The international community should prioritize supporting local Syrian
humanitarian groups to better reach the millions of internally displaced
people across the country. This is one of the major findings from the
latest report from Refugees International (RI), Aid Inside Syria: A Step
in the Right Direction? The report calls on donor governments to
provide training and funding to these groups to improve their ability to
Children born to Syrian refugees are at risk of being rendered stateless, according to a new report by Refugees International (RI). The report, entitled Birth Registration in Turkey: Protecting the Future for Syrian Children, looks at the challenges surrounding the birth registration of children born to Syrian refugees.
Refugees International (RI) announced today that award-winning journalist and dedicated philanthropist Maureen Orth is this year’s recipient of the organization’s highest honor, the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action, and will be presented at RI’s Anniversary Dinner, which will take place on April 28th in Washington, D.C. RI also announced that Senator Chris Coons of Delaware will be receiving the 2015 Congressional Leadership Award in recognition of his work to raise awareness of human rights and support humanitarian initiatives around the world.
With the rainy season quickly approaching and new waves of displacement expected, now is a critical time to improve and scale-up the humanitarian response in South Sudan. This is one of the findings of the latest report from Refugees International (RI), South Sudan: A Nation Uprooted. The report calls on donors to maintain strong financial support for humanitarian aid, and for the United Nations and South Sudanese authorities, among others, to better protect civilians.
In November 2013, the strongest typhoon on record tore a path of destruction across the centralPhilippines, displacing four million people. In the disaster’s wake, the government adopted an ambitious plan to relocate 200,000 households away from at-risk coastal areas and resettle them out of harm’s way. While well-intentioned as a strategy to mitigate displacement from future typhoons and climate change, observations to date suggest that without sufficient planning and safeguards, government-led resettlement is a highly risky undertaking that threatens to prolong displacement and leave affected populations more, not less, vulnerable.
On December 15, 2014, city officials in Zamboanga, Philippines, forcibly evicted hundreds of displaced families and transported them to camps where humanitarian conditions are appalling. Refugees International (RI) is deeply concerned about these evictions, and RI urges both local and national authorities to halt any further transfers of displaced persons to camps that lack water, sanitation, and other basic services.
After being hit with two major typhoons in two years, the central Philippines has received substantial attention from aid agencies and donors. Yet on the conflict-ridden southern island of Mindanao, thousands of ethnic minority families have been displaced for over a year without sufficient water and facing emergency-level malnutrition. In its latest report, Philippines: Displaced and Forgotten in Zamboanga, Refugees International (RI) is urging the United Nations and donor governments to rapidly deploy more life-saving resources. It is also calling on the Philippine government not to force these internally displaced persons (IDPs) into sites where their basic needs will not be met.
Refugees International’s Climate Displacement Program Manager, Alice Thomas, returned from the Philippines last week. As Typhoon Hagupit bears down on the country, Refugees International is concerned that some of the same areas devastated by last year’s super-typhoon Haiyan will be hit again – none of which has fully recovered.
Myanmar must present a new path forward for Rakhine State that provides a just and transparent route to citizenship for the stateless Rohingya, while also delivering economic opportunity for all ethnic groups. This is a key recommendation from the latest field report by Refugees International (RI), Myanmar: A Tipping Point for Rohingya Rights? The international community must also urge Myanmar to protect the rights of Rohingya and improve their humanitarian conditions.
President Obama must demand that the Myanmar government end the civil and political persecution of the Rohingyas and withdraw its threat of indefinite detention. He must also call for an end to the economic persecution that has rendered Rohingya destitute and dependent on aid from the international community.
The approaching winter in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) will create desperate living conditions for hundreds of thousands of displaced people unless more assistance is provided in the next few weeks, according to a new report from Refugees International (RI). In its report, Waiting for Winter: Displaced Iraqis in the KRI, RI calls on the U.S. government to provide planes to assist in the delivery of humanitarian supplies in time for winter.
With airstrikes in Syria ongoing, more refugees could be forced to flee
into overwhelmed neighboring regions, including the Kurdistan Region of
Iraq (KRI), a Refugees International team said today in Dohuk. Aid
agencies and Kurdish authorities are already struggling to provide the
most basic assistance to Syrian refugees and internally displaced
Iraqis, and new arrivals would push the region deeper into crisis.
The one million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon need both emergency
assistance and a plan for the future. This means donors, aid agencies, and the Lebanese government must
broaden their focus to include making refugees self-sufficient and
better integrated with their Lebanese hosts.
An estimated 25 percent of the unaccompanied children now arriving at
America’s southern border are Mexican, according to data obtained by
Refugees International (RI), yet the vast majority of these children are
turned around at the border without ever speaking to an asylum officer.
This is true even though many are fleeing persecution by organized
criminal groups and forced recruitment into cartels. RI is urging the
U.S. government to stop pushing back these children and start individual
hearings to evaluate their cases.
organized crime epidemic has forced hundreds of thousands of people from
their homes, yet Mexican authorities have not publicly acknowledged
this humanitarian crisis – much less assisted its victims.
La epidemia del crimen organizado en México ha expulsado de sus hogares a
cientos de miles de personas y, sin embargo, las autoridades mexicanas
no han reconocido públicamente esta crisis humanitaria – y mucho menos
han prestado apoyo a sus víctimas.
Katanga, the richest and most politically-sensitive province in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, faces a growing crisis that poses enormous
risks to DRC’s political and economic future. Yet efforts to aid and
protect civilians in Katanga are woefully inadequate and must be ramped
Egypt's precarious political and economic situation is preventing Syrian refugees from obtaining much-needed services. RI urges the Egyptian government to allow humanitarian groups to include
Syrians in their programming and permit the transfer of foreign funds
for refugee relief.
Refugees International welcomes the adoption of a United Nations
Security Council resolution authorizing a UN peacekeeping operation in
the Central African Republic (CAR). However, there will be no troops
under UN command until September, and RI estimates that it could take at
least six months more for them to fully deploy. Action must therefore
be taken immediately to stabilize the crisis.
