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12 Mar 2015 description

Authors: Michael Boyce and Mark Yarnell


25 Aug 2014 description

In November of 2013, the government of Saudi Arabia began expelling large numbers of foreign nationals, including some 550,000 Yemenis, 180,000 Ethiopians, and 36,000 Somalis. While there has been little international attention or condemnation of these deportations, the returning individuals and their countries of origin have suffered many logistical, economic, and social ramifications due to this decision.

09 Mar 2012 description

Testimony of Mark Yarnell, Advocate
March 8, 2012
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, U.S. House of Representatives

Co-Chairman McGovern and Co-Chairman Wolf: thank you for the opportunity to appear today. I returned recently from a research trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my observations.

15 Dec 2011 description

When famine was declared in Somalia in July, the world turned its attention to the crisis in the Horn of Africa. Since then, public and media attention has waned, despite the fact that the crisis is far from over. Food production in Somalia will not return to normal levels until the end of 2012 at the earliest. Rising insecurity inside Somalia and Kenya is impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid while greater numbers of Somalis are forced to flee violence and hunger.

09 Nov 2011 description

November 08, 2011 | Michel Gabaudan

I spent two weeks in the Horn of Africa last month, and what I learned there was sobering: The recent influx of Somali refugees has swollen camps in Kenya and Ethiopia to critical levels. Kenya’s Dadaab camp now plays host to half a million people, while the population of Dolo camp in Ethiopia has tripled to 120,000. And the many small graves I saw in Ethiopia’s Kobe camp spoke to the heartbreaking price Somalis are paying more than three months into a devastating famine.

04 Nov 2011 description

November 03, 2011 | Alice Thomas

Next month, the United Nations will hold a high-level ministerial meeting to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugees Convention. For more than half a century, the Convention and its 1967 Protocol have provided protection to millions of vulnerable people fleeing conflict and persecution in their home countries.

07 Jul 2011 description

July 06, 2011 | Garrett Bradford

The Horn of Africa is experiencing the worst drought in almost sixty years affecting ten million people. Somalia is one of the nations in the region hit hardest by the extreme lack of rain. It is also one of the poorest and most crisis-prone countries on the planet. Somalia is experiencing the driest season on record since the mid-20th century, resulting in widespread famine.

03 Nov 2010 description


November 03, 2010 | Eileen Shields-West

It is impossible to get your arms around the complexities of housing close to 290,000 refugees in Dadaab, in northeast Kenya. Dadaab is made up of three adjoining camps: Ifo, Hagadera, and Dagahaley. It is especially difficult when the three camps, which were originally meant to accommodate only 90,000 people, have been forced to shelter over 300,000.

16 Jun 2010 description

Tens of thousands of Somali refugees have sought asylum in cities in neighboring countries but have long been overlooked by humanitarian actors. Many of these refugees have found ways to survive in Nairobi, Djibouti, Aden, and Sana'a and have become self-reliant, but others suffer from police harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention, and forced return. Registration and documentation should be the foundation of refugee protection in cities. Partnerships with community-based organizations and ongoing refugee profiling is essential to identify and serve the most vulnerable.

02 Sep 2009 description

Policy recommendations

- UNHCR should take stronger leadership in pressing governments to find and implement solutions for stateless persons and urge all countries, including the U.S., to become party and adhere to the statelessness conventions.

- H.E. the Amir of Kuwait and the Parliament should formalize and implement a plan to secure the civil and political rights to which every person is entitled.

06 Apr 2009 description

When we met with a group of 300 Ethiopian Anyuak refugees in February in Sudan, we had no idea that a week later they would be calling us because they were caught up in heavy fighting between northern and southern Sudanese forces. The Government of Southern Sudan and the United Nations had failed to protect them.

The group had fled in 2003 after their community suffered targeted attacks in Ethiopia. Their experience since arriving in Sudan had not been a good one. They had been forced to move twice after harassment and attacks.

11 Mar 2009 description


The world community is no longer silent about statelessness. In recent years, countries such as Bangladesh, Estonia, Mauritania, Nepal, and Sri Lanka have made significant strides to protect the rights of stateless persons. The response of the United Nations (UN) has improved. Non-governmental agencies, legal experts, affected individuals, and others are joining forces to gather more accurate information and reduce the incidence of this often overlooked global phenomenon. Media attention has increased.

07 Jan 2009 description

Policy recommendations

- The UN Secretariat must conduct a broad review of the UNMIS military and civilian protection role, emphasize the need for UNMIS to take a more proactive stance towards protecting civilians, and provide guidance to military peacekeepers on protection tasks.

- DPKO must renegotiate agreements with troop-contributing countries to include a civilian protection role.

- UNMIS senior leadership must bring together all agencies --- its own units, UN agencies, and NGOs --- involved in protection activities in the north, the contested areas, and the south to …

22 Oct 2008 description


Statelessness, or the lack of effective nationality, impacts the daily lives of some 11-12 million people around the world. Perhaps those who suffer most are stateless infants, children and youth. Though born and raised in their parents' country of habitual residence, they lack formal recognition of their existence. A few key steps taken by individual countries and UN agencies can help reduce statelessness among infants and children and prevent millions of youth from growing up isolated from society.

28 Jul 2008 description

Some 25 kilometers inside Ethiopia's border with Eritrea, the Shimelba Refugee Camp is home to more than 17,900 individuals who have fled from Eritrea for reasons that include religious persecution, fear of forced military conscription of males from age 18 to 40 that generally includes hard labor, and attempting to rejoin family left behind during the border conflict.

07 Jul 2008 description

A centuries-long history of unity and separation continues to vex Ethiopia and Eritrea. Between May 1998 and June 2000, the two countries engaged in a border war in which tens of thousands of combatants were killed and some 650,000 civilians displaced.

11 Jun 2008 description

During the 1998-2000 border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, more than 70,000 people died, 650,000 were displaced, and at least 70,000 individuals were deported, Ethiopians from Eritrea and Eritreans from Ethiopia. But these were not the only victims of the conflict.

30 May 2008 description

Despite strong historic and ethnic ties, relations between Eritrea and Ethiopia have rarely been smooth. As a result, and particularly over the past decade, nationality rights of residents of both countries have been at risk.

After Eritrea's 30-year struggle for independence, the country peacefully became a state in 1993 through a referendum in which Eritreans in Ethiopia also voted.