Korbel Asylum Project
The Korbel Asylum Project (KAP) aims to create opportunities for DU students to participate in human rights research in support of real-world asylum cases. At a moment of xenophobia, stigma and backlash against immigrants and asylum seekers, supporting the asylum process today is more important than ever. Because asylum seekers frequently flee their home countries with few resources, they often face a resource gap and must rely on pro bono legal services. Country conditions reports on asylum seekers' home countries are a critical element of an asylum application but can be prohibitively costly for indigent asylum seekers and their pro bono attorneys. However with free country conditions reports, KAP is able to provide these asylum seekers and their attorneys with research that they would otherwise be unable to afford.
"As one of our partner attorneys likes to remind us, this is the real deal. Real research on real cases, helping real people."Oliver Kaplan
Student involvement is an indispensable aspect of this project. Through this project students gain research and scholarship skills by engaging with asylum attorneys and asylum seekers—directly contributing to protecting human rights without leaving DU. Student researchers will learn how to use social science research methods so their claims about cases meet legal standards for evidence.
Students are directly in charge of carrying out the asylum research and project maintenance tasks with guidance from the student program coordinator, Professor Kaplan, and in consultation with partner attorneys as necessary. Undergraduate and graduate students from any program are welcome to participate in the project, although preference is given to students with experience in Professor Kaplan's Human Rights Research Methods course.
Interested in joining KAP as a student researcher?Fill out our questionnaire
By producing country conditions reports, KAP fills a critical role in the process of legal representation for asylum seekers and allows attorneys to focus on the legal aspects of asylum cases (and thus take more cases). We maintain continuous dialogue with partner attorneys to rate the quality of the country reports and also solicit feedback from clients when appropriate. In addition we gather several metrics about KAP's role in the cases in which our research is used, including the number of citations that appear in attorney briefs, the number of cases won, and other statistics that allow KAP to gauge the use of its country conditions reports.
Please note that KAP approach to research and analysis does not predetermine research results to reach particular conclusions related to asylum cases. Analysts compile descriptions of country conditions based on a comprehensive review of available evidence.
Our collaboration with attorneys began with the Colorado Asylum Project (CAP).
For Asylum Seekers
This website is intended for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal advice, is not a substitute for legal advice, and may not be current. Asylum seekers should seek legal advice from a qualified asylum lawyer prior to applying for asylum.
KAP aims to impact the community of asylum seekers in Colorado and, eventually, the rest of the United States. While asylum seekers do not necessarily participate directly in the project, their redacted affidavits or statements guide country conditions reports, which will improve access to and quality of human rights research for their cases and improve access to legal services for asylum seekers. Miller et al. (2013) note expert support can be a deciding factor in asylum cases.*
* Miller, Banks, Linda Camp Keith and Jennifer S. Holmes. 2015. "Leveling the Odds: The Effect of Quality Legal Representation in Cases of Asymmetrical Capability." Law & Society Review 49(1).
This website is intended for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal advice, and may not be current. Asylum seekers should seek legal advice from a qualified asylum lawyer prior to applying for asylum.