Tens of thousands of Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan could lose
their homes and livelihoods unless a controversial government policy is
Refugees International (RI) condemns Kenya’s decision on Tuesday to
order tens of thousands of city-dwelling Somali refugees into camps.
The international community has so far failed to force Myanmar to accept its responsibilities to minority groups. Refugees International urges donor countries to change their approach.
Refugees International (RI) announced today that José Andrés, renowned chef and advocate for sustainable solutions to combat hunger worldwide, and Forest Whitaker, Academy Award winning actor and distinguished social activist, are this year’s recipients of the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to humanitarian action.
Three years into the Syrian crisis, donors and aid agencies are still failing to assist large numbers of Syrian refugees living outside of camps, along with the communities who support them.
The Malian government’s campaign to return displaced people to the north
is dangerously premature, and humanitarians should have no part in it.
Refugees International (RI) condemns the Israeli government's decision
to continue jailing asylum seekers, which is in direct violation of a
recent High Court order. RI calls on the government to immediately
release these asylum seekers and provide them with work authorization.
Somalia is beginning to take seriously the needs of its internally
displaced citizens, yet it must do a great deal more to protect and
Asylum seekers in Israel should not be detained for longer than is
necessary to verify their identity, and all persons held should have
their cases reviewed independently and in a timely fashion.
With reports of a chemical attack in Syria, and an intervention by
Western and Arab nations now looming, Refugees International (RI) is
deeply concerned about the impact that any military escalation could
have on displaced Syrians across the region.
In West Africa’s Sahel region, unpredictable weather linked to global
climate change is forcing people to flee their homes – a trend that
could worsen dramatically as temperatures rise.
Tomorrow, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over a United
Nations Security Council debate on the Democratic Republic of Congo and
the wider Great Lakes region. Refugees International (RI) urges Secretary Kerry and the Council to
recognize that unless certain safeguards are imposed, military action by MONUSCO's intervention brigade could further exacerbate the DRC’s
Ahead of President Thein Sein’s upcoming visit to London, Refugees International (RI) calls on the British government to demand action from Myanmar on protections for minority groups and citizenship for the stateless Rohingya.
The United States and the United Nations must compel South Sudan to rein
in soldiers who are committing atrocities in Jonglei State.
The humanitarian crisis within Syria is spiraling out of control, yet Western nations are failing to engage capable Syrian aid groups that can assist vulnerable people.
Comprehensive immigration reforms now before the Senate would provide
unprecedented protections for stateless people in the United States.
Refugees International (RI) announced today that José Ramos-Horta, the
former President of Timor-Leste and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is
this year’s recipient of the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award.
Roughly 800,000 displaced Congolese have been deprived of assistance due
to a broken camp classification scheme, according to a new report from
The UNHCR must not allow the rights of Kenya’s refugees to be trampled,
and the U.S., UK, and EU must press Kenya to meet its legal obligations.
Displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are
rioting in the face of dire humanitarian conditions and an inadequate
international response. A Refugees International (RI) team now in the
DRC found that Congolese living in so-called "spontaneous settlements"
have been overlooked by humanitarian actors, with some sites not
receiving aid for months at a time. RI urges the UN Refugee Agency
(UNHCR) and its partners to address these needs immediately and prevent
Refugees International (RI) is deeply concerned about Kenya’s recent
decision to move 100,000 city-dwelling refugees into camps. This week,
RI’s team in Nairobi interviewed refugees who described the fallout of
this decision – including violence, harassment, and extortion suffered
at the hands of Kenyan security services. RI therefore calls on the
Government of Kenya not to pursue this relocation plan, and to ensure
that the rights of all refugees are respected.
International aid to displaced Somalis in Mogadishu is being systematically diverted by so-called 'gatekeepers,' who subject displaced families to abuse and intimidation, according to a new report from Refugees International (RI).
A coalition of 58 civil society groups - led by Refugees
International, the Arakan Project, and the Equal Rights Trust - condemns
the wave of abuse launched by state authorities in Myanmar against the
Rohingya community, following a disturbing period of inter-communal
violence. It also charges Bangladesh with flouting international law in
its attempts to prevent fleeing Rohingya from reaching safety.
Warring parties urged to pull back from the brink as UN resolution deadline looms.
Refugees International is disturbed by the meager international
response to the recent influx of Malian refugees into neighboring
The Syrian refugee crisis may threaten the political stability of both
Lebanon and Jordan, and the international community must scale-up
humanitarian and development aid to keep both countries on a firm
footing. This is the recommendation from a Refugees International (RI)
team currently in the Middle East, which is evaluating the regional
response to Syrian displacement.
Refugees International (RI) welcomes the decision by the governments of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan to resume talks.
Seasonal rains due in Sudan and South Sudan will exacerbate already dire
conditions in refugee camps, restrict travel and access, and heighten
the risk of disease, a group of leading humanitarian agencies warned
today. The rains, which in some places have already started, will make
many roads impassable, trapping people in unstable areas and deepening
the current hunger crisis.
Refugees International condemns Sudan’s decision to force thousands of
southerners to leave White Nile state, and is calling on Khartoum to
extend Saturday’s departure deadline immediately.
The Colombian government has introduced major changes to improve its response to widespread flooding, but assistance is still falling short in many areas. With another rainy season getting underway and thousands still displaced, far more support is needed to help local governments put in place disaster prevention and response plans.
The international community must reject any proposals to forcibly return refugees to Somalia, and should press the Kenyan government to abide by its obligations under international refugee law.
One year since the Syrian uprising began, the tide of fleeing Syrians
threatens to overwhelm Lebanese and United Nations agencies, as well as
host families sheltering the majority of refugees.
Refugees International (RI) announced today that social entrepreneur
Lauren Bush Lauren is this year’s recipient of the organization’s
highest honor, the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award.
