India Pro Bono Directory

Click here to see the numbers and origins of refugees hosted by India.

For India country of information (COI) experts, reports, commentaries and relevant documents, please click here.

As UNHCR statistics generally rely on data from host countries, statistics on refugees alone can give an insufficient account of refugee numbers, as some host countries will not grant refugee status to certain groups. Including statistics for individuals in refugee-like situations is an attempt to account for unrecognised refugees and does not include internally displaced persons. Statistics for stateless refugees are included if available.

In light of the recent events that took place in Afghanistan, UNHCR has set up a ‘help page’ India. This page provides useful information for Afghan nationals in India. Please note that UNHCR India can only process the applications of those who are physically present in India. The following information as provided by the UNHCR may be useful:

  • MEA’s Special Afghanistan Cell

Please go to this link for more information:

  • Notice on UNHCR Resettlement Programme and Complementary Pathway 

Notice as of 24-08-2021 in English

Notice as of 24-08-2021 in Dari

Notice as of 19-08-2021 in Pashto

  • Information on UNHCR registration processes 

Registration information in Dari

Registration information in Pashto

Registration information in Arabic

Registration information in English

Legal aid organisations in India

Migration and Asylum Project (M.A.P): an initiative of Ara Trust

Head Office: B-41, First Floor, Soami Nagar, Main Road, New Delhi, 110017, India
Tel: +91 9711128603 | +91 11 41325408
Outreach office: B-93B, 2nd and 3rd Floor, Panchsheel Vihar, Sheikh Sarai, New Delhi- 110017, India
Tel:+91 9711128603 | +91 11 35004521/22/23/24
Working hours: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm IST

M.A.P, an initiative of the Ara Trust, is India’s first and only refugee law centre. It aims to adopt innovative methods to expand the protection space available for forced migrants and refugees, mainly women and children, through programmes focusing on four thematic areas: legal empowerment, women & girls in conflict, research & policy, and advocacy & outreach.

Ara Trust is an initiative of former UNHCR Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Officers and refugee lawyers. It gets its name from the latin word ‘ara’ which means ‘refuge’ or ‘shelter’. The organisation aims to conduct and promote rights-based advocacy through pro bono legal aid, representation and counselling, and operates as a refugee law centre. Ara has successfully lobbied with the UNHCR office in India to allow legal representatives to accompany asylum seekers for the RSD interviews and it is currently in the process of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with UNHCR to formalize its role as a refugee legal aid organization.

Human Rights Law Network
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576, Masjid Road, Jungpura, 110 014 Delhi, India
Tel: +91 11 24 37 45 01 or +91 11 24 37 69 22
Details of regional units can be found on their website.

As an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the New Delhi office provides assistance for file renewals, naturalisation, legal aid and protection intervention. RRI members are presently interacting with the Mandate refugees from Afghanistan, Burma, Somalia, Sudan, Laos, Liberia, China, Bhutan, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Bangladesh, Tibet and Ethiopia.

In addition to the work of the RRI in New Delhi, members of the network throughout the country provide free legal aid to refugees and asylum seekers.

Alternative Law Forum
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122/4 Infantry Road, Next to Balaji Art Gallery, Bangalore, 560 001, India (Nearest bus stop: Shivajinagar | Map )
Tel: +91 80 22 86 57 57

The Alternative Law Forum was established in 2000 as a response to the expanding social and economic injustices across India. The Alternative Law Forum is committed to providing qualitative legal services for marginalised groups. As a public resource, it provides a platform to enable collaborative and creative models of knowledge production.

Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO)
29 C, Rizal Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, (Behind Jesus & Mary College) Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India
Office Hours: 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (India Time)
Tel: +91 11 24 19 70 00
Secretary General’s Office: +91 11 26 11 76 41
Deputy Director: +91 11 24 19 70 06
Fax: +91 11 26 11 76 40

AALCO is an organisation, currently with 48 Asian and African countries comprising its members, including India. Its main purposes are to research and advise each of the member governments on international law and work closely with the UNHCR on refugee law matters.

Organisations providing other relevant forms of assistance in India

Organisation for the Rehabilitation of Eelam Refugees (OfERR) – a refugee-led organisation
OfERR, No.31, 2nd Floor, Sait  Colony, 1st Street, Egmore, Chennai, 600 008, Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: +91 44 28 19 30 63/ 04 00
Fax: +91 44 28 19 46 07

OfERR is a refugee-led organisation of Ceylon Tamil refugees, by refugees and for refugees, committed to the principles of human development and sustainable livelihoods. OfERR’s mission is to improve and develop the life and wellbeing of refugees in India and to prepare them for their eventual return to the Island. Their key objective is to build the capacity of refugees, empowering them to make a significant contribution to their social and economic development and to rebuilding their homeland. OfERR mobilizes and networks with NGOs and inter-governmental agencies, and is a partner of UNHCR in Southern India where UNHCR is not allowed to operate. It works with governments to advocate for and to ensure the protection and the rights of refugees and returnees and is active in Tamil Nadu – particularly in the Sri Lankan refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. They assist the 70,000+ Sri Lankan refugees there and pursue options for the refugees to stay/repatriate with local authorities.

