BLOG

February 13, 2014 Jeff Crisp Asia, Protection & Security

“Stop the boats.” That was one of the principal slogans used by the winning Coalition in the September 2013 Australian election. And in the six months since he assumed office, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has left no one in any doubt as to his determination to prevent asylum seekers from making their way to the country by sea.

February 11, 2014 Marcy Hersh Climate Displacement, Philippines, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Women & Children

The island of Leyte in the Philippines may be one of the only places in the world where beachfront property is completely undesirable. Those who live along Leyte's eastern beaches know that the sea's destructive power can suddenly sweep away everything they hold dear.

February 10, 2014 Guest Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

On December 16 last year, refugees began to flood across the border from South Sudan into Uganda as a result of an outbreak of violence in their country of origin. In the past two months the number of new arrivals has grown to roughly 66,000. They are being hosted in three areas: Adjumani, Arua, and Kiryandongo.    

February 06, 2014 Jeff Crisp Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

Refugee resettlement is in the news. At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, speakers from both ends of the political spectrum called on the country to admit some of the 2.3 million Syrians who have become refugees. “While the United States has led the world in resettling and providing humanitarian assistance to refugees from conflicts around the globe, we’ve not done enough to address the current Syrian crisis,” said Senator Dick Durbin.

January 30, 2014 Sarnata Reynolds Africa, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Israel, Middle East, Protection & Security

In January, tens of thousands of African asylum seekers and Israeli citizens demonstrated against the government's deeply flawed asylum policy. They railed against its refusal to consider applications for protection and its policy of indefinitely detaining asylum seekers without charge or cause. Thousands of asylum seekers walked out of their jobs in restaurants, hotels, and other businesses as a way of demonstrating their concrete value to Israeli society. Some of those same businesses even provided food to the demonstrators in a show of support.

January 27, 2014 Marcy Hersh Climate Displacement, Philippines, Asia, Women & Children

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall, cut a path of destruction across the central Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people and displacing approximately four million.

January 13, 2014 Refugees Intern...

Refugees International is saddened by the death of Bill Clarke, RI Board Chair from 1986 to 1996 and later Board Chair emeritus. We are deeply grateful for Bill's extraordinary service to RI and to displaced people across the world. Below, past and present RI leaders reflect on his life and legacy.

Bill Clarke and RI Board Member Judy MayotteBill Clarke and RI Board Member Judy Mayotte

January 08, 2014 Eileen Shields-West Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

This post originally appeared at Politix.

It was unbelievably festive on the day, July 9, 2011, that South Sudan became the world's newest independent country. From the United States, President Barack Obama sent a message that "the map of the world has been redrawn," and South Sudan's popularly-elected leader, Salva Kiir, declared that "the eyes of the world are on us now."

January 02, 2014 Jeff Crisp Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Women & Children

The Syrian emergency has erupted with unprecedented speed and on a scale that no one envisaged when it began less than three years ago.

More than half of Syria’s population is now in need of humanitarian assistance. Six million people have been forced to abandon their homes but remain within the country. Well over two million have become refugees in other states.

December 20, 2013 Guest Africa, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Israel, Sudan, Middle East, Protection & Security
On the 16th of September 2013, the Israeli High Court of Justice invalidated the Prevention of Infiltration Act (Amendment no. 3), that allowed the incarceration of asylum seekers from Africa for up to three years. During the months following the decision, while authorities were working exceptionally slowly to release asylum seekers from prison, the Israeli Knesset started working on a new bill to replace the invalidated act. And in less than a month, its swift legislation process was over. 
December 12, 2013 Jeff Crisp Congress, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Middle East

When masses of refugees escape from one developing country and find sanctuary in another, they invariably place serious pressures on the people, land, environment, water supply, infrastructure, and public services of the areas where they settle. And yet the needs of refugee-hosting communities are all too often unrecognized and unmet.

This important gap in the humanitarian response to refugee emergencies is caused by a number of different factors.

December 09, 2013 Alice Thomas Climate Displacement, Americas

Two weeks ago, the High Court of New Zealand rejected a Kiribati man’s request for asylum as a “climate change refugee.” Ione Teitiota argued that he should be entitled to protection as a refugee because rising sea levels and environmental hazards caused by climate change were endangering his life on Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in the South Pacific. 

December 06, 2013 Marcy Hersh DR Congo, Mali, South Sudan, Protection & Security, Women & Children

I’m exhausted. And not because of the rapidly approaching holidays. No, I’m exhausted because my schedule is packed with a seemingly endless stream of high-level meetings, panel discussions, roundtables, photo exhibitions, protests, marches, and congressional hearings – all of them focused on raising awareness of gender-based violence in emergencies.

December 05, 2013 Jeff Crisp Congress, Iraq, Syria, U.S. Administration, United Nations, Humanitarian Response, Middle East

This blog first appeared in The Hill Congress Blog.

I first visited Domiz refugee camp in May 2013. Situated near the city of Dohuk in northern Iraq, and spread out over 1.5 million square meters of land which once housed an army base, the camp accommodates around 45,000 Syrian Kurds who have escaped from the conflict in their homeland, the border of which is just 70 kilometers away.

November 26, 2013 Elizabeth Galvi... Jordan, Syria, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security

A few days ago, we spent the day at Jordan’s Zaatari camp, as part of a team from Refugees International. We spoke to Syrians who had crossed the border on foot, people whose homes and bodies had been damaged by rockets, people who wanted to be relocated to Europe, and people who want to return to Syria but fear they never can.

November 22, 2013 Sarnata Reynolds Africa, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Israel, South Sudan, Sudan, Middle East, Statelessness

This week, Israel submitted a legal brief to the High Court of Justice stating that it would stop issuing birth certificates to the children of foreigners born in the country. This new policy is purportedly intended to prevent migrants from making a claim to citizenship based on birth in Israel (an impossibility as Israeli law does not provide for this benefit unless at least one parent is a citizen of Israel). However, it may have the unintentional consequence of creating new stateless populations.

November 19, 2013 Guest Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Protection & Security

Fear was never so close to me in Nairobi than on September 21 of this year, when Al Shabab gunmen stormed the Westgate Mall. I was with some friends at the time in a small makeshift tea shop on a street in Eastleigh, where many Somalis live. Everyone in that area was going about their business.

When I first heard about the attack, I followed the news on radio and TV. My assumption was that what was happening in Westgate was a robbery, but everything instantly changed when it was announced that Somali Islamist group Al-Shabab was responsible. I froze in fear.

November 14, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Middle East

Two and a half years after the humanitarian crisis began, more Syrians than ever are displaced, either inside the country or in neighboring states. In the past six months, in particular, we’ve witnessed more and more desperate attempts by civilians to find safety beyond Syria’s borders.