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.
Regina Emilio was forced to flee her home after civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. She is one of some 200,000 people living in UN-controlled Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites across the country. As a recent peace agreement muddles forward, some are talking of closing the PoC sites. But for Regina and others, the sites remain essential as conditions at home are still unsafe.
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.
On April 24, 2018, Refugees International (RI) hosted its 39th Anniversary Dinner. The occasion drew attention to the plight of refugees and displaced people around the world. Those honored for their outstanding humanitarian work to improve their lives and defend the rights of refugees and displaced people included: Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya who received the 2018 McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award; Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota who received the 2018 Congressional Leadership Award; and Iraq Health Access Organization Executive Director Hala al-Sarraf, who receive the 2018 Richard C. Holbrooke Award.