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Lamp Lifeboat Ladder is a global refugee resettlement program that supports survivors of torture, sexual violence and trauma who have been forced to flee their homeland. We provide protection and holistic accompaniment to survivors, and work with them to identify and address their needs - this may be medical care, safe housing, access to education, or therapeutic support. We accompany survivors from the point of flight to the point of safety and self-reliance in a safe country. 

Our global team of lawyers, doctors, psychologists, allies, advocates, case managers and other experts support survivors in the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Our program is shaped and led by survivors themselves. The name ‘Lamp Lifeboat Ladder’ is inspired by a Rumi poem. The name is important as it was chosen by survivors in our program.

Our program began in 2002 and is a pro bono program of international law firm, Reed Smith LLP. Over the last two decades, we have represented and supported hundreds of survivors seeking resettlement in safe countries. 

More recently, through a special agreement with the Canadian government, Lamp Lifeboat Ladder began providing a new pathway for 90 survivors and their families to resettle in Canada. During this time, we have been learning from survivors about how to build our survivor-led and survivor-guided approach.

Lamp Lifeboat Ladder is privately funded, which also makes it different from other resettlement programs.  We raise money from private donors, Reed Smith attorneys, and other individuals who want to support survivors in their resettlement journey and in rebuilding their lives.

We believe our approach is a new and important pathway for people who have been forced to flee their homeland to reach safety and we think it serves as an example that should be widely adopted. 

We need your help to light the way for survivors and support them as they start reclaiming their lives. Consider donating, and see how you can get involved!

Voices from survivors

"I lost my life. I am not going to school. I am not safe. I don’t feel safe. I am always afraid to go to the street. My father is sick. Even my younger siblings don’t go to the street and play with other kids because they are mistreated as refugees."


“I don’t like to show my children what I am going through. I want to establish something that will help us live.”


"I just want to be a human being like everyone else. Laugh. Walk. Sleep. I’m still young and I am not ready to die."

Ahmad Abu Nabout

13-Year Track Record

Project leader Reed Smith has successfully resettled more than 300 survivors of sexual violence or torture – from Jordan, Greece, Haiti, and Central America – to Canada, the United States, Spain, Germany, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom since 2010.