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Protecting all detained immigrants from rape and abuse

The Women's Refugee Commission helped draft and joined 45 other organizations in signing a letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano calling for the Department of Homeland Security to develop strong, comprehensive Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards based closely on those issued by the Department of Justice.

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

We write to provide our support for the development of comprehensive standards by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). As noted in the May 17th White House memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies, President Obama directed “all agencies with Federal confinement facilities that are not already subject to the Department of Justice’s final [PREA] rule to work with the Attorney General to propose, within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, any rules or procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements of PREA and to finalize any such rules or procedures within 240 days of their proposal.”

Read more: Protecting all detained immigrants from rape and abuse

When Parents Are Deported

Read today's New York Times Letter-to-the Editor by Senior Program Officer Emily Butera on how deported immigrants are often denied the right to bring their children home with them.

Immigrant Detainees

Michelle Brané's letter on immigrant detainees in response to an article entitled "Getting Tough on Immigrants to Turn a Profit" has been published by the New York Times.

Re: Prophet Motive

The Women's Refugee Commission's Director of Protection, Dale Buscher, wrote a letter to The New Yorker in response to John Cassidy's article, "Prophet Motive". Buscher points out that the "Islamic countries experiencing rapid growth" have more of their women participating in the labor force — a fact that Cassidy's article failed to account for.

Read the letter as it appeared in The New Yorker.

Call for House to Restore Funding Levels for Humanitarian Aid

The Women's Refugee Commission joined 28 other international aid organizations in writing to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House leaders urging them to restore funding for humanitarian assistance, which they drastically cut in the spending bill passed last weekend.

Read the letter.

Women in Detention from The Statesman

In a letter to the editor of The Statesman, Emily Butera, program officer for the Detention and Asylum program, talks about the "actions taken to bring to justice a guard accused of sexually assaulting female detainees who were being transferred from the T. Don Hutto federal detention facility in Taylor to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport."

Read the letter as it appeared in The Statesman.

CNN International’s “Inside Africa”

CNN International’s “Inside Africa” featured highlights from the Women’s Refugee Commission’s new Refugees with Disabilities report and an interview with Abdi Salah, a Somalian refugee who lived with a disability in Kenyan camps.

Need for Clean Cook Stoves in New York Times

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, Sarah Costa, executive director, talks about the need for clean cook stoves in refugee settings. Read the letter as it appeared in the New York Times.

The Secretary-General's Message on World Refugee Day

On this observance of World Refugee Day, we must note a troubling trend: the decline in the number of refugees who are able to go home.

In 2005, more than a million people returned to their own country on a voluntary basis. Last year, only 250,000 did so - the lowest number in two decades. The reasons for this include prolonged instability in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan.

Read more: The Secretary-General's Message on World Refugee Day

Security for Haitians

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, Sandra Krause, director of our reproductive health program, talks about the ongoing needs of women and girls in Haiti. Read the letter as it appeared in the New York Times.