Travers Smith LLP is proud to be one of 28 organisations joining the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of over 120 major businesses committed to improving the livelihoods of refugees around the world by integrating them in their core business operations.
The 28 new members span a variety of industry sectors, including legal, financial services, media, e-commerce and design & engineering and include BNP Paribas, Wayfair, Virgin Management and Bloomberg.
With more and more people displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees mobilises the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of 20 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries. Founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani in 2016, Tent is currently supported by over 120 major companies committed to including refugees.
Travers Smith has a deep commitment to improving the lives of refugees and asylum seekers through its award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility Programme – in particular, through its long-standing commitment to Refugees at Home (R@H), a charity that connects those with a spare room in their home with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation. The charity has, to date, provided over 170,000 nights of free accommodation.
The firm helped to set-up R@H as a charity in 2015 and since then, a team of lawyers and business services colleagues has provided extensive advice and other assistance critical for the charity's development and success. Partner and Head of Pensions, Daniel Gerring (a volunteer host for R@H), and Chief Technology Officer, Oliver Bethell, also sit on the R@H Board.
Earlier this year, Travers Smith also began providing legal support to Code Your Future, a non-profit coding school for refugees and disadvantaged people who want to become web developers.
Travers Smith's Director of Pro Bono, Sam Cottman, commented: "We believe that the Tent Partnership for Refugees' work supporting the integration of refugees into business and wider society is critical in what often seems like an ever more fragmented world. We are delighted to be joining its impressive network of likeminded organisations as we continue to grow our roster of pro bono clients serving the refugee community."
Daniel Gerring added: "Our work with Refugees at Home and Code Your Future has given us first-hand experience not only of the positive impact that businesses and charities can have on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, but also of the massive benefits that those we have supported can bring to our society and economy. Travers Smith is very proud to join the Tent Partnership and we are excited to explore other ways in which we can partner to drive further progress in this area."
Hamdi Ulukaya said: “It’s encouraging to see so many companies stepping forward at a time of crisis to show that refugees are needed on the road to rebuild our businesses and strengthen our communities. When given the chance, refugees will make your companies stronger and better. But it’s up to us to open the door and provide the opportunity.”
Travers Smith's partnership with Tent was announced at a virtual event titled Rebuilding with Refugees, which took place on 6 October and focused on how and why businesses should include refugees and build back better. The event was hosted by Mr. Ulukaya and moderated by Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC June Sarpong. It featured the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan; Imagine CEO and former CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman; EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson; Executive Chairman of Empath and former US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez; UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Kelly Clements; former French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem; and global leads for diversity and inclusion at L’Oreal, Sodexo, and Barilla.
For more information about the companies joining Tent and their existing projects to support refugees, visit www.tent.org/members.