Refugees International (RI) is calling on the government of Kuwait to
cease mistreatment of its roughly 100,000 stateless residents, known as
Refugees International (RI) is urging the Kenyan government to resume
registration of Somali refugees fleeing drought and persecution in
Somalia. Kenya's decision to suspend registration last October has
forced many refugees into desperate circumstances and made the volatile
security situation in Kenya's refugee camps even worse.
Refugees International (RI) is very disturbed by the Sudanese
government’s plan to round up and deport hundreds of thousands of former
citizens on account of their ties to the now independent South Sudan.
Refugees International (RI) is calling on the United States, European
governments, and the United Nations to rapidly increase humanitarian and
disaster-related assistance to Burma and lift key restrictions on aid.
Refugees International (RI) is very concerned about recent developments
in Kuwait, where the government has banned a protest by the country’s
stateless community, planned for tomorrow.
Refugees International (RI) is calling on the Government of the Republic
of South Sudan to prioritize the assistance and reintegration of its
returning citizens, and to prevent further displacement within its own
Refugees International (RI) is calling on the United States to press for
the protection of displaced families and humanitarian workers in the
Horn of Africa, and to ease restrictions on humanitarian assistance.
Refugees International and the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
are calling on Libya’s de-facto government, the National Transitional
Council (NTC), to protect vulnerable civilians and rein in rogue armed
groups responsible for widespread abuses against civilians.
It's hard to imagine being without a nationality. It's something most of us are born with, something we feel entitled to, and something we never expect to have taken away. But right now there are 12 million people around the world who lack effective citizenship, meaning they lack fundamental rights in the countries they call home.
Refugees International calls on Libya’s new leaders to enforce a ban on
score-settling and revenge attacks against vulnerable groups, protect
them from gangs and rogue elements, and provide assistance and long-term
solutions for all who have been forced to flee the fighting.
An international coalition fosters dialogue on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent.
Una coalición internacional de organizaciones no gubernamentales se ha unido para expresar su más profunda preocupación por la campaña de ataques verbales e desinformación lanzada durante los últimos días en los medios de comunicación dominicanos contra la defensora de derechos humanos Sonia Pierre.
An international coalition of nongovernmental organizations has joined to express profound concern following a campaign of verbal attacks and misinformation launched by the Dominican media against human rights defender Sonia Pierre.
More than 600 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are effectively stranded at a port just outside the Libyan capital, and have been left to fend for themselves by Libyan authorities. Despite repeated attacks, harassment, and arbitrary arrests by Libyan gangs over the course of four months, they have received no protection from the National Transitional Council (NTC).
More than 20,000 people returning to South
Sudan are stranded in border towns, without adequate food and with no
idea when they might be able to move on. A Refugees International team
visited the border town of Renk this weekend and found that the few humanitarian actors
there are in disarray. Refugees International is calling on the
Government of the Republic of South Sudan and international humanitarian
agencies to work together to meet the emergency needs and provide safe
transport to returnees, prioritizing those most vulnerable.
Statement by Refugees International President Michel Gabaudan calling on
Libya's National Transitional Council to protect displaced during this
time of political transition.
“Today's announcement of the new Presidential Directive on Mass Atrocities is a hopeful moment
for those of us who have been calling on the U.S. to respond robustly in
the face of genocide and other crimes against humanity."
Climate displacement is happening today and will increase in the future as the full effects of climate change unfold. The United Nations must undertake a fundamental review of the international community's preparedness when it comes to addressing the needs of those displaced by large scale natural disasters.
There are currently 17,000 southerners crowded into nineteen assembly points in Khartoum, awaiting transport to the south. The security situation at these assembly points is deteriorating - with increasing reports of police raids and harassment by local community members.
Afghan civilians are caught in the middle of an intensifying military campaign against a fractured armed insurgency. Despite the U.S. military's claims of progress, insurgent attacks are up by 50% over last year, and more than 250,000 people have fled their villages in the past two years.
Despite the US Administration's claims of progress in Afghanistan, insurgent attacks are up by 50% over last year, and almost 250 000 people have been displaced in the past two years. As American troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan and transition security to the Afghan forces, the Obama Administration must ensure that the needs of those displaced by the conflict are addressed.
Refugees International welcomed the introduction of The Refugee
Protection Act of 2011, which was introduced today by Senator Patrick
It addresses shortfalls in current law that make it unnecessarily
difficult for asylum seekers to find safe harbor in the United States
and for refugees to be fully protected.
Refugees International welcomes the visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg to Colombia, and calls for greater UN engagement in addressing the needs of the country's millions of displaced people.
Refugees International (RI) issued a report today entitled, Surviving Alone: Improving Assistance to Colombia’s Flood Victims,
based on a recent mission to assess the humanitarian response to floods
that have devastated much of Colombia over the last year. Refugees
International staff traveled to numerous flood-affected areas and
interviewed displaced people, government officials, UN agency staff and
environmental experts. The report outlines in stark detail how thousands
of people were still not receiving basic assistance months into the
disaster -- including food, water, sanitation and shelter – and
recommends key steps to immediately provide assistance and prepare for
future natural disasters.
The Rohingya ethnic minority of Burma are trapped between severe repression in their homeland and abuse in neighboring countries. At least 200 000 Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh have no legal rights there because they are unregistered. They live in squalor, receive very limited aid, and are subject to arrest, extortion, and detention.
Casi cuatro meses después de un estado de emergencia fue declarado en Colombia, el gobierno todavía no ha liberado cientos de millones de dólares destinados a proveer ayuda a los víctimas de las inundaciones.
Refugees International (RI) is pleased to announce that former Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Patrick Leahy will be honored at the organization’s 32nd Anniversary Dinner on May 5th at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. The evening will also feature a special tribute to the late Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, along with the inaugural presentation of an award in his honor to Amina Hersi Ali.
