Skip to the content

Our Story

Many refugees are victims of torture, including sexual torture, which has catastrophic effects on their physical, psychological and social well-being. They face challenges in accessing support and services for rehabilitation. Those problems are exacerbated when they are in flight, lack shelter, and lack social or medical support. Lamp Lifeboat Ladder recognizes the need of torture survivors to resettle in safe countries, while receiving support in rebuilding their lives.

LLL’s mission of resettling survivors is being brought to life by the Canadian government, which has enacted a temporary public policy facilitating placement in Canada of up to 90 torture survivors, along with their family members.

Global law firm Reed Smith is the primary implementing partner along with the Canadian Center for Victims of Torture (CCVT) and other Canadian and international NGOs. The partnership combines the creativity of the private sector with the regulatory capacity of the public sector and the social representation of civil society to help refugee families.

Lamp Lifeboat Ladder has raised nearly US$1 million, including a CAN$500,000 grant from the Boston-based Shapiro Foundation and contributions from other philanthropists, such as Dean Dakolias, chief investment officer of Fortress Investment Group.

In fall 2020, LLL proudly submitted its first two applications for asylum to the Canadian government. These Syrian families fleeing violence – a total of 11 persons – now have the opportunity to be accepted and integrated into a peaceful and safe society.

Also in fall 2020, the Canadian government extended the cut-off date after which it will no longer accept refugees through Lamp Lifeboat Ladder. The Canadian government will now accept refugee applications through LLL until September 30, 2021. This is in response to disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought many activities to a standstill.

We are proud to be one of the few organizations with a mission of relocating refugees to be moving forward with relocations in spite of the pandemic. The project can continue leveraging investments and donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to provide housing, rehabilitation care, psychosocial support and employment opportunities to torture survivors resettled in Canada. The team must raise enough funds to support 90 refugee survivors of torture, along with their families, in their quest for a new life.

Ahmad Hussein

Ahmad Hussein

The cost of resettling these refugees and providing support for two years ranges from US$18,000 to $35,000 (depending on family size and composition). The hope is to raise enough money to resettle all 90 refugees who have been identified for this program, along with their families, which the team estimates will cost between US$2.5 million and $3 million.

Reed Smith will identify the applicants and ensure that financial and settlement support is available in Canada to all families for two years. 






What do you know about war?
What do you know about her?
About a scared child,
About a doll that fell from her hand,
About a song that lost its way,
About a family that fled leaving their morning tea at the table,
About a bored house longing for its parents and children's laughter.

Ahmad Hussein
(Poet & Cheesemaker)

"When I lay down to go to sleep I don't fall asleep. I think about the things that I went through. I keep crying. I cry because I use a wheelchair now. Whenever I see the chair I keep crying."


"I am always isolating myself and locking myself in my room. Sometimes I feel very pressured and I leave my children with their father at night and go walking and crying. I'm not aware of people around. When I am conscious, I realize I have walked very far and then I walk back home."


“The person that is drowning would look for anything around him to hold onto. I feel like I am drowning, but I cannot find anything to hold onto.”

Ahmad Abu Nabout

Our key milestones

Established human rights team at Reed Smith LLP

Established women’s protection project in Haiti

Established refugee protection project in Jordan

Established mobile legal clinic in Greece

Established torture victim rehabilitation project in Greece

Co-led international conference on torture victim rehabilitation

Launched public-private partnership to resettle refugees to Canada

Submitted first families' official applications for resettlement

Get involved

Help us aid refugees who have survived torture and trauma to discover a new life by supporting their relocation to Canada.