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.
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.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is coming to Washington to finalize negotiations with President Trump on a “safe third country agreement” that would be an egregious violation of law and common decency.
Like many around the world and in the United States, Refugees International is shocked and gravely concerned by numerous recent revelations of inhumane detention conditions for asylum seekers, including children.
Countries throughout the Americas are facing significant migration and refugee challenges. As human mobility increases, governments must commit to respond. Together with organizations from throughout the region, Refugees International has formed the Coalition on Human Mobility in the Americas, to elevate the matter before the Organization of American States 49th General Assembly. In its statement, presented on June 26, 2019, the Coalition highlighted four key priorities.
Refugees International President Eric Schwartz comments on the tragic image of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria from El Salvador whose deaths are the inevitable result of inhumane and unconscionable policies that prevent people from seeking asylum in safety and dignity.
The stories we are publishing today in observance of World Refugee Day are powerful examples of individuals who have overcome obstacles thrust upon them through no fault of their own. They arrived in their places of refuge or resettlement unsure and often alone, and have thrived as writers, musicians, social workers, advocates, and more. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, sons, friends—and neighbors.
It is unconscionable and inhumane for the United States of America to force Guatemala to agree to being a ‘safe third country,’ and, thus, a haven for Central American asylum seekers when, in truth, it is nothing of the sort.
Following the registration period for Venezuelan refugees in Trinidad and Tobago, thousands remain unregistered. Refugees International is gravely concerned about the possibility that arrests and deportations may follow and urges the government of Trinidad and Tobago to extend the registration period.
Refugees International has observed with concern the inhumane handling of asylum seekers from Central America, particularly through the “Remain in Mexico” policy. In a statement for the record, we offer clear legislative options that would help address the crisis.
Refugees International President Eric Schwartz says agreement extending the “Remain in Mexico” policy “is wicked and immoral because it deliberately imposes grave risks upon highly vulnerable children, women, and men in violation of the most fundamental principles of decency.”
As Mozambique prepares to host an international pledging conference May 31-June 1 for reconstruction following cyclones Idai and Kenneth, Refugees International urges donor governments, UN agencies, and most importantly, the Mozambican government to prioritize support for cyclone-affected communities in three ways: boost funding for immediate lifesaving assistance, invest in work opportunities for displaced people, and prepare for a looming food crisis.
Although the president’s comments on refugees and asylum were short on details, they foreshadow a parade of horribles that will perpetuate his administration’s unmitigated hostility toward asylum seekers.
Since the Syrian regime and its Russian ally stepped up their bombardment of Idlib province in February, more than 140,000 civilian men, women, and children have been forced to flee for their lives. It is difficult to overstate the urgency of this looming humanitarian disaster if nothing is done to protect these people who often have lost everything.
Refugees International is deeply concerned about plans announced by the government of Bangladesh to begin relocating Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char, an isolated island more than 30 miles off the coast of Bangladesh.
The efforts of individuals to seek asylum in the United States does not constitute a national security crisis. In manufacturing this so-called crisis, the administration seeks to justify its efforts to close off asylum in violation of American law and tradition.
Refugees International welcomes the comments by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago this week that his government is working to grant Venezuelans on the islands the right to work and to an education.
Refugees International is deeply alarmed by a new policy from the Trump administration that prevents Central Americans from seeking asylum along the U.S. southern border. Under the policy, asylum seekers will now be forced to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed. This is a stark violation of U.S. and international law.
Refugees International today strongly urges the Congress to reject the End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act of 2019 in its current form due to measures it would impose that violate U.S. commitments to refugee protection and abuse human rights.
Refugees International warns that an abrupt withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria will create a power vacuum that will likely lead to a new round of conflict. Renewed fighting will disrupt communities, displace additional populations, and could trigger another humanitarian crisis.
Refugees International applauds today’s broad endorsement of the Global Compact on Refugees by the UN General Assembly. This represents a critical step toward improving the lives of some 25 million refugees around the world who have fled their home countries in search of safety.