As U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson embarks on a multi-nation trip to sub-Saharan Africa, Refugees International delivered a letter to the secretary urging the Trump administration to use this critical opportunity to reaffirm U.S. humanitarian support, while advocating for policies that promote the safety, dignity, and rights of refugees and displaced populations in the sub-Saharan region. In the letter, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz underlines the urgent challenges in Nigeria and Kenya in particular, stating that swift action is needed by the U.S. administration to address ongoing humanitarian and displacement crises in those nations.
We are writing to you as human rights, health, and development organizations to raise our deep concern about news that the State Department’s annual Human Rights Report will no longer highlight the full range of abuses and human rights violations experienced most especially by women, girls, LGBTQI people, and other marginalized peoples around the world. According to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, officials “will sharpen the focus of the report on abuses of internationally recognized human rights and the most egregious issues.”
The leaders of 21 leading organizations involved in international humanitarian response sent a letter to the Trump Administration objecting “in the strongest terms” to the U.S. decision to withhold $65 million in planned U.S. contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The letter was sent to United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Yemen is now the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, the man-made result of almost 1,000 days of war. As documented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the war in Yemen has been marked by flagrant and repeated violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by all parties, including airstrikes, shelling, and other attacks on civilians, as well as unlawful restrictions on humanitarian access.
As members and partners of InterAction, the nation’s leading advocate for international relief, global health, and development programs, we write to urge that you protect poverty-focused and lifesaving international assistance in any budget deal for FY 2018.
The Policy and Advocacy Task Team of the Gender-based Violence Area of Responsibility (GBV AoR) recognizes the continuing generosity of the Government and people of Bangladesh in keeping their borders open to the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and violence in Myanmar.
As we approach the 17th anniversary of the adoption of SCR 1325 (2000) and the annual Security Council open debate on women, peace and security (WPS), we take this opportunity to reiterate the fundamental principles enshrined in the WPS agenda and urge each Member State to more consistently promote and abide by them.
Approximately half of the total number of refugees are women or girls. To meet the promise of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and its Programme of Action must specifically address their rights and needs at every stage of displacement.
We, a global coalition of 88 civil society organizations, urgently call upon UN member states to take immediate steps to address the human rights abuses and humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Myanmar’s ethnic Rohingya population.
A bipartisan group of former senior U.S. officials today urged Secretary of State Tillerson to ensure that two State Department reports on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, where were mandated by President Trump, contain key elements to ensure the reports contribute to responsible policy making. The President’s directive requires that Secretary Tillerson prepare two reports within 180 days – an estimate of the long-term costs of the United States Refugee Admissions Program and an estimate of the number of refugees being supported in countries of first asylum for the same long-term cost as supporting refugees resettled in the United States.
As the Administration considers reorganization of the government, more than 40 former U.S. diplomats and national security officials who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations along with 18 humanitarian organization leaders called on the Trump administration to affirm the key role of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The letter was delivered to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday, with copies sent to leadership on Capitol Hill.
We write on behalf of 10 non-governmental organizations with experience and expertise on the ongoing crisis in Syria regarding your upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 meeting in Hamburg on July 7-8, 2017. During your meeting, we ask that you address the gross violation of humanitarian norms that has characterized the violence in Syria, a conflict which now has killed and displaced millions of civilians, creating the largest flow of refugees since the Second World War.
We, the undersigned humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations and partners, share a commitment to alleviating human suffering to make the world a more peaceful, just, democratic, and prosperous place. As organizations working in the development and humanitarian space in nearly every country on the planet, we represent American citizens’ instinct to make a positive difference in the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people. Therefore, in the context of ongoing discussions about foreign assistance reform, our focus is on the impact any reforms will have on people whose lives are affected by our programming.
We are deeply concerned with the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) International Affairs budget request, which proposes dramatic cuts to life-saving accounts. The budget decisions currently before Congress have life-and-death consequences for the world’s poorest people. If the President’s Budget is enacted, it will reduce the life-saving and transformative economic impacts that we see every day. InterAction calls on Congress to sustain its leadership and support for a robust foreign assistance, as demonstrated earlier this month through passage of H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17). A total of no less than $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget in FY18 must be supported.