Refugees International welcomes tonight's decision by the UN Security
Council to authorize multilateral military action to protect civilians
from the brutal attacks by Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gaddafi. The
resolution passed this evening – with last minute U.S. leadership in
support -- sets a precedent that other strongmen in the region should
note when responding to the popular uprisings unfolding in their
countries: namely that the world will not ignore atrocities committed
against civilians. In addition, this vote reaffirms the unprecedented
level of support by the League of Arab States for international
intervention to protect the people of Libya.
Refugees International (RI) has learned that flights to evacuate
migrants seeking refuge in Tunisia’s Shousha transit camp could be
forced to end on Sunday. The International Organization for Migration
told an RI team in Tunisia that its efforts to repatriate third country
nationals fleeing Libya will be halted in three days due to a lack of
funds. While debates continue at the UN Security Council over how to
respond to Gaddafi’s attacks against his people, Refugees International
strongly urges immediate action from the governments involved to provide
the funding necessary to keep these flights running.
The recent increase in fighting in the Abyei region and the suspension
of peace talks between the governments of north and south Sudan has
exposed further obstacles on the path to peace in Sudan.
Refugees International announced today
that former Governor Bill Richardson is this year’s recipient of the
organization’s highest honor, the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award.
This award recognizes those who have demonstrated extraordinary
leadership and commitment to humanitarian action.
The House of Representatives passes a version of the budget that drastically reduces lifesaving aid to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Slashing assistance for victims of persecution and people displaced by war would be a devastating retreat
The House of Representatives’ proposal to cut foreign aid would devastate U.S. advancements for Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people, according to a report released today by Refugees International (RI).
As the final results of South Sudan’s referendum for independence are
confirmed, 22,000 southerners are stranded on the side of the road in
and around Khartoum still waiting for transportation to the South. On
the eve of this historic moment, RI staff members inside Sudan have met
with people camped out in the open air for weeks.
Meeting with President Zardari Creates Opportunity to Show Public Commitment to Humanitarian Issues
One year after the devastating earthquake, RI remains concerned over the plight of the
1.3 million Haitians who are still living in appalling conditions in displacement camps.
As the people of south Sudan prepare to vote for the future of the
region in a referendum on independence, Refugees International (RI)
welcomes this historic moment and urges U.S. and UN leaders to stay
engaged after the referendum ends.
"Massive rain and landslides in Colombia continue to wreak havoc across
the country threatening the most vulnerable sectors of society. The
torrential rains, which are likely to continue through April, have
already affected more than 2 million people, claimed the lives of an
additional 279, and destroyed nearly 3,000 homes."
"As President Obama continues his Afghanistan strategy, Refugees
International is disappointed that the U.S. government fails to
recognize and address the humanitarian consequences of rising
insecurity. Despite some fragile security gains in a handful of
districts, more Afghans are directly affected by the conflict than last
year as the war spreads to the previously stable north and west of the
"As Vice President Biden lauds progress in Iraq, Refugees International
is pleased that the Vice President expressed a U.S. commitment today to
continue working with the Iraqi government to aid Iraqis who have been
uprooted from their homes as well as those who are attempting to return
home and rebuild their lives. Despite some political progress and
improvements in security in Iraq, at least 500,000 civilians displaced
by the war continue to live as squatters in slum areas without access to
aid or solutions."
Refugees International is shocked and saddened over the death of Richard
Holbrooke, a close friend to the organization and leader for displaced
people around the world.
Refugees International expresses deep sadness at the loss of Richard C.
Holbrooke. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Leading domestic and international women’s, violence prevention, human rights and development organizations today lauded the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for marking up the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) – bipartisan legislation (HR 4594/S 2982) that would, for the first time, make stopping violence against women and girls a priority in United States diplomacy and foreign aid. Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are leading the effort to pass the legislation in the Senate, and Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) are championing it in the House of Representatives.
One year after President Obama announced his strategy for Afghanistan,
the Afghan people are largely worse off, Refugees International
Refugees International Calls on U.S. to Address Impact of Climate Change on Stability and Security
In advance of today’s ministerial-level United Nations Security Council
meeting on Sudan, Refugees International (RI) urged the Council to
prioritize the status and security of minority communities on both sides
of the north-south border.
While many celebrate the weekend’s release of Aung San Suu Kyi, tens of
thousands of Burmese people need protection from the growing violence in
eastern Burma, Refugees International (RI) said today.
Refugees International would like to applaud the Obama administration for refusing to allow U.S. money to go into training or equipping Pakistani army units that have committed gross human rights violations, during military operations against Al Qaeda and other militant groups.
Over One Million People Affected; Reports of Violence against Women on the Rise
Refugees International President Michel Gabaudan urged the U.S. to take
four concrete steps to protect Sudanese civilians in the aftermath of
January’s referendum at a hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights
Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives today.
Refugees International expressed disappointment that President Barack Obama failed to recognize the plight of Iraqi refugees during his speech marking the end of combat operations in Iraq.
The Government of Southern Sudan is planning to repatriate 1.5 million southerners who fled to the country's north during the long civil war, before a crucial referendum in January 2011, where south Sudan will choose whether to secede from the north. Refugees International urges the Government of Southern Sudan to ensure that displaced southerners are repatriated on a strictly voluntary basis.
Refugees International is glad to see that the U.S. will dramatically increase its aid to Pakistan to $150 million. Given the gravity of the situation, it is vital that more money be channeled into protecting the displaced and the other flood-affected victims.
Refugees International hopes that the US will continue to show leadership among donors, and is asking other governments to show their generosity in meeting their appeal for flood victims in Pakistan. Needs are expected to rise, as flood waters recede.
As the Security Council seeks to renew the mandate for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Refugees International would like to take the opportunity to urge the UN to put humanitarian objectives, and not only development needs, at the forefront of its work in Iraq.
Refugees International (RI), the leading advocacy organization on refugee crises worldwide, today announced the appointment of Michel Gabaudan as its new president.
