Most read reports
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- 2018 Global Hunger Index: Forced Migration and Hunger
- Working Together to End Child Marriage: How governments can end child marriage by accelerating coordinated action across education, health, protection and other sectors
Eric Schwartz June 21, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order (EO) on June 20, entitled “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation.” In that executive order, the president announced an intention to alter the policy of separating adult asylum seekers from their children by incarcerating adults and children together while the adults are undergoing criminal prosecution.
As we mark World Refugee Day 2018 on June 20, governments confront humanitarian challenges of enormous proportion, with more than 68 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) around the world. The U.S. government has long played a key role in helping meet the needs of refugees and IDPs. Thus, it is appropriate and important that Refugees International (RI) evaluates and offers a report card on the Trump administration’s progress on refugee and humanitarian protection.
Eric Schwartz, June 19, 2018
Refugees International condemns the separation of children from parents seeking protection in the United States. These measures are nowhere mandated in U.S. law, are inhumane, and risk creating psychological and emotional damage to the children and their families.
Refugees International is dismayed by the Italian government’s refusal to allow the SOS Mediteranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ship, the Aquarius, to disembark in Italy. The ship currently carries 629 refugees and migrants rescued from sea off the Libyan coast.
On June 10, Italy’s new Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini declined to allow the Aquarius to dock in Italy, instead calling on Malta to accept the ship. But the government of Malta also refused, and as a result the Aquarius was left with no place to dock.
UN Member States are now more than halfway through the process of developing a Global Compact for Refugees (GRC) and a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). On June 4, UNHCR released a third draft of the GCR (GCR Draft 3) and will lead a fifth round of consultation with States next week in Geneva.
Statement for the Record
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing
“Full Committee Hearing Review of the FY 2019 State Department Budget Request”
May 24, 2018
Refugees International (RI) remains alarmed by the significant budget cuts proposed in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget, which was released on February 12, 2018. Budgets define priorities** **and this budget proposal, if approved by Congress, would be devastating to lifesaving humanitarian work across the globe.** **
We, UN and non-UN entities, re-affirm our determination to prevent future acts of sexual exploitation and abuse by our personnel.
We note the issuance of this Statement at the High-level Conference on Eliminating Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and NGO Personnel on 4 December 2006 in New York, USA and welcome future endorsement of this Statement by others.
(Athens) – The Greek government’s move on April 20, 2018, overturning a binding court ruling ordering it to end its abusive policy of trapping asylum seekers on Greece’s islands raises rule of law concerns, 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations said today.
By Izza Leghtas
Today, European policies designed to keep asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy are trapping thousands of men, women and children in appalling conditions in Libya. This Refugees International report describes the harrowing experiences of people detained in Libya’s notoriously abusive immigration detention system where they are exposed to appalling conditions and grave human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and physical and sexual abuse.
The process to draft and adopt a Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) is well under way. Since releasing an initial draft of the Compact in January, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has convened three rounds of formal consultations in Geneva among UN Member States. There are three additional rounds scheduled before the text is to be finalized in advance of the UN General Assembly in September 2018.
Governments around the world have a critical opportunity this year to make systematic improvements to how the world assists and protects refugees and migrants. In September 2016, UN member states adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, in which they committed to improve planning for and response to large movements of refugees and migrants. As part of this process, UN member states pledged to create and adopt both a Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) by the fall of 2018.
Ahead of the First Formal Consultations for the Global Compact on Refugees, 14 international NGOs and InterAction signed a statement in which they reflect on the Zero Draft of the Global Compact on Refugees, including their recommendations to ensure that the Compact leads to a better response to the large movement of refugees, greater equity across States, and support refugees to live in safety and dignity.
The EU and European governments continue to fail in their responsibilities to refugees and migrants who face severe abuse in Libyan detention centers operated by the Government of National Accord (GNA). To date, European efforts have focused on stopping refugees and migrants from reaching Italy’s shores and enabling the Libyan coast guard to return them to Libya.
By Izza Leghtas and Ann Hollingsworth
While refugees are allowed to seek employment under Turkish law, legal jobs are largely inaccessible for the vast majority of refugees in Turkey. In its study, “I Am Only Looking for My Rights”: Legal Employment Still Inaccessible to Refugees in Turkey, Refugees International examines the challenges and consequences facing refugees as they seek employment in Turkey. The study is based on a October 2017 research mission.
Refugees International (RI) welcomes this week’s decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which reaffirms an EU scheme for a fairer distribution of asylum-seekers among EU member states. The EU court’s ruling is an important reminder to EU member states of the need for solidarity and responsibility sharing when it comes to the arrival of people in need of international protection.
SUMMARY OF REPORT
Supported by the American people and the United States Congress over many decades, the U.S. government has been at the forefront of efforts to ease the suffering of civilians who have endured forced displacement and deprivation.
The Trump administration is now engaged in a broad effort to consider the organization of the U.S. government, which will include an examination of how the government is structured for international humanitarian response.
Refugees International Field Report
By Izza Leghtas
As Europe faces its largest movement of refugees and migrants since World War II, the majority of refugees and migrants are reaching its borders by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. While the majority of refugees and migrants arrived in Europe by crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece in 2015 and early 2016, the main route is currently between Libya and Italy.
Turkey is the world’s largest host of refugees and asylum-seekers, with the majority – 2.8 million – having fled the conflict in neighboring Syria. Another 290,000 come from other countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. The Turkish government has taken a number of positive steps to improve the lives of Syrians in Turkey, particularly in education and employment, even holding out the possibility for citizenship.
There are close to 60 million people currently displaced by war and persecution, the most since World War II. You have undoubtedly seen the media coverage of the crisis in the Mediterranean that illustrates the enormous challenges refugees face in trying to access protection and assistance. Advocating for life-saving protection for refugees and displaced people has been Refugees International’s mission for more than 35 years.