Refugees International Welcomes Inclusion of Refugee Sanitation Facility Safety Act in NDAA

Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for Women and Girls Devon Cone:

“The inclusion of the Refugee Sanitation Facility Safety Act in the National Defense Authorization Act is an important, practical step toward ensuring the dignity of women in displacement. Refugees International thanks Representative Grace Meng of New York for her leadership drafting and sponsoring this meaningful legislation.

The Act addresses a significant problem: refugee women and girls often have to travel long distances on unlit paths to use bathrooms in camp settings. Sometimes these bathrooms have no locks. Women in camps have told me that they sometimes use diapers or try not to drink anything for as long as they can so that they don’t need to leave the confines of their makeshift homes. Women who have fled persecution should not have to risk their safety just to use the toilet.

The Act is simple—it requires organizations that receive U.S. funding to address these issues and ensure that refugee women and girls can use bathrooms safely.

This no-brainer policy will make a difference in the lives of refugee women around the world.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at

Banner Photo Caption: A group of Rohingya women queue up to use the bathrooms at a transit camp in Lhokseumawe on the northern coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island on September 8, 2020. Photo by Rahmat Mirza/AFP via Getty Images.