Torrential rains over the past week in Pakistan have displaced hundreds of thousands and left a devastating toll in the country’s northwest as well as parts of Balochistan and Punjab provinces. Authorities estimate that more than 1,100 people are dead, while 1.5 million people have been affected by the disaster.
In the Combined Supplemental Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2010 that passed Tuesday July 27, 2010, Congress affirmed the US Governments commitment to monitor Pakistani security forces that receive U.S. funding . The bill also allocated essential funding to help refugees and internally displaced people in areas devastated by conflict and natural disasters.
Refugees International President L. Craig Johnstone today called for a
greater U.S. commitment to more than two million Iraqis who have fled
their homes due to conflict and fear of persecution during seven years
of U.S. engagement in Iraq.
The United States and other countries must demonstrate support for Kyrgyzstan’s protection of her citizens by urging the Permanent Council of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to immediately deploy unarmed police monitors to the country’s troubled southern region to help stem on-going human rights violations there, Refugees International said today.
Refugees International welcomed the publication today of a practical
“inventory” document that details actions UN peacekeepers can take to
deter perpetrators and assist survivors of sexual violence.
Nearly two million southern Sudanese living in northern Sudan are at
great risk for targeted violence and statelessness in the aftermath of
the planned January 2011 referendum on southern independence, Refugees
International said in a report released today.
Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 20. On that day, leading women’s and
violence prevention organizations are asking America’s fathers to honor
their daughters – and women and girls all around the world – by helping
to end violence and make the world safer for women everywhere.
In advance of today’s high-level United Nations Security Council
meeting on Sudan, Refugees International (RI) urged the Council to
develop and implement a Sudan-wide strategy to minimize violence and
ensure safety for vulnerable Sudanese leading up to and following the
planned January 2011 referendum for southern independence.
Refugees International today urged policymakers to address legislative
gaps that needlessly prevent an estimated 4,000 people living in the
U.S. without a nationality from enjoying basic human rights.
President Barack Obama should move swiftly to implement landmark
legislation he signed today committing the US to help civilians in
central Africa threatened by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a
coalition of 49 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said
Refugees International President Dan Glickman today urged policymakers
to fix shortfalls in current law that needlessly prevent refugees,
asylum seekers and stateless individuals from finding safe harbor and
enjoying basic human rights in the United States. Glickman testified at
a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Renewing America's Commitment to
the Refugee Convention: The Refugee Protection Act of 2010.”
Washington, DC – Refugees International has elected Eileen Shields-West
as its new Board Chair and Sam Waterston as its Vice-Chair. The
organization also added two new members to its Board of Directors:
Marianne d’Ansembourg and L. Craig Johnstone.
Refugees International today applauded the Senate Committee on
Appropriations for passing a supplemental appropriations bill for
Fiscal Year 2010 that includes critical funding for foreign disaster
assistance and sustainable solutions for refugees and persons
internally displaced by conflict around the world.
Today, Refugees International will host its 31st annual gala to honor
humanitarians for the passion they have shown and the change they have
achieved in tackling the world’s humanitarian needs.
For the third consecutive year, Refugees International achieved Charity
Navigator’s four-star rating, the highest rating possible from the
Washington, D.C. – “The elections in Sudan were supposed to be a key
milestone in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) and the democratic transformation of the country. Yet the many
irregularities reported by observers during the campaign period and the
boycotts of some elections by most major opposition parties, are a
serious cause for concern.
Activists from 19 countries will join a coordinated, global day of
action, calling on Sudanese parties to ensure that the upcoming
elections do not become a flashpoint for increased violence and human
Washington, DC – U.S. assistance should not be provided to Pakistani
military units that have committed gross human rights abuses, a
Refugees International field report said today.
Washington, D.C. -The Haiti Donors Conference this week will shape the
lives of millions of Haitians and provide tangible contributions to the
country’s reconstruction and recovery from the devastating January 12th
earthquake, Refugees International (RI) said today. Yet the
reconstruction effort will only deliver real improvements and
sustainable development if Haitian voices are heard loud and clear by
Nearly seven years after the beginning of the war in Iraq, an
unprecedented number of Iraqis are still living in squatter slums that
lack basic sanitation, water and electricity, a new field report from
Refugees International (RI) said today.
Yesterday’s introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2010 by
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) shows a great commitment by the United
States to the world’s most vulnerable people fleeing persecution and
torture, said Refugees International.
Working with civil society groups and providing support outside of
Port-au-Prince are two concrete steps to better meet the needs of
millions of Haitians, Refugees International said in a report today.
Based on a recent field assessment mission after the devastating
January 12 earthquake, “Haiti: From the Ground Up” argues that agencies
are falling short in meeting the needs of the Haitian people.
Washington, D.C. - America has a vital role to play in supporting UN
peacekeepers' efforts to protect people during conflict, Refugees
International said in a report released today. The Last Line of Defense:
How Peacekeepers Can Better Protect Civilians draws on Refugees
International's field visits and existing UN studies to outline the
challenges peacekeepers face in providing security for people in
conflict areas. The report identifies key steps the U.S. can take to
support UN reforms and address these challenges, such as providing
peacekeepers with clear guidance, tools and training on the issue.
The Government of Chad should allow the current UN peacekeeping
mission, MINURCAT, to remain in Chad and Central African Republic with
existing troop levels through 2010, said Refugees International today.
Although Chadian President Idriss Déby recently announced that
MINURCAT’s mandate should not be renewed, RI urged the UN Security
Council to work with the Government of Chad in order to renew the
mandate. The UN Security Council is scheduled to have consultations on
Today’s reintroduction of the International Violence Against Women Act
(I-VAWA) by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-Maine),
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representatives
William Delahunt (D-MA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) shows a great commitment to
women and girls around the world, said Refugees International.
Refugees International is pleased with yesterday’s announcement that
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was able to
permanently close Al-Tanf camp. RI is also grateful for the efforts by
many members of the international community to help make this a
reality. We strongly urge the international community to continue to
help find sustainable solutions for those refugees who have now been
relocated to a remote camp within Syria.