On behalf of Refugees International, we write respectfully to request that you delay your planned Fiscal Year 2018 budget presentation, or at least the elements related to U.S. humanitarian assistance, in view of reports of massive cuts in programs that serve critical humanitarian needs around the world and are crucial to the promotion of U.S. interests and U.S. values. We ask that you use such a delay to reconsider and reverse such cuts in your budget for 2018.
We – the undersigned human rights, humanitarian, faith, anti-genocide, peace and other organizations – support the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (DMd.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and their colleagues.The bill establishes a Mass Atrocities Task Force, requires training for Foreign Service Officers in violent conflict and atrocities prevention, requires reporting from both the Department of State and Director for National Intelligence, and establishes the Complex Crises Fund. These are critical tools that are needed to ensure the U.S. government is able to more effectively prevent atrocities.
We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to renew temporary protected status (TPS) for Haitians in the United States. As humanitarian, international development, and human rights organizations, many of which currently provide direct services on the ground in Haiti, we respectfully disagree with the assessment of James W. McCament, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation for TPS.
Each year when Congress budgets and appropriates federal spending to provide for our common prosperity and security, it makes important decisions about American values and reflects those values to the nation and the world. Typically, this includes investing in the long-held and cherished American tradition of supporting vulnerable people at home and abroad, including the most marginalized, with the critical assistance they need to build healthy, self-sufficient lives. Increasingly, the U.S. has shown bold leadership supporting women and girls to achieve their full potential, including those that make up 70 percent of the 1.3 billion people worldwide living in extreme poverty.
We, the undersigned, call on States, including the United States, United Kingdom and the member states of the European Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to strongly encourage the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with the forthcoming Fact-Finding Mission into the human rights situation in Rakhine State, as well as active conflict areas in Kachin State and northern Shan State, as recently mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
We, the undersigned members and partners of InterAction, urge you to support funding in FY2018 for poverty-focused international development and humanitarian assistance accounts at no less than the levels outlined in the attached recommendations and our accompanying Choose to Invest FY2018. We also urge you to fund the International Affairs Budget (function 150) at no less than $60 billion.
As 43 organizations working on humanitarian and development issues in some of the world’s poorest countries, we write to ask for your support in providing an additional $1 billion in supplemental funding for fiscal year 2017 in order to adequately respond to famine and famine-like conditions across four countries.
As civil society organizations committed to multilateral cooperation as a means to creating a better, safer world, we urge you to support strong U.S. leadership at the United Nations, including by fully meeting our nation’s financial obligations to the organization.
The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group in Myanmar, have been systematically disenfranchised and increasingly marginalized, including through denial of citizenship and restriction of movement. Over the years successive UN Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Myanmar have reported serious continuing human rights violations against this community.
A violent eight-year conflict originating in Nigeria has intensified in the last four years and spread across borders into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, resulting in Africa’s biggest humanitarian and protection crisis.
As you look to develop the FY2018 budget resolution, we urge you to protect international lifesaving humanitarian assistance, peace-building, and poverty-focused health and development programs in the Function 150 account by funding it at no less than $60 billion. Although this account represents only 1.4% of the federal budget, it is critical to saving millions of lives and advances U.S. interests overseas.
Looking toward the confirmation hearings for Secretary of State Designate Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Designate Nikki Haley, a coalition of U.S.-based internationalhumanitarian and development organizations write to ask the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to elevate the value of U.S. global engagement, particularly through the committee’s exercise of its confirmation authority.
We join together as diverse voices from a variety of sectors to oppose the harmful global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy.While the Helms Amendment restricts U.S. foreign assistancefunding for abortions “as a method of family planning,” the global gag rule goes a step further by blocking aidto foreign organizations who use their own non-U.S. funds to provide information, referrals, or services forlegal abortion or to advocate for access to abortion services in their own country.
Our organizations represent hundreds of thousands of Americans, thought leaders, program implementers, and business leaders currently advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls, global development, and humanitarian assistance for peace and security around the world. While our organizations bring differing perspectives, and employ different methods in our work, one thing that unites us is our commitment to advancing gender equality, and the empowerment and human rights of all women and girls, in the United States and around the world. We believe that all people are created equal and deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential and exercise their rights.