WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Gang-related asylum

Gangs-Related Asylum Project 

Many Central American youth flee their home countries and come to the United States because of fear of, or experience with, gang-related persecution in their home countries.  These individuals usually fall into one of two categories:  1) they were formerly involved in a gang and will be persecuted for leaving the gang by their former homies, or by rival gang members, if they return to their home country; or 2) they have fled their home country because they have been persecuted by the gangs and fear for their lives.  Some of them apply for political asylum in the United States. 

The purpose of WOLA’s gang-related asylum project is to educate attorneys about the nature and extent of youth gang violence in Central America and the ineffectiveness of current responses by governments in the region. 

For additional information about gang-related asylum, please visit:

The National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children

which maintains an extensive Resource Library with relevant case law, sample briefs and affidavits, and country condition reports.