The common barriers to return in the cases of Rohingya refugees and South Sudanese IDPs prompt serious questions about how to ensure the safety and voluntariness of returns.
Americans are well acquainted with the influx of Central American asylum seekers along the southern United States border. But the Central Americans are not alone. Lost in the news cycle are people of many nationalities who have crossed continents to seek refuge in the United States. One such group from Cameroon has been forced to flee in part by contradictions in U.S. policy, only to have America slam the door in their face.
The right to seek asylum has long been enshrined in domestic and international law. And yet a new rule proposed by the Trump administration would make it all but impossible for most people to apply for asylum at the southern border. Despite these attacks on the U.S. asylum system, Carly Goodman, S. Deborah Kang, and Yael Schacher describe how history has shown that advocacy can prevail and protect the rights of asylum seekers.
Across the globe, the number of people forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution has risen to more than 70 million, almost double the number a decade ago, according to the latest annual report from the UN High Commission for Refugees.
Ever since Congress denied funding for his border wall, President Trump has blamed Democrats for allowing smugglers to “tape up” women and traffic them over the border. There’s little evidence to support that claim. Yet, a House Homeland Security Advisory Council report suggested that the way to stop exploitation of Central American kids is to adopt a policy of swift repatriation and prolonged detention of children seeking asylum. This is an unserious and inhumane approach to the horrors of exploitation and persecution.
One of the greatest humanitarian disasters in Syria to date is looming. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his backers, including Russia and Iran, have steadily regained control of most of the country. The northwest governor of Idlib and its surroundings in northern Hama and Aleppo countryside are the rebels’ last stronghold. Now Damascus and its allies are applying their brutal efforts there. While the immediate threat to civilians there is dire, if Assad isn’t stopped what comes after could be even worse.
With support from Russia and Iran, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has regained control over most of the country’s territory. Yet, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. In the first eight months of 2018 alone, nearly 1.4 million people were displaced by violence. Now the warning lights are blinking red in Idlib and other areas outside of regime control. Many of the Syria’s 5.5 million refugees are under mounting pressure to return home before it is safe to do so.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Houthi-led rebel movement agreed to a cease-fire in the port city of Hodeidah and its surrounding governorate on Thursday, following a week of UN–sponsored peace talks in Sweden. If it holds, this agreement would mark a major diplomatic breakthrough. Here’s why it matters and what to watch moving forward.
The Global Compact for Migration will only be effective if countries move forward with its implementation. However, what is important is that the compact’s 23 objectives embody a comprehensive set of best practices for managing migration in a safe, orderly manner which requires the cooperation of countries of origin, transit and destination.
The nations that are attending the Inter-governmental Conference on Migration in Morocco and the UN climate change negotiations in Poland clearly understand what the current U.S. administration does not (or doesn’t want to): Meeting the challenges of international migration and climate change is not a zero-sum game. Refusing to join cooperative efforts to find joint solutions does not make your own problems better, but worse.