7 Policy Wins on Refugee and Asylum Issues Give Us Hope for the New Year

This year, we spoke directly with displaced people—including Afghan humanitarian workers, Venezuelans crossing the Darién Gap, displaced families in Chad, and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh—about what it means to leave everything in search of safety… and their dreams for a better future. Despite harrowing news from almost every corner of the globe this year, several policy wins have offered us real hope:

  • The United States finally ended the “Remain in Mexico” program—an irresponsible policy Refugees International condemned for years that stranded asylum seekers in danger in Mexico to wait for their asylum claims to be heard. 
  • Refugees International’s research proved that refugees are an asset to local economies, and Kenya started implementing a new refugee law that will integrate refugees into its communities and economy so that they can live more fully to their potential.
  • Communities around the world welcomed millions of Ukrainians fleeing a brutal war, and Refugees International successfully advocated for nearly $5 billion in food assistance in Congress’ Ukraine supplemental bill. 
  • The international community stood up one of the largest relief operations in the world to respond to the crisis in Afghanistan, and Refugees International has been there to ensure that best practices are being used in the humanitarian response.
  • Refugees International helped shape the United Nations Refugee Agency’s agenda to tackle climate displacement and the United Nations Children’s Fund’s new guiding principles on the rights and well-being of children moving because of climate change.
  • Advocacy by the Refugee Advocacy Lab, a collaboration housed at Refugees International in partnership with the IRC, IRAP and Refugee Congress, led to U.S. states passing 11 measures to reduce barriers for forcibly displaced people to access education, the workforce, and other key pathways for restarting their lives in their new communities.
  • And after years of advocacy from Refugees International, the United States finally heeded our call and recognized the crimes committed against the Rohingya people of Myanmar as genocide and took steps to address it.

The truth is that while the global displacement crisis is larger than ever before, it can be managed with smart policies. And at Refugees International, we are not afraid to speak truth to power— regardless of who holds it. We will continue to raise the alarm on underreported crises and push for solutions with policymakers. We believe a better world is possible for people seeking safety.

Banner Photo Caption: Elderly women who fled the war in Ukraine wave for the photographer from inside a humanitarian train which is relocating refugees to Berlin on March 18, 2022 in Krakow, Poland. Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images.