U.S. Disengagement Could Jeopardize Fragile Stability in Northeast Syria

U.S. Disengagement Could Jeopardize Fragile Stability in Northeast Syria

The United States and other donors have an important opportunity to consolidate stability in northeast Syria, which has been largely liberated from the Islamic State. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have begun to return home, but much work remains to be done with major population centers like Raqqa still riddled with explosive devices and basic services still to be restored. Actions by the Trump administration, however, threaten to unravel fragile progress on the ground.

Aid Restrictions Endangering Rohingya Ahead of Monsoons in Bangladesh

Aid Restrictions Endangering Rohingya Ahead of Monsoons in Bangladesh

This report warns that a humanitarian catastrophe is imminently threatening the lives of nearly one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh as they now face the onset of the monsoon and cyclone seasons. The humanitarian response, including preparation for the monsoon season, has been significant and substantial – but it has also been hamstrung by obstacles and lack of effective management and coordination by the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations system. Failure to overcome these challenges is unnecessarily putting lives at risk.

The Plight of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers in Israel

The Plight of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum Seekers in Israel

This Refugees International (RI) report examines the status of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel, as the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to either remove this population from Israel or place large numbers in indefinite detention. The report examines Israeli government policies that have denied protection to asylum seekers and alarming new proposals that would put this vulnerable population in greater peril.

“Death Would Have Been Better”: Europe Continues to Fail Refugees and Migrants in Libya

“Death Would Have Been Better”: Europe Continues to Fail Refugees and Migrants in Libya

This Refugees International report details how European policies designed to keep asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy are trapping thousands of men, women and children in appalling conditions in Libya. Based on a February 2018 field mission, the report describes the harrowing experiences of people detained in Libya’s notoriously abusive immigration detention system where they are exposed to grave human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and physical and sexual abuse.

Global Compact on Refugees: Establishing Effective Mechanisms for Responsibility-Sharing

Global Compact on Refugees: Establishing Effective Mechanisms for Responsibility-Sharing

This Refugees International issue brief examines the key tasks for the United Nations and its member states to establish a robust Global Compact for Refugees with governance mechanisms that can actually mobilize political leadership and engagement among both donor and host states that results in tangibly improved refugee response efforts.

The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration: Protecting People Uprooted by Disasters and Climate Change

The Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration: Protecting People Uprooted by Disasters and Climate Change

As UN member states meet to discuss the Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees, it is essential that they consider the specific needs of individuals impacted by natural disasters and the adverse effects of climate change. Those moving across international borders in the context of disasters and climate change do not always fall neatly within existing definitions of refugees and migrants, leaving the most vulnerable individuals without sufficient protection and at risk of human rights violations.

Status of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration

Status of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration

With the upcoming discussions on the Global Compact on Refugees in Geneva next week, Refugees International examines both the refugees compact and the Global Compact on Migration. In this new issue brief, we examine the strength of the compacts and offer suggestions to better secure the rights and protections for refugees and migrants.

Political Pressure to Return: Putting Northeast Nigeria’s Displaced Citizens at Risk

Political Pressure to Return: Putting Northeast Nigeria’s Displaced Citizens at Risk

The crisis in Northeast Nigeria has reached an inflection point. Widespread famine no longer appears imminent, and the Nigerian military has pushed Boko Haram out of a number of cities and towns. However, the humanitarian crisis is far from over, and major challenges remain in responding to the needs of the internally displaced. At the same time, Nigerian officials are pressing for large-scale returns of the displaced to recently liberated areas—often before conditions can legitimately support returns. The Nigerian government should pause organized returns to insecure areas and work with the international community to improve services and protection for the displaced, while setting the stage for sustainable pathways home. In addition, the government must work to support local integration for those who may never return home.

Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección que afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México

Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección que afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México

Según los hallazgos en el informe de Refugees International (RI), tanto Estados Unidos como México deportan a personas con considerables necesidades de protección a Honduras y El Salvador, países de los que huyeron. El informe, Vidas en riesgo: Fallas en las medidas de protección afectan a hondureños y salvadoreños deportados de Estados Unidos y México, indica que el proceso de protección en todas las etapas –desde la tramitación de una solicitud de asilo hasta la deportación y reinserción en el país de origen– se caracteriza por graves fallas que, en última instancia, ponen en peligro vidas humanas. La investigación de RI también determinó que, a pesar de las inversiones sustanciales en servicios de acogida para los deportados, tanto Honduras como El Salvador tienen sistemas de protección deficientes.

