We are Kids in Need of Defense

We are KIND

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is the preeminent U.S.-based nongovernmental organization devoted to the protection of unaccompanied and separated children. KIND envisions a world in which every unaccompanied child on the move has access to legal counsel and has their rights and well-being protected as they migrate alone in search of safety.

In 2008, KIND was founded by the Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie to address the gap in legal services for unaccompanied minors. KIND now has offices across the United States and in Mexico that provide unaccompanied children with holistic care that includes legal assistance and social services. Through strategic partnerships, we provide pro bono legal representation for refugee and migrant children across the country. Since its inception, KIND has received referrals for more than 29,000 cases and now serves over 5,000 children annually in partnership with over 755 law firm, corporate, law school and bar association partners.

In addition, through our comprehensive social services programming, KIND complements its legal efforts by bringing a truly holistic approach to protecting children after their arrival in the United States. We have connected thousands of children – and their caretakers – with essential medical care, mental health care, educational opportunities, and crisis intervention to ensure their safety and well-being.

Beyond U.S. borders, KIND’s Mexico-based offices and its programming in Central America works with partners on the ground to address the root causes of migration, protect children during migration, and connect repatriated children to essential services. Through its European Initiative, KIND and partners in Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom work to ensure access to high quality pro bono legal assistance for unaccompanied children in Europe.

Each of these efforts informs KIND’s robust state, national, and international advocacy and public education work to champion policies and laws that protect unaccompanied children on the move no matter where they are in their migration journey.

Protecting Children Alone

29,000 Since KIND opened its doors in 2009, we have accepted referrals for more than 29,000 unaccompanied children.
95% We achieved a better than 95% success rate in the cases that reached a legal conclusion, even with heavily backlogged adjudication systems and increasing legal barriers to protection.
275 hosted 275 pro bono attorney trainings to help prepare volunteers for immigration cases
1,000 KIND’s social services team served more than 1,000 children via therapeutic programs at the U.S.-Mexico border