OfERR’s programmes include education and skills training for adults and children; health and nutrition services; counseling and social awareness; and the promotion of human rights – non-violent and democratic values that will empower them in the process of return and nation building. The Organisation for the Rehabilitation of Eelam Refugees is a member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

Burma Centre Delhi (BCD)

WZ-110/A, 1st Floor, Mahendi Club Building, Vikas Puri, New Delhi, 110 018, India
Tel: +91 11 45 66 06 19

The mission of BCD is to: create awareness on Burma’s political, social and economic crisis to the people of India so as to raise the level of consciousness on democracy movement in Burma; build and strengthen the relationship between the people of India and Burma for peace, democracy and human rights in the region; have a sustained campaign in India and serve as a resource centre to cater to the needs of the people of India and Burma; keep track of India’s relations with Burma, and pressurise the Indian Government to support the Burmese people’s aspirations for democracy and human rights; give space to the people of India to promote events supporting the people of Burma as a close neighbor given its shared history with Burma.

Burmese Women Delhi
Wz-21, Budella, Vikas Puri, New Delhi, 110018, India
Tel: +91 88 02 04 80 21  or +91 98 71 84 04 09
Contact Person: Roi San

Burmese Women Delhi is a community-based network that organises monthly interactive meetings among the range of Burmese women’s groups in New Delhi; encourages greater understanding of women’s rights, human rights, refugee rights, democracy, health and economic and social development; provides advocacy, intervention and support in violence against women cases in the Delhi Burmese community; and works cooperatively with a range of Indian women’s groups to improve the situation for Burmese women in New Delhi.

Chin Refugee Committee Delhi (CRC)

CRC was initially established to address humanitarian issues, welfare (education, health, relief), security (counseling, legal assistance), and development of Chin refugees living in Delhi, the situation in Delhi has compelled CRC to get increasingly involved in advocating for the rights of the Chin refugees in Delhi. CRC has been instrumental in approaching UNHCR, the Government of India (GOI), and a variety of relevant agencies to address the living conditions of the Chin refugees in Delhi.

Over the past few years, CRC has given scholarships for 10 students who are unrecognised refugees from 2006 -07 academic years. CRC has provided hospital travel allowance from between 5pm to 7 am for Emergency patients from 2006 to 2007 beside that also give in cash Rs. 1000 to 1500 for those who are hospitalised for serious sicknesses. Moreover CRC has provided survival assistance for very needy refugees’ family from 2005 to early 2008.

Specific objectives are: to solve survival problems by providing relief or assistance for needy refugees families, to give assistance for social and emotional needs, to give social and legal protection.

Chin Human Rights Organisation

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2693-Magee Avenue, San Pablo, CA 94806, USA

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2-Montavisata, Nepean, Ontario K2J 2L3
Contact: Victor Biak Lian, Board member

The Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) is a non-governmental, non-profit advocacy organisation legally registered in Canada. It was formed in 1995 on the India-Burma border by a group of Chin activists committed to promoting democracy in Burma and raising international awareness of previously unreported human rights abuses being perpetrated against the Chin people by the Burmese military regime.

CHRO activities include:

  1. Documentation of violations of Human Rights in Western Burma and conducting necessary advocacy in that regard

  2. Making relevant reports about the situation depending on how important the need to response

  3. Human rights education to the people of China in Burma

In terms of refugee work:

  1. Refugee protection (advocacy works for the local and central government to stop deportation in Mizoram, India)

  2. Providing humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable refugee families in India and Malaysia

  3. Providing financial assistance to the refugee children education

  4. Providing capacity training to refugee organisations.

Coimbatore Multipurpose Social Service Society

Bishop’s House, Post Box. No. 6, Coimbatore, 641 001, Tamilnadu, India
Tel:  +91 94 43 13 91 52
The Society deals with the relief and rehabilitation of refugees.

Indian Social Institution
10, Institutional area, Lodi road, New Delhi 110 003, India
Tel: +91 11 46 11 745 or 46 22 379
Fax: 46 90 660

Research, advocacy and legal aid.

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
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1, Development Enclave (near USI), Rao Tula Ram Marg, New Delhi, 110010, India
Tel: +91 11 26 71 7983
Fax: +91 11 26 15 4191

Research and publication. A number of articles are published on the issue of migration and refugees.

Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
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18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110 014, India
Tel: +91 11 41 00 19 02
Contact person: P. R. Chari, Director

It runs the websites on refugees, which contains news reports and opinion articles written by specialists and young researchers. It is updated everyday.

