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    How Technology Can Accelerate Gender Inclusion

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    Dale Buscher, Senior Director at the Women’s Refugees Commission spoke powerfully to the need for a sea-change in thinking about humanitarian work – recognizing the scale and duration of the challenge, and the need to be thinking about solutions and step change, nor incremental improvements. Assuring girls’ access to education, and women’s access to economic opportunities, is a critical part of the puzzle.

    Immigration And Border Security Top President-Elect Trump's To-Do List

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    Donald Trump told CBS he plans to build a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. Adding he's not going to round up all unauthorized immigrants as he vowed during the campaign — just the law breakers.

    VIDEO: The Needs of Refugee Women and Children in the Global Humanitarian Crisis

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    In this powerful talk, executive director Sarah Costa explains the work of the Women's Refugee Commission, and discusses the current crisis. The numbers are staggering: one in 122 people across the world have been forced to flee, and the majority are women and children. The average length of displacement is 20 years. What can be done to help?

    Females with disabilities experience discrimination on multiple levels

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    The issue was discussed at a training titled 'Strengthening the Role of Women with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action' organised by National Forum of Women with Disabilities (NFWWD) and Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) with the support of Women Refugee Commission. Women with disabilities from KP, Punjab and Sindh participated in the training.

    Seeking asylum in U.S. immigration courts is a lot like playing roulette

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    Katharina Obser at the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York said that eliminating immigration detention altogether could make it easier for asylum applicants to find an attorney and prepare for the legal process.

    “To [go through the process] alone, without the assistance of an expert immigration attorney, it’s nearly impossible,” Obser said. “It is such a complicated process that, often, people are forced to navigate on their own without speaking English and without having access to even basic legal information, let alone being able to prepare a legal case in front of an immigration judge where there is opposing counsel.”

    Illegal Immigration Is Changing. Border Security Is Still Catching Up

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    Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights at the Women's Refugee Commission, says the administration's push to discourage people from coming to the United States has, instead, backfired. Federal courts soon chipped away at the scope of the administration's immigrant family detention practices.

    And according to Brané, the new border statistics only confirm that Central Americans will continue to find a way to the United States, no matter what stands before then.

    "If you're in a burning house, you're going to find a way out no matter how many obstacles are put in your way," Brané said.

    Immigration agency is expanding family detention facilities

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    “I don’t know what they’re thinking, to be honest with you,” Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program for the Women’s Refugee Commission, said of ICE’s renewal of the Dilley contract. “I find it odd, and it certainly is not setting things up for the new president in any way, whoever that is, to move forward with their own plan.”

    The Obama administration’s response to Central American refugees is wrong

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    We cannot and should not stop people from fleeing violence to save their children’s lives, but we can ensure that the process through which they reach safety is orderly and efficient and complies with fundamental American values.

    Virginia Film Festival guest Liv Ullmann's first childhood role sparked quite a career

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    Outside of filmmaking, Ullmann has worked diligently for many years to improve the living environment for people around the globe. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is also a co-founder of the Women’s Refugee Commission. In 2005, King Harald V of Norway made the Norwegian actress a Commander with Star of the Order of St. Olav.

    Call Them Refugees

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    It’s time for the U.S. government to treat these families as refugees rather than “criminal aliens” and a “national security threat,” said Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “The U.S. government has spent huge amounts of money on detention and deterrence, and it isn’t working. The money should go to the courts and the asylum process so we can enforce the rule of law. Right now the asylum court backlog is five years.”

    Researching livelihoods recovery and support for vulnerable conflict-affected women in Iraq

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    Across Iraq, the number of displaced people in June 2016 exceeded 3.3 million – 10 per cent of the population. In the context of the ongoing crisis in the country, women and girls have been particularly affected and their ability to engage in livelihoods activities has been disrupted. Through a series of studies and projects, Oxfam in Iraq is working towards understanding community and conflict dynamics in order to engage conflict-affected women in economic life, in ways which empower them and increase their resilience. A key element of this is influencing local communities – and in turn, other agencies