Latest RI Statements
Just ahead of August 25, the day that marks two years since the Myanmar military launched a brutal and cruel campaign of violence against the Rohingya people, forcing more than 700,000 to flee, the government of Bangladesh planned to repatriate 3,450 Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar. However, this exercise fell apart when Rohingya refugees refused to participate.
A DHS and HHS rule that allows for detaining asylum-seeking families for longer periods and under different standards than currently required under the Flores settlement is not only unnecessary but also harmful.
In response to the passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee of the so-called Secure and Protect Act of 2019, Refugees International's Senior U.S. Advocate Yael Schacher condemns it. She goes on to describe how it weakens protections for asylum seekers and flouts the United States’ national refugee and immigration legislation.
Today's announcement that the Trump Administration has reached a “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala is very alarming. As Refugees International has previously stated, Guatemala is in no way safe for refugees and asylum seekers, and all the strong-arming in the world won’t make it so.
Refugees International is gravely concerned by credible reports of Turkey’s deportation of Syrians in Istanbul to Idlib in northwest Syria and calls for the immediate halt to any such forcible returns.
Sanctioning the highest levels of Myanmar’s military is an incredibly important if belated step. Although the sanctions are limited to travel restrictions, the move signifies that Washington is finally getting serious about accountability. It also acknowledges what the State Department itself has documented – that ethnic cleansing has taken place in Myanmar with virtual impunity.
The Trump administration’s decision to withhold funds from the UN Population Fund will affect some of the world’s most vulnerable people, including survivors of sexual violence who have fled from conflict or have been displaced by natural disasters.
Under U.S. law, transit through another country before reaching the border of the United States is not a legitimate reason to bar someone from seeking asylum.
We welcome this development, as the proposed agreement is contrary to U.S. law and international refugee law and risks trapping thousands of Central American children, women, and men in dangerous situations.
A reported U.S.-Guatemala asylum pact is “a stain on this nation's honor” says Refugees International President Eric Schwartz.
Latest Reports and Briefs
Cyclones Idai and Kenneth devastated Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March and April 2019. The cyclones demonstrate an ugly truth: climate change will affect Africa more severely than any other continent. That the two cyclones occurred at that time of year, with this severity, and in these locations was remarkable. As humanitarians continue to respond to the needs of storm survivors, including a looming food crisis affecting up to a third of the population in Zimbabwe, the region must also prepare for similar storms in the future.
As more than 4 million Venezuelans flee their country, the risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation of Venezuelan women and girls is becoming more acute and demands urgent attention. Moreover, the number of reported female Venezuelan victims of trafficking is on the rise. In this report, Devon Cone and Melanie Teff examine the crisis of trafficking of Venezuelan women in the contexts of Colombia, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curaçao and recommend a path forward for confronting trafficking and enhancing regional cooperation on this critical issue.
The humanitarian situation in the northeast Syria remains extremely fragile and could deteriorate quickly. Those involved in the region must take steps to bolster stability, address humanitarian needs, and enhance community reliance.
Those with lived refugee experience – whether still in displacement, resettled, or returned – offer necessary perspectives to inform smart, practical, and sustainable programs. The first-ever Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in December 2019 will serve as a clear litmus test of international commitment to refugee participation under the framework of the Global Compact on Refugees.
Almost 1.2 million Venezuelans have entered Ecuador since 2015, most of whom have traveled onward to Peru or other third countries as they flee economic and social collapse at home. As more Venezuelans with increasingly acute needs arrive and choose to stay, Ecuador must do more to protect and provide opportunities for Venezuelans—and international donors must respond more generously.
Cameroon has long been viewed as a model of stability in a region fraught with conflict. Under the surface, however, tensions between its Anglophone and Francophone populations have simmered for decades. In October 2016, violence erupted in the Anlgophone North-West and South-West (NWSW) regions, and has since displaced more than 530,000 people and killed 1,800. If the government of Cameroon and international donors do not act, the humanitarian situation will rapidly deteriorate.
The Trump administration asserts that its policies at the U.S. southern border are designed to protect women and children from traffickers. However, its actions tell a very different story. Yael Schacher paints a scathing picture of how the administration is rolling back protections for victims of trafficking that have been established over the last decade.
Refugees International’s primer for members of the 116th Congress on international humanitarian assistance provides background on the proud, bipartisan tradition of U.S. leadership in humanitarian affairs, the value of U.S. investment in humanitarian and development funding, and the humanitarian imperative of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and outlines several key priority areas for policymakers.
Based on first-hand witness accounts from Rohingya who had arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar just days before, a new Refugees International report details ongoing harassment, arbitrary detention, and forced labor for Rohingya who remain in Myanmar.
As the crisis in Venezuela has intensified, 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled their homes—many to other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Only 40 miles from the coast of Venezuela, an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 Venezuelans have fled to Curaçao in search of safe harbor. But once on the island, many of them live hidden and afraid with no real opportunities to obtain international protection or other forms of legal stay.