Putting Lives at Risk: Protection Failures Affecting Hondurans and Salvadorans Deported from the United States and Mexico

Putting Lives at Risk: Protection Failures Affecting Hondurans and Salvadorans Deported from the United States and Mexico

Both the United States and Mexico are deporting individuals with significant protection needs back to Honduras and El Salvador – the countries from which they fled. In this report, Refugees International (RI) finds that the protection process at every stage – from asylum application to deportation to reintegration into the country of origin – suffers from serious failures that ultimately put lives at risk. The RI research also found that despite important investments in reception services for deportees, both Honduras and El Salvador have weak protection systems.

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador

The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security has decided not to extend the Temporary Protected Status designation for El Salvador.  That decision impacts more than 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States and potentially undermines the stability of El Salvador should they be forced to return. The policy brief outlines the implications of the TPS decision.

"Access Denied: Images of Displacement in Northern Myanmar"

"Access Denied: Images of Displacement in Northern Myanmar"

The same military responsible for a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in western Myanmar is also responsible for serious human rights abuses and denial of life-saving aid in the north of the country. Some 100,000 people living in displacement camps in Kachin and northern Shan States face increased restrictions on aid delivery, decreased international aid, and waning global attention. A team from Refugees International (RI) recently traveled to displacement camps in northern Myanmar to document the ongoing humanitarian and protection crisis and to shine a light on a population suffering in shadows for too long.

Meeting the Urgent Needs of Hurricane Maria Survivors in Puerto Rico

Meeting the Urgent Needs of Hurricane Maria Survivors in Puerto Rico

In November, Refugees International carried out a mission to Puerto Rico to investigate the U.S. response to Hurricane Maria. Our team found the response by federal and Puerto Rican authorities  was still largely uncoordinated and poorly implemented, prolonging the humanitarian emergency on the ground. Thousands of people still lack sustainable access to potable water and electricity and dry, safe places to sleep.

Abuses and Denial of Aid Endangering Ethnic Minorities in Northern Myanmar

Abuses and Denial of Aid Endangering Ethnic Minorities in Northern Myanmar

This Refugees International report details how Myanmar’s military - the same military responsible for ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar - is also responsible for severe human rights abuses and blocking of life-saving aid to a mostly Christian minority in the north of the country.  A team from Refugees International was able to access a restricted area outside of government control in Myanmar’s Kachin State to document the conditions of displaced persons.

Legal Employment Still Inaccessible to Refugees in Turkey

Legal Employment Still Inaccessible to Refugees in Turkey

A new Refugees International report details that, while refugees may seek employment under Turkish law, legal jobs are largely inaccessible for the vast majority of refugees in Turkey. The study, “I Am Only Looking for My Rights”: Legal Employment Still Inaccessible to Refugees in Turkey, finds that without legal employment, refugees become trapped in a cycle of informal work where the risk of exploitation and abuse is high and wages are low. Refugees in Turkey face enormous

Bearing Witness to Crimes Against Humanity

Bearing Witness to Crimes Against Humanity

Following the violent expulsion of some 400,000 Rohingya in Myanmar in the course of three weeks (now more than 500,000), Refugees International (RI) President Eric Schwartz and Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel Sullivan traveled to Bangladesh to assess the situation and bear witness. This policy brief is based on that mission, which involved interviews with Rohingya refugees who recently arrived from Myanmar as well as with United Nations and Bangladesh government officials and international aid workers in Bangladesh. 

Guilt by Association: Iraqi Women Detained and Subject to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Guilt by Association: Iraqi Women Detained and Subject to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

After the liberation of Mosul from Islamic State (ISIS) occupation in July 2017, Refugees International (RI) traveled to Iraq to examine the specific challenges faced by women and girls in the aftermath of the military operation. Among the most urgent issues are the detention and sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) of Iraqi women and girls perceived or alleged to be affiliated with ISIS by Iraqi Security Forces and other Iraqi authorities.

Too Much Too Soon: Displaced Iraqis and the Push to Return Home

Too Much Too Soon: Displaced Iraqis and the Push to Return Home

The battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq is in its late stages, but in the aftermath of the conflict new challenges arise. There are 11 million people in Iraq who need humanitarian assistance. The original causes of their vulnerability — conflict and displacement – may be lessening, but their unmet daily needs remain.