Jesuit Refugee Service India


24 Benson Road, Bangalore, 560 046, India
Tel: +91 80 35 37 742 or +91 80 35 36 189
Fax: 35 37 700

Beschi Illam, P.B. 90, Karur Road, Dindigul 624 001, Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: +91 45 12 44 00 14 or 24 31 649
Fax: +91 45 12 43 38 48
Mob: +91 94 43 33 40 01
Contact Person: Alexis Premkumar (Director, JRS Tamil Nadu)
Email: or

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) seeks to accompany, assist and advocate for  refugees, IDPs, returnees, detainees and stateless people. In Tamilnadu-India, there are 70,000 Srilankan refugees in the 114 camps. JRS provides complementary education, vocational training and community services to these refugees. Awareness programmes are also undertaken.

C/O. Indian Social Institute, 10, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi, 110003, India
Tel: +91 11 24 64 20 72 or 49 53 41 06
Fax: +91 11 24 69 06 60 or 49 53 41 01
Mobile: +91 98 68 24 04 50
Contact Person: Dr. Prakash Louis (South Asia Regional Director)
Email: or

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) seeks to accompany, assist and advocate for refugees, IDPs, returnees, detainees and stateless people. The JRS South Asia Regional Office is based in New Delhi. It also functions as JRS India Country Office.

Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG)
5 B Mahanirban Road, Kolkata, 700 029, India
Tel: +91 33 46 40 079
Fax: 46 40 079
Email:  (Director)

The organisation is actively involved in working with refugees and IDPs. It brings out a quarterly on refugees and IDPs, organises workshops on refugees in east and northeast and has a regular publication programme.

People’s Watch

7 P.T. Rajan Road, II Street, Madurai 625 002, Tamilnadu, India
Tel: +91 45 25 32 432 or +91 45 53 95 20
Fax: 53 18 74
Contact person: Henri Tiphange, Executive Director
Details of regional offices are on their website

This organisation looks after the situation in refugee camps, special camps, forced repatriation and human rights abuses in the refugee camps in the Tamilnadu state of India.

Public Interest Legal Support and Research Centre

C-569, New Friends Colony, New Delhi, 110 065, India
Tel: +91 11 68 22 525 or +91 11 68 41 884
Fax: +91 11 33 42 859
Contact person: Rajeev Dhavan

Legal aid and campaign for legal protection of asylum seekers, advocacy for enactment of a humane law for refugees.

Ravi Nair South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC)
22 Northend  Complex, Ramakrishna Ashram Marg, New Delhi, 110 001, India
Tel: +91 11 61 92 717 or +91 11 61 92 706
Fax: 61 91 120
Contact person: Ravi Nair

Research, protection publications, advocacy, documentation and legal aid.

Shepard Department, St. Joseph’s College

Tiruchirapalli, 620 002, Tamilnadu, India
Tel: +91 43 17 31 321
Fax: 70 15 01
Contact person: M. Elias S.J

Training, awareness campaign, rehabilitation and vocational education.

The Other Media
No. 73, Millers Road, Benson Town, CISRS Building, III Floor, Bangalore, 560 046, Chennai, India or  3rd Cross Street, Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Besant Nagar, 600 090, Chennai, India
Tel: +91 11 24 62 93 72 73
Fax: +91 11 24 62 93 71

The Other Media’s Refugee Desk provides legal assistance on an individual basis to refugees and asylum seekers, and works with refugee communities. They also carry out research and advocacy on the policy developments that have a bearing on refugee protection in India. The Other Media are a member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

Tiruchirapalli Multipurpose Social Service Society
Post Box 12, TMSSS, 49K, Bharathiar Salai, Tiruchirapalli, 620 001,Tamilnadu, India
Tel: +91 43 14 10 026
Fax: +91 43 14 12 619
Contact person: Fr. B. John Selvaraj

Provides relief to the Srilankan refugees and rehabilitate them by providing facilities for health care, drinking water, street lightning of the refugee camp, vocational training to the refugee youths, supply text and note books to the school going children.

Tirunelveli Social Service Society (TSSS)
P.O. Box No. 108, Catholic Bishop’s House, Palayamkottai, 627 002, Tirunelveli Dt. India
Tel: +91 04 62 25 78 282
Fax: +91 04 62 25 78 676

 T.S.S.S works for the social advancement of a large number of vulnerable and downtrodden people in the society. It has diversified its activities and reaches out to cover a large number of poor people in order to create wider, deeper and sustainable impact on development of the poor and marginalized sections of the society. It has many beneficial programmes, please see the website for more information.


Mission for Indian Gay and Lesbian Empowerment (MINGLE)

MINGLE is a not-for-profit think tank and advocacy group that strives to challenge homophobic attitudes and to raise awareness within the LGBTI community of their legitimate rights. They have a legal guidance document that addresses basic legal issues affecting LGBTI’s on their website and also offer legal counselling through email.

Page last update August 25, 2022