Refugees International (RI), the leading advocacy organization on refugee crises worldwide, today announced the appointment of Dan Glickman as its new president. Mr. Glickman brings to RI a long history of public service, fighting hunger and helping underserved people in the U.S. and around the world.
Refugees International is distressed by the magnitude of
the destruction and loss of life as the result of the January 12
earthquake in Haiti.
Washington, DC-- Today (9 January 2010) thousands of activists are gathering at
events in 15 countries in a global coordinated effort, calling on world
leaders to take urgent steps to prevent a return to severe and
widespread conflict in Sudan.
Nearly 35 years after first giving sanctuary to refugees from Vietnam,
Cambodia and Laos, the Royal Thai Government is allegedly considering
the forced expulsion of 4,000 Hmong, the last remnants of an
Indochinese refugee population that once numbered 1.5 million, back to
On December 10, International Human Rights Day, the government of the
Dominican Republic is set to promulgate a constitutional reform measure
that could leave large numbers of Dominicans of Haitian descent
"The recent events in Sudan are alarming. The crackdown on protesters
in Khartoum earlier this week and the brief detention of senior members
of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and leaders in other
opposition parties speak to a growing unrest in Sudanese politics.
These actions represent a serious deterioration of the political and
security situation in the country at a pivotal moment. With the
situation likely to worsen in 2010, Refugees International urges the
Obama Administration to take immediate action to prepare for potential
conflict and resulting large-scale displacement in south Sudan.
Refugees International expressed concern today over insufficient
funding for humanitarian emergencies in the Fiscal Year 2010 Foreign
Operations Appropriations bill, which Congress is expected to pass
As world leaders gather to negotiate an agreement to address the impact
of climate change, Refugees International urged them to make climate
displacement a priority. Natural disasters, such as cyclones and
droughts, have already forced millions of people from their homes.
"Refugees International acoge con satisfacción la audiencia de hoy sobre las poblaciones Colombianas desplazadas en la Comisión Inter-Americana de Derechos Humanos de la Organización de Estados Americanos. Los civiles siguen siendo los principales afectados de décadas de violencia, con más de un cuarto de millón de personas obligadas a huir cada año. Sin embargo los desplazados Colombianos siguen recibiendo muy poca atención y apoyo."
Refugees International released a new field report today on the
humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, which provides context for the recent
suicide bombings, the siege of Pakistan's military headquarters, and
the controversy over U.S. government aid.
The new policy on Sudan announced by the Obama administration today represents a welcome clarification after months of ambiguity as to how exactly the administration would approach the various challenges presented by this pivotal country.
The recent assassination of two Ecuadorian community leaders who have been helping Colombian refugees along the border between Ecuador and Colombia represents another indication that violence and terror are no longer contained within Colombian territory but are generating increasing instability well beyond its borders.
At a Special Summit to be held in Uganda from 19-23 October, the
African Union (AU) is expected to adopt a Convention for the Prevention
of Internal Displacement and the Protection of and Assistance to
Internally Displaced Persons in Africa [hereafter, the Convention]. The
Convention would be the first international instrument of its kind and
would send a signal to the rest of the world about the seriousness with
which Africa, home to around half of the global total of internally
displaced persons (IDPs), considers the issue .
Refugees International’s New York Circle features photography by Ann Curry and a short documentary by Matt Dillon
Enhanced Protection Urgently Needed Due to Disastrous Toll on Civilian Populations
The Congolese government’s military operation in eastern Congo, Kimia II, backed by United Nations peacekeepers and aimed at neutralizing the threat from a Rwandan Hutu militia group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), has resulted in an unacceptable cost for the civilian population, said 84 humanitarian and human rights groups in the Congo Advocacy Coalition today.
Washington, D.C. - The Bush and Obama administrations demonstrated a
commitment to resolving the Iraqi refugee crisis by resettling 18,883
Iraqi refugees into the United States in FY 2009, Refugees
International said today. The total exceeded the original target figure
by nearly 2,000. Refugees International warned, however, that the
crisis continues as more Iraqis are still fleeing into neighboring
countries, and few are willing to return home.
Washington, D.C. - Refugees International welcomes resolution
S/RES/1888 on Women, Peace and Security, which will be voted on this
morning in a Security Council meeting chaired by U.S. Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton. Today's resolution is a response to growing
concern by Refugees International and others over the anemic response
to sexual violence in armed conflict and lays out concrete steps that
the United Nations will take. In a welcome step forward, the Security
Council has also requested that a Special Representative to the
Secretary General (SRSG) be appointed to address sexual violence in
Washington, D.C. – Refugees International applauds the State Department
for fully supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance to the
people of Burma as part of its policy review released soon. While the
review endorses keeping the major components of long-standing policy in
place, the support for humanitarian aid is an important shift. Refugees
International encourages the U.S. Congress to provide adequate funding
for a humanitarian assistance program that meets the needs of the
Washington, DC – A shortage of qualified and available U.S. Foreign
Service Officers and other personnel has created a vacuum that the U.S.
is forced to fill with military personnel, said a new report by
Refugees International released today. Drawing on the Full Strength of
America: Seeking Greater Civilian Capacity in U.S. Foreign Affairs
highlights the urgent need to build up U.S. civilian agencies in light
of the severe inequity between the Department of Defense and the State
Department. One example lies across the Sahel and Maghreb, where
soldiers are conducting development and public diplomacy tasks because
there aren’t enough civilians.
The staff of Refugees International today joins thousands of Americans
in mourning the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. Senator Kennedy was a
towering figure in American public life for five decades.
