Statement from Eric Schwartz, President, Refugees International, on Secretary of State Pompeo’s announcement on the FY 2019 refugee ceiling:
Washington, D.C. — As a group of US-based humanitarian and development NGOs, we are deeply concerned by the Trump administration’s decision to stop funding programs that meet the basic needs of Palestinians at a time of acute suffering brought on by years of conflict and isolation.
Jordan is one of the countries most affected by the Syrian crisis, now in its eighth year. A country of fewer than 10 million, Jordan hosts more than 750,000 registered refugees. The vast majority are from Syria, but Jordan also hosts tens of thousands of refugees from other countries, including Iraq, Yemen, and Sudan, and many more who are not registered.
Refugees International is deeply concerned by indications that the Assad regime and its international partners are preparing to launch a major military operation to capture Idlib province. Idlib is the largest remaining area not under government control in Syria. It is also home to up to three million civilians – almost half of whom have sought refuge in Idlib or were evacuated there to escape advances by Syrian government forces elsewhere in the country. An offensive in Idlib would likely result in a humanitarian catastrophe.
By Daniel Sullivan AUGUST 2018
For decades, armed conflicts have ravaged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), resulting in massive displacement and critical humanitarian needs. A complex mix of emergencies have plagued the country—from brutal armed violence to interethnic conflict to sweeping Cholera and Ebola epidemics. These emergencies, both acute and protracted, are being exacerbated by high social and political tensions in the lead up to national elections, which are scheduled for December 2018. The elections are two years overdue.
Daryl Grisgraber August 16, 2018
Francisca Vigaud-Walsh July 25, 2018
The following is testimony delivered by Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel P. Sullivan at a July 25, 2018 Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing on “Victims’ Rights in Burma.”
Thank you, Chairman McGovern, Chairman Hultgren, and members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for holding this important hearing.
By Jesse Marks and Hardin Lang
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 Senior Advocate Daryl Grisgraber and Vice President for Programs and Policy Hardin Lang authored this report, based on their mission to northeast Syria, Turkey, and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in April 2018.
The international community - and the United States, in particular - has an important opportunity to consolidate significant but fragile gains in northeast Syria. As this part of the country has largely emerged from the crisis fomented by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), hundreds of thousands of people have begun to return home.
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.
Refugees International (RI) notes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Development Program with the Government of Myanmar which would allow the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. However, RI is deeply concerned that continued impunity, restricted access to aid, and denial of basic human rights in Myanmar’s Rakhine State make repatriation a distant reality at this time.