The Global Refugee-led Network (GRN) is a network of refugee-led groups in six regions, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, MENA and the Asia Pacific. It is governed by an eighteen-person steering committee, with three representatives from each of the six regions. Steering committee members represent the regional branches of the Network, which work autonomously under the umbrella of the Global Refugee-led Network to shape local, national and regional policies.

GRN Vision:

Our vision is to build a global network of refugees and refugee-led initiatives to bolster refugees’ ability to make meaningful contributions to decision-making processes. It aims to advocate for refugee agency and self-representation, strengthening the collaboration between the Network members, relevant global initiatives and other stakeholders, to guarantee positive changes to the global refugee architecture, including the development and humanitarian systems. Furthermore, we aim to enhance refugee inclusion on local, national, and international levels.

Global Summit of Refugees

On 25 and 26 June 2018, 72 refugee representatives from 27 host countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand gathered at the Geneva Press Club for the first-ever Global Summit of Refugees. Building on their participation in the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) consultations and negotiations, UNHCR’s annual NGO consultations and regional and local advocacy, representatives of eight refugee-led networks. The Summit was a history-making event, bringing together representatives from forcibly displaced populations from all over the globe for the first time to discuss, plan and organize.

GRN Regional Summits

In working towards the establishment of a representative international refugee-led advocacy network, a proposal was developed to hold regional-level discussions. The Asia Pacific region, through APSOR, was the first of these regional-level discussions. The Europe chapter hosted its summit on 4-6 May 2019, while the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has already started collecting participants information to host its summit during the Fall 2019.
The meaningful participation and leadership of refugees, migrants and host community members is integral for a properly functioning ‘whole-of-society’ approach, and must be embedded within the infrastructure developed for the Compacts’ implementation, follow up and review. This applies both to operational and policy contexts in local, national, regional and global arenas.
Achieving this will require the engagement of all actors in creating enabling environments that are safe, inclusive and sustainable. This will involve upholding all gender-, age- and diversity-related commitments and the adoption of measures that will support refugee- and migrant-led organizations and networks (including those led by women, young people and others who may face significant barriers to participation) in planning and discussing policies and proposals without fear of discrimination, political interference, detention, deportation or jeopardizing protection claims. Fostering conditions for enhanced self-reliance – such as access to education, work rights, decent work, labour markets and justice – will further support refugees’ and migrants’ agency and leadership, particularly for those in vulnerable situations.
GRN is self-organized network of refugee-led initiatives, of advocates that works with and for refugees to (i) increase refugee participation in shaping policies, (ii) build refugee capacity to engage locally, nationally, regionally, and globally, and (iii) strategically advocate for and promote inclusive human rights approaches to forced displacement.

Our Aims:

1. Increase refugee participation in policymaking process.
Refugees have agency, therefore, we work to ensure that they have an active, effective, and relevant role in the refugee response at local, national, supranational, and international levels.
2. Improve refugee access to protection, rights, and shelter.
We work to improve the refugee response at all levels by sharing experiences and best practices between refugee-led organizations and by strengthening collaboration among refugee-led networks and other NGOs.
3. Find durable solutions and enhance refugee inclusion
Refugee-led initiatives are the key to improve local integration; therefore, we work to enhance the collaboration between refugees and host communities to make changes in policies that will benefit both.
4. Address root causes
By using our agency in relation to the causes of our displacement, we highlight the violation of Human Rights in the countries of refugee origin and seek the commitment of states to stop these practices.


The GRN is poised to enact these solutions: We can center refugee experiences in refugee response: Through our deep regional consultations that brings together ref-led orgs and leaders from around the world, we are engaging refugees on their top needs, interests -- including their interests in sustained access to decision-making. We have already completed 3 regional consultations; we have a further 3 planned.
We have good relationships with influential bodies We are the only refugee-led network that is well positioned to advocate for sustained access to global and regional decision-making tables. We have built good working relationships with UNHCR Geneva, various regional leaders, and with our host governments -- many of whom are donor governments -- who have pledged to enact meaningful participation. We can leverage these relationships to promote sustained access.
We are learning to be effective advocates: We are learning how to be effective policy advocates -- with this growing skillset, not only are we informed and positioned for success, but we are also ready to influence decisionmakers on the issue areas that are of greatest interest to refugees around the world.


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