To promote a rights-based discourse on forced migration through innovative methods, and to operate as a centre for law and policy.
Ara was started in February 2013 by Roshni Shanker, a former legal officer with the UN. During her work with the UN, Roshni was witness to the marginalization of refugees and forced migrants in their host countries, resulting in their exploitation and mistreatment. But at the same time she heard some of the most inspiring stories of human survival. Her experiences compelled her to leave the United Nations and return to India. It was thus, that Roshni founded Ara, to work with forced migrants and refugees at a grassroots level. She was soon joined in her work by her former colleagues, Hamsa Vijayaraghavan and Vasudha Reddy.
The Ara Trust currently runs three initiatives:
Ara Legal Initiative - This is Ara's pilot programme and focuses on direct legal assistance to UNHCR's persons of concern. More here.
Ara S.H.E Initiative - Ara will launch this programme in 2016 with the objective of providing specialized assistance to women and children. More here .
Ara-PRO Initiative - This is Ara's academic wing which has a focus on policy, research and outreach. More here.