Refugees

A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers

Refugees International President Eric Schwartz testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations in a hearing on “A Global Crisis: Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers.”

Colombia: Two Crises in One Country

Colombia: Two Crises in One Country

A Refugees International team traveled to Colombia to bear witness to the experience of displaced Venezuelans. But they quickly discovered that it is impossible to view the Venezuelan displacement crisis on its own when there are already 7.7 million internally displaced people in Colombia amid ongoing internal armed conflict.

Ai Weiwei Honored with Refugees International Exceptional Service Award

Ai Weiwei Honored with Refugees International Exceptional Service Award

At its 16th Annual New York Circle luncheon on October 23, 2018, Refugees International honored artist and humanitarian Ai Weiwei with its 2018 Exceptional Service Award for his continuous work and advocacy on behalf of refugees. 

Decades of Humanitarian Aid for Refugees are Now at Risk

Decades of Humanitarian Aid for Refugees are Now at Risk

Thirty-nine years on, Walter Mondale's inspiring 1979 call to action over the Vietnamese boat people was a watershed moment. Remembering Mondale’s speech in Geneva reminds us of an alternative vision of U.S. humanitarian leadership in the world. It is a vision that honors both U.S. interests and American values, and it offers a brighter future for hundreds of millions around the globe.

Lessons for Today as Refugees International Marks an Important Anniversary

Lessons for Today as Refugees International Marks an Important Anniversary

On July 19, 1979, thirty-nine years ago, Refugees International undertook its first large-scale public advocacy effort on behalf of refugees. On that date, then-executive director Diane Lawson, along with one of RI’s founders Michael Morrissey, published a full-page ad in the Washington Post. Addressed to U.S. senators and representatives, the advocacy letter called for increased support for Indochinese refugees and set the course for our organization’s decades-long commitment to advocating for lifesaving action.

Syrians Have the Right to Seek Asylum But Not the Means

Syrians Have the Right to Seek Asylum But Not  the Means

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear the right of every human being to seek safety in another country.  But eight years into the Syrian conflict, this most basic of human rights barely matters because there is so little leeway for people to leave Syrian territory in the first place.  If the international community truly wants to help Syrians, it must insist that Syria’s neighbors open their borders, and it needs to offer financial, technical and humanitarian assistance to make that happen. 

RI Honors Hamdi Ulukaya, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Hala Al-Sarraf

RI Honors Hamdi Ulukaya, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Hala Al-Sarraf

On April 24, 2018, Refugees International hosted its 39th Anniversary Dinner, honoring humanitarians who work to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugees and displaced people in the United States and worldwide. This year’s event honored Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Hala al-Sarraf, executive director of the Iraq Health Access Organization.

The Global Compact on Refugees: What can We Expect?

The Global Compact on Refugees: What can We Expect?

Responding to the current global refugee crisis, the UN General Assembly in September 2016 convened a special meeting to examine the effectiveness of the international community’s response to mass movements of people. That meeting lead to two important outcomes, with the third - the Global Compact on Migration - still pending. Jeff Crisp argues that the formulation of a Global Compact represents an invaluable opportunity to reassess, revise and reinvigorate the international community’s efforts to protect and find solutions for the world’s refugees.

"Work is Everything in Life": Refugees Seek Formal Employment in Turkey

"Work is Everything in Life": Refugees Seek Formal Employment in Turkey

Izza Leghtas recently completed a two-week research mission in Turkey, investigating the ongoing challenges refugees face in accessing the formal labor market. She met men and women from Syria, Afghanistan and Iran, who shared their personal experiences and described their current jobs and work conditions. 

A Brighter Future for Refugees

A Brighter Future for Refugees

On Dec. 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly declared that June 20 would be "celebrated" annually as World Refugee Day. For millions of people displaced by conflict and persecution globally, there is little to celebrate, but World Refugee Day does present an opportunity to bring attention to their plight, and to the possibility of solutions.

Impact of Proposed U.S. Funding Cuts on Refugees

Impact of Proposed U.S. Funding Cuts on Refugees

The only response to World Refugee Day 2017 is urgent action, as we face proposed Trump administration funding cuts of 32 percent to the international affairs budget. Such drastic slashes to humanitarian and development assistance as well as peacekeeping and international organizations at this time of unprecedented global need is incomprehensible. Should these cuts be implemented, the impacts on the most vulnerable populations will be devastating and, unfortunately, deadly. 

The Case Against Refugee Camps

The Case Against Refugee Camps

Throughout the 20th century, it was a common and largely uncontested practice for refugees to be placed in camps when they arrived in their country of asylum. The advantages of this arrangement appeared to be self-evident. However, alternatives to camps must be pursued as a global principle, while the provision of appropriate support to refugees in urban centers and rural host communities must be guaranteed.     

The EU at 60: Will the EU Regain Its Lost Humanity Regarding Refugees?

The EU at 60: Will the EU Regain Its Lost Humanity Regarding Refugees?

As the EU marks its 60th anniversary, EU member states now face the largest displacement crisis since World War II.  Instead of responding with humanity and effectiveness, they have turned their backs on and closed their borders to people urgently seeking protection. Well over a million people have crossed the Mediterranean since the beginning of 2015, fleeing wars, violence, persecution, and human rights abuses in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea. 

The Anniversary of the EU-Turkey Agreement

The Anniversary of the EU-Turkey Agreement

On March 18, the EU and Turkey will mark the one -year anniversary of their joint statement , which sought to stem the flows of asylum-seekers and migrants crossing from Turkey’s shores to the Greek islands. But as this anniversary approaches, Refugee International believes there little cause to celebrate and much more cause for concern. While EU leaders have presented the policy as a success, pointing to the significant decrease in the number of arrivals on the Greek islands since March 2016, the policy has also left thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers stranded in Greece in shocking conditions and has  eroded the right to seek asylum in Europe.