Refugees International Annual Report 2018

We're shining a light on the critical challenges faced by those who have been forced from their homes.

The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes has surpassed the highest levels ever recorded. Borders are closing, political rhetoric demonizes and rejects the displaced, and humanitarian crises are chronically underfunded. 

Refugees International is doubling down on our mission to advocate for the well-being of displaced communities—to present solutions and demand action. 

Exposing Atrocities

Targeted killing, widespread sexual violence, and wholesale burning of villages. The brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity waged by Myanmar’s military against the country’s Rohingya minority starting in August 2017 has created one of the largest refugee crises in the world. Through it all, Refugees International experts have returned to Bangladesh and Myanmar to expose the atrocities committed against the Rohingya people—and to champion the needs of survivors. 


Raising the Alarm on Underreported Crises


When crises are underreported, they are also under-resourced. Refugees International advocates have traveled the world to raise the alarm on neglected crises and marshal support for people whose suffering has gone unnoticed for too long.

Advocating for the Displaced in Armed Conflict

Armed conflict is one of the most significant and deadly drivers of global displacement. In 2018, Refugees International deployed teams to areas ravaged by armed conflict—from South Sudan to Nigeria to Syria—to advocate for those who have been displaced by the horrors of war and insurgency.


Confronting Climate Displacement


Each year, tens of millions of people across the globe are driven from their homes by floods, storms, droughts, and other weather-related disasters. Tragically, it is the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that are hardest hit. In the coming years, the adverse effects of global climate change will bring more extreme weather, growing food insecurity, and rising sea levels. It will also fuel pre-existing tensions as food, water, and other natural resources become scarcer, leading to further conflict. Since launching the climate displacement program in 2010, Refugees International has been leading the policy debate on how to protect communities on the front lines of climate change, avert climate-related displacement, and advocate to build the resilience of the most at-risk individuals and communities.

Defending Refugee Protection and Asylum

Although the world is facing the largest displacement crisis in recorded history with 68.5 million people forced from their homes, prosperous nations are turning inwards—xenophobia is on the rise, borders are tightening, and the space for asylum and protection is closing. From the United States to Europe to Asia, we have witnessed this retreat from principles of protection. Refugees International will continue to be on the front lines where those seeking protection are being denied the help that they need.


Championing the Rights of Women and Girls


Women and girls in displacement face unique challenges, but women and girls’ special needs are often inadequately addressed or wholly ignored in humanitarian response. Around the world, from Bangladesh to Puerto Rico, Refugees International has advocated for improved humanitarian programming that elevates the well-being and safety of women and girls and provides them the specialized medical, psychological, legal, and security assistance they need.

Promoting Sustainable Solutions

Given the scale and scope of the global displacement crisis today, no nation alone can respond effectively to the current challenges associated with large movements of people. Together with refugees, migrants, host countries, and the international community, Refugees International has advocated for innovative, long-term solutions that will protect the human rights of the displaced and improve their quality of life.


“If I’m reading in the newspaper about a crisis somewhere in the world, it is of great consolation to me to know that, if not at this moment, then very soon I will be hearing from Refugees International about how we should think about the crisis and more importantly what we should do about it.”
— Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN