In a letter addressed to Mexican President-Elect López Obrador and U.S. Vice President Pence, 19 former senior U.S. officials involved in national security, refugees and asylum, and Western hemispheric affairs urged the governments of Mexico and the United States to emphasize that the issue of migration from Central America is primarily a humanitarian issue.
As the number of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in desperate situations worldwide reaches historic levels, no nation alone can respond effectively to the challenge this presents. But two new agreements, the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration, are historic efforts to seek international cooperation. Alice Thomas and Mark Yarnell outline some of the key achievements of the compacts and make recommendations for moving them forward.
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.
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.
Refugees International President Eric Schwartz issues a statement as the United States announced its decision to end its participation in the effort to develop a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Schwartz states that the U.S. decision is irresponsible and will limit U.S. capacity to influence a critical international discussion.
During their White House meeting, President Trump and Libya's Prime Minister al-Sarraj should discuss the plight of refugees and migrants in Libya, especially those housed in government-run detention facilities. Refugees International and other organizations have documented abuses taking place in these facilities. The U.S. president should urge the Libyan government to hold accountable those responsible.
As the Administration considers reorganization of the government, more than 40 former U.S. diplomats and national security officials who have served in Republican and Democratic administrations along with 18 humanitarian organization leaders called on the Trump administration to affirm the key role of the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. The letter was delivered to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday, with copies sent to leadership on Capitol Hill.