that individuals, be they future asylum seekers, social workers or others, garner a thorough understanding of the asylum procedure, preventing any resource waste resulting from confusion or misunderstandings. Both French lessons and social activities initiate a longer-term integration process which, even if the individual’s stay in France proves to be short, facilitates his or her interactions with all of those French parties he or she may encounter during their time in France.
Our vision? To ensure that the right to asylum is thoroughly implemented,
and accessible to all those individuals concerned,
in a humane and dignified manner.
"Sciences Po Refugee Help embodies the boundless potential of civilian solidarity. Created after a call for help in September 2015, we now have the highest number of active volunteers than any other association at Sciences Po."
President of Sciences Po Refugee Help 2016-2017