BLOG

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.

November 08, 2013 Marcy Hersh Africa, DR Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Middle East, Women & Children

There is always a convenient excuse. In Haiti, we don't have the time. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we don't have the funding. In the Syrian refugee response, we don't have the experts. Somehow, there is always a pat answer to why we, the humanitarian community, fail to protect women and girls in emergency after emergency.

November 05, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, DR Congo, Rwanda, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

After 20 months of shelling, occupation, and displacement, the M23 rebel group announced today that it is ending its insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The announcement comes after months of negotiations in Kampala between M23 and the Congolese government, where little progress was made towards agreeing on terms to end the conflict. Last week, after the talks broke down completely, the government recaptured the M23 stronghold town of Bunagana, and in the following days it steadily pushed M23 from each of its remaining centers of power.

October 31, 2013 Jeff Crisp Afghanistan, Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia - Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Just a few years ago, the countries of the European Union (EU) thought they were finally getting control over the flow of refugees and asylum seekers across their borders. Having peaked at 670,000 in 1992, the number of asylum applications submitted in the EU fell rapidly in successive years, slumping to just 200,000 in 2006.

October 30, 2013 Melanie Teff Myanmar, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Protection & Security

This piece first appeared in The Networker.

A recent humanitarian crisis that has created multiple dilemmas for humanitarian actors has been the unfolding situation affecting the Rohingya population in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

October 29, 2013 Marcy Hersh Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Women & Children

Amina hasn't had a full night of sleep in more than a year. Ever since she fled her home in northern Mali last fall, she has been haunted by terrifying memories of violence. When my colleagues from Refugees International and I visited her in the Malian capital, Bamako, she volunteered to share her story with me.

October 24, 2013 Daryl Grisgraber Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

Last week, Amnesty International issued a report on Syrian refugees in Egypt, which revealed that some Syrians are now trying to leave Egypt by dangerous means like sea crossings to Europe. In recent weeks the media has been full of stories of people – including many Syrians – drowning at sea between Alexandria and European ports. Hundreds of others are being held in detention after failing in their attempts or being arbitrarily arrested.

October 22, 2013 Michelle Brown Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

On October 11, a boat carrying roughly 400 displaced Malians returning to their homes in the north capsized on the Niger River. According to press reports, 72 people have been confirmed dead, many of them school children. This tragedy is a stark reminder of how difficult it will be to bring displaced Malians home again.

October 21, 2013 Alice Thomas Africa, Climate Displacement, Americas, Humanitarian Response, Asia, Middle East

Tomorrow at 6pm Eastern time, I’ll be participating in “24 Hours of Reality,” the third annual live-streamed show organized by the Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

October 17, 2013 Marcy Hersh Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Women & Children

This post originally appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.

Biba snaps her fingers to get my attention, struggling to be heard over the din of the crowd – all of them competing to share their story of how they came to Bamako. My colleagues from Refugees International and I turn to face her directly and the others quiet down.

October 16, 2013 Eileen Shields-West Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

As conflicts go, it was relatively short. An ethnic Tuareg rebellion that began in northern Mali in January 2012 spread like wildfire when armed Islamist groups linked to Al Qaeda usurped control. A military coup in March of last year further weakened the government’s ability to respond. Fabled Timbuktu and commercial Gao (two major cities in the North) were overrun by rebels, and their citizens suffered such acts of terror and atrocities that many still cannot speak about them. Others cannot sleep without being awakened by horrific dreams of those days.

October 11, 2013 Michelle Brown Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

This post originally appeared at UN Dispatch.

More than a year ago, families fled northern Mali in droves after insurgents there routed Malian forces. While some of those families became refugees in nearby countries, most simply fled to the country’s south.

October 08, 2013 Jeff Crisp Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Humanitarian Response, Middle East, Protection & Security, Women & Children

In less than three years, the Syrian refugee population has become the largest in the world, surpassing the number of people who have been forced to flee longstanding conflicts such as those in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan.

October 07, 2013 Guest Climate Displacement, Haiti, Americas, Humanitarian Response

It’s been over three years since the earthquake in Haiti devastated the capital Port-au-Prince, killing an estimated 230,000 people and leaving 1.2 million homeless.

October 04, 2013 Michelle Brown Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security, Women & Children

In the two months since Mali elected a new president, cautious optimism has prevailed throughout the country. The French military intervention succeeded in driving out Al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the north and has paved the way for the central government to reestablish its authority throughout the country. The UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has begun the process of deploying peacekeepers, although the mission won’t be fully operational until the end of the year.

October 04, 2013 Jamie Armstrong Dominican Republic, Haiti, Americas, Statelessness, Women & Children

Juliana Dequis Pierre is 29 years old and lives in Yamasa in the Dominican Republic (DR). She attended school until the fifth grade but cannot read. Juliana has four children and works as a maid, earning the equivalent of $140 a week. And as of two weeks ago, she is stateless.

October 02, 2013 Caelin Briggs Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Humanitarian Response, Protection & Security

As we start the month of October, we thought it would be good to take stock of the recent developments in South Sudan, and to highlight some of the issues RI will be watching over the coming months.

September 30, 2013 Marcy Hersh Africa, Mali, Humanitarian Response, Women & Children

This post originally appeared at SahelNOW.

Mbera is the biggest refugee camp that you've never heard of. With a population of more than 70,000 refugees, Mbera is the sixth largest camp in the world. It is located in a remote area of Mauritania near the border with Mali, and since early 2012, a mix of Tuareg and Arab refugees from northern Mali have fled across the border into this highly arid region.