With grief and a deep
sense of loss, Refugees International announces that Kenneth H. Bacon,
President of Refugees International, died this morning from an
aggressive melanoma that spread into his brain. Mr. Bacon, who became
President of Refugees International in 2001 and was only 64 years old
at the time of his death, devoted the final years of his life to
building the organization into the leading advocacy group on refugee
Washington, DC -- Refugees International announced plans to establish
the Ken and Darcy Bacon Center for the Study of Climate Displacement
today. The Center will use Refugees International’s successful advocacy
model to work towards stronger policies and structures that meet the
needs of the tens of millions of people expected to be displaced by
climate change in the coming decades.
Refugees International welcomes yesterday's Security Council presidential statement which re-affirms the need for clear, achievable UN peacekeeping mandates, earlier consultation with troop contributing countries and more sustained and coordinated political engagement in ongoing peacekeeping operations.
This week's trip by Secretary Clinton to visit Somali president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) signals the Obama administration's commitment to finding solutions to two of the most dire crises facing Africa today, said Refugees International.
Sudan Special Envoy General Scott Gration's testimony today continues to hail an inclusive approach for peace in all of Sudan, but ongoing efforts are needed to ensure all parties maintain their commitments, said Refugees International.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. needs to reassess its relationship with UN
peacekeeping operations to help develop an effective method to protect
civilians trapped in conflict, Refugees International said in a report
Washington, DC- This week's decision in The Hague on the Abyei boundary
line between north and south Sudan is a test for peace in the region,
Refugees International said today. In addition, the organization urged
the U.S. to continue its focus on the growing tensions in south Sudan
in order to promote stability and to avert a new civil war between
north and south Sudan or a collapse of the south from internal
Iraqi women who have been uprooted by violence in their country are increasingly susceptible to exploitation and abuse because of extreme financial pressures, a new field report from Refugees International (RI) described today.
Refugees International (RI) expressed concern today over the Pakistani government’s announced plan to begin returns for thousands of displaced Pakistanis on July 13.
As U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq, Refugees International is calling on the Administration to continue its programs in support of displaced people inside and outside Iraq.
Ante Up for Africa will support Refugees International’s efforts for the displaced people of Darfur and all of Sudan as part of its charity celebrity poker tournament in Las Vegas on July 2, 2009.
Report Outlines Humanitarian and Political Ramifications of Displaced Civilians, Calls for Immediate U.S. and UN Response
Refugees International welcomes the Obama administration’s initiative to hold an international conference this week galvanizing support for Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
Refugees International (RI) expressed concern over the tragedy of the Pearl Continental Hotel bombing in Peshawar, and urged donor governments to step up their financial support for relief efforts in the country.
Obama's nomination of Eric Schwartz to serve as Assistant Secretary of
State for Population, Refugees and Migration shows the Obama
administration's commitment to the world's 41.9 million refugees and
internally displaced people, and 12 million stateless people.
(Washington, D.C. 21 May 2009) – The introduction of legislation in the
U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week to commit
the United States to comprehensive efforts to help civilians threatened
by one of the world’s longest-running and brutal insurgencies is a
crucial step forward for U.S. policy in the region, a coalition of
twenty-two human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said
Washington, DC - Secretary of State
Clinton's announcement providing $110 million in emergency relief for displaced
Pakistanis is a positive first step, Refugees International said today.
(Goma, May 18, 2009) – The United Nations Security Council, visiting
the Democratic Republic of Congo beginning today, should press for
urgent action to protect civilians, a coalition of 68 aid and human
rights groups said today. The groups said the council should make clear
to both the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo (MONUC) and the Congolese
army that stronger measures to protect civilians are urgently needed
during military operations against Rwandan militias.
Washington, D.C. – Refugees International thanked Annie Duke today for
raising $700,000 for the agency’s life-saving advocacy on Celebrity
Apprentice. The championship poker player took second place in the
contest, even though she raised far more money for her charity than
Joan Rivers, the winner. After Annie’s loss, her supporters launched a
grassroots internet campaign to raise the $250,000 that Refugees
International would have received from developer Donald Trump, the host
of the show, and Celebrity Apprentice had she won.
Washington, D.C. - Refugees International is honoring Ted Turner with the 2009
McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award this evening as part of the organization's 30th Anniversary Dinner.
Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration must respond forcefully to
large scale displacement caused by recent fighting in Pakistan,
Refugees International urged today.
Washington, D.C. - One year after Cyclone Nargis struck the Burmese delta on May 2, a sustained effort is still needed to ensure that aid operations continue to assist the Burmese people, Refugees International said today.
Washington, DC - Six American aid agencies today urged the Obama administration to consider humanitarian needs in its policy review on Somalia. As the latest piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia capture the world's attention, humanitarian organizations warned that the country remains in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis.
Washington, D.C. - The best solution for most displaced Iraqis is to return home, but the Government of Iraq and the international community must first establish safe conditions for them, a new field report by Refugees International (RI) said today.
On Thursday, May 7th, Refugees International (RI) will host its 30th Anniversary Dinner, honoring Ted Turner with the 2009 McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award. Mr. Turner will be recognized for his inspiring commitment to humanitarian issues, including the establishment of the United Nations Foundation and the creation of CNN, which is renowned for bringing humanitarian crises to light.
Washington, D.C. -A new government in Somalia has so far meant little
to the more than three million Somalis in need of emergency assistance
inside the country, Refugees International (RI) said in its latest
field report today.
As security in Iraq improves, refugees and internally displaced Iraqis are starting to return home, but the returns are slow and tentative. The new security climate in Iraq has not yet translated into increases in the provision of services to displaced Iraqis and more must be done to assist and protect them.
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. must immediately work with the Government
of Southern Sudan (GoSS) to secure an emergency financial rescue
package in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order, Refugees
International (RI) urged in a new field report today. The U.S. must
also help the GoSS build basic social services, create jobs and expand
agricultural opportunities for the millions of people who have returned
to south Sudan and the communities that have received them.
Despite gains made in recent years, more forceful efforts are needed to assist 12 million stateless people who hold no effective nationality, Refugees International revealed in a new report today. Nationality Rights for All: A Progress Report and Global Survey on Statelessness highlights how stateless people lack access to basic services and receive no legal protection.
