RI joined 83 organizations in writing a letter to Congressman Paul Ryan, Senator Mitch McConnell, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Chuck Schumer condemning family separation and detention of asylum seekers at U.S. southern border. While there have been positive policy developments, there are still many children separated from their parents, and the U.S. government continues to advance policies that violate international norms.
The Trump administration Executive Order on June 20 did not immediately end the abhorrent practice of family separation and the criminalization of asylum seekers at the U.S. border. RI remains concerned that the president has replaced a family separation policy with a family detention policy.
In the wake of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, Refugees International condemns the separation of children of from parents seeking protection in the United States. These measures are nowhere mandated in U.S. law, are inhumane, and risk creating psychological and emotional damage to the children and their families.
Refugees International is dismayed by the Italian government’s refusal to allow the SOS Mediteranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ship, the Aquarius, to disembark in Italy. EU governments have the means to manage these arrivals in an organized, humane way that complies with their obligations under international law.
Refugees International joined CARE International, Plan International, the UNSW Forced Migration Network, and the Women’s Refugee Commission in suggesting the following changes to the third draft of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) related to women and girls ahead of the fifth round of consultations on June 12-13, 2018 in Geneva.
In this statement, President Eric Schwartz reacts to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to end asylum for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. The Attorney General’s decision puts thousands of women’s lives at risk in countries where femicide is on the rise.
It is essential that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) address protection issues, as reaffirmation of protection principles in the GCM sends an important signal of support for the rights of migrants from governments of the world.
Refugees International is calling on the United Nations to address climate change-related human mobility in the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, and include protections for persons moving in the context of climate change-related adverse effects, including both sudden- and slow-onset hazards.
In the statement, Refugees International notes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the UN Refugee Agency and the UN Development Program with the Government of Myanmar which would allow the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. However, RI is deeply concerned that continued impunity, restricted access to aid, and denial of basic human rights in Myanmar’s Rakhine State make repatriation a distant reality at this time.
In a letter to leading members of Congress, Refugees International joined with 27 international humanitarian, human rights, peace and security organizations to, Refugees International to advocate for continued strong U.S. leadership at the United Nations. The letter called on the Congress Members to ensure that the U.S. government honors its financial commitments to the UN in Fiscal Year 2019 and to oppose any efforts to rescind UN funding as agreed to on a bipartisan basis as part of the FY 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
This week marks the 70th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping. It is a time to reflect on the 134 peacekeepers who lost their lives this past year and to show gratitude to the nearly 105,000 troops, police, civilians, and volunteers - coming from 124 countries - who serve on 14 peacekeeping operations worldwide. After 70 years, UN Peacekeeping remains as relevant as ever.
In the statement, Refugees International makes clear why it urges the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of Robert Mortensen as the next Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.
Refugees International remains alarmed by the significant budget cuts proposed in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget, which was released on February 12, 2018. Budgets define priorities and this budget proposal, if approved by Congress, would be devastating to lifesaving humanitarian work across the globe.
In this statement, Refugees International expresses its deep concern regarding the return in recent weeks of thousands of Afghan nationals from Turkey back to Afghanistan where their safety is at risk. On April 23, Turkey’s minister of the interior announced that 7,100 Afghans had been returned to Afghanistan and that thousands more would follow shortly.
Refugees International is dismayed by Friday’s decision by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Honduras on July 5, 2018. The fate of some 57,000 Hondurans currently living in the United States, as well as their estimated 53,000 American citizen children, is now in question.
Twenty-one human rights and humanitarian organizations issued a statement today protesting the Greek government’s move to overturn a binding court ruling which ordered the government to end its abusive policy of trapping asylum seekers on Greece’s islands. The government’s move raises significant concerns about its challenge to rule of law.
Refugees International urges the United Nations Security Council to use its visits to Bangladesh and Myanmar to demand humanitarian access in Rakhine State and accountability for the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya. The visit to the camps in Bangladesh, where 700,000 Rohingya have fled, must also serve to highlight the urgent need for humanitarian support and improved coordination ahead of the monsoon and cyclone seasons.
On Friday, April 13, 2018, international donors gathered in Geneva for a Humanitarian Conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The conference was a crucial opportunity to focus global attention on the estimated 13.1 million Congolese citizens who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and protection. In this statement, Refugees International urged urgent action to establish humanitarian assistance for the affected Congolese civilians.
On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold the nomination hearing for Secretary of State nominee Michael Pompeo. In advance of that hearing, Refugees International sent a letter to Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Robert Menendez urging that they and other Members of the Committee ensure that the nominee address critical concerns regarding the nominees views and approaches to refugee policies.
In this statement, Refugees International expresses its dismay at the sudden announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel the April 2 agreement between Israel and UNHCR regarding Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. RI welcomed the agreement which would have allowed refugee resettlement opportunities in Western countries for more than 16,000 African asylum seekers and would have provided temporary status inside Israel for another 16,000 within this vulnerable population.