The Government of Sudan’s expulsion of more than a dozen non-governmental organizations from Darfur has put the lives of over a million displaced people at risk. It should immediately rescind its decision and allow these organizations to resume operations.
We welcome today’s decision by the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Their decision adds international legal weight to a long obvious truth - primary responsibility for the atrocities in Darfur rests with the regime that Bashir heads.
Writing to President Barack Obama in response to his new Iraq strategy, more than 40 leading U.S.-based organizations praise the President’s promise to help vulnerable Iraqis and call for a comprehensive humanitarian, development and refugee resettlement strategy led by civilian agencies.
As President Obama works to stabilize Iraq, he must
be sure to comprehensively address the Iraqi refugee crisis. Five million Iraqis have been uprooted by conflict, forced to leave everything behind.
They have sought refuge within Iraq, Syria, Jordan and other
neighboring countries. They are running out of resources with little
opportunity for employment; access to food, heath care, education and
other essential services is extremely limited.
Washington D.C. - Alarming increases in the number of displaced people
in Pakistan must lead Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke to make the
protection of civilians a top U.S. policy priority in Pakistan,
Refugees International (RI) said today.
Washington, D.C. – Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton should
address the humanitarian and political crisis in Somalia as soon as she
takes office, Refugees International urged today after the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee approved her nomination. Refugees
International congratulated Mrs. Clinton on receiving approval by the
Senate panel, but urged quick action. Somalia faces the world’s worst
humanitarian crisis and the U.S. should play a lead role in addressing
the political chaos at the root of the issue.
US President George W. Bush’s decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to President Álvaro Uribe of Colombia is a disturbing example of the Bush administration’s disregard for serious human rights concerns out of zeal to show unconditional support to governments that it views as strategic allies, seven leading nongovernmental organizations said today.
The Government of Thailand should instruct its Army to desist
from its new and troubling policy of pushing refugees and migrants
intercepted on boats back out to sea. The boat people are primarily
stateless Burmese Rohingya escaping severe oppression and harsh poverty
at home, but also include some Bangladeshi migrants. Both groups board
boats of varying seaworthiness with the aim of finding security and
economic opportunity in Thailand and Malaysia. The Thai government is
detaining them on a remote island and then forcing them back out to
sea. The policy endangers their lives, and exposes them to the risk of
capsizing or sinking.
The current conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas is having a
devastating impact on civilians. An immediate ceasefire is essential.
On Monday, January 12th, 2009 Matt Dillon and Sarah Jessica Parker will join Refugees International to host a one-night only performance of the critically acclaimed George Packer play, Betrayed, at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.
Washington, D.C. - United Nations Security Council members must develop a strategy in ongoing discussions on piracy in Somalia that addresses the root causes of the problem, Refugees International (RI) urged today.
"As Secretary of State, Senator Hillary Clinton will face opportunities
to broker solutions to the major refugee crises in the world today.
Secretary Robert Gates, General James Jones and Susan Rice are all
committed to multilateral solutions to the 21st century's most
challenging foreign policy issues, and will help President-elect Obama
retain military strength while building strong civilian capacity in the
U.S. government to resolve international crises.
Washington, DC - Refugees International welcomed the passage of today's
UN Security Council Resolution authorizing the temporary deployment of
3,000 new peacekeepers and police for the DR Congo. However, the
organization continued to express concern that the people in eastern
Congo who lack access to services or protection from harm could not
wait three to six months before any troops would be deployed. Refugees
International continued to call for the European Union to immediately
deploy a short-term rapid reaction force that can defend strategic
towns until UN reinforcements arrive, and allow the UN peacekeeping
mission to reorganize itself.
Refugees International reports that support to Iraqis in neighboring countries must be continued
Nairobi, Kenya -- Refugees International (RI) expressed grave concern
today over the multiple suicide bomb attacks in Hargeisa, Somaliland
and the implications this violence will have on the provision of
international assistance in the region. RI is particularly disturbed
over the targeting of a United Nations compound, which echoes a pattern
of attacks on the UN in the southern part of Somalia in recent months.
UN Peacekeeping Mission Requires More Resources to Stem Violence in DR Congo
Conflicting mandate and lack of political support have hampered UN Peacekeepers' capacity to respond
Washington, DC - Millions of stateless children around the world are
being denied education, health care, and the basic rights that
accompany citizenship, Refugees International revealed in a new report
AFRICOM Launch Marks Increased U.S. Military Role in Africa
Refugees International accused the Government of Iraq of ignoring the
welfare of four million displaced Iraqis after an Iraqi parliamentary
committee made its third request this year for funding to assist them.
As the Iraqi parliamentary committee on displacement and migration
requested $4 billion of next year's $78.8 billion budget, Refugees
International called on the Government of Iraq to immediately provide
the requested funding and design a strategy to adequately respond to
First Lady Laura Bush's visit to Thailand's Mae La camp, which houses thousands of Burmese refugees, emphasizes the need for continued humanitarian aid for all the people of Burma, Refugees International said today.
Nearly one month after Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, the Burmese military government has raised another hurdle to effective humanitarian response by forcibly closing camps for cyclone survivors and forcing them back home, Refugees International said today.
The U.S. should lift its funding restrictions on humanitarian aid to Burma and offer emergency assistance in the wake of Cyclone Nargis, Refugees International said today.
This week's Sudan Consortium meeting
provides an opportunity for the world to focus on the Comprehensive
Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 between north and south
Sudan. Refugees International expects major donor governments to attend
with high-level delegations, and it calls on the governments which
brokered the CPA to provide strong and consistent diplomatic support for
the process of full implementation of the CPA.
Refugees International applauds the
prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for presenting
evidence which indicates that a former Minister of State for the
Interior of the Government of the Sudan and a leader of the Janjaweed
militia jointly committed crimes against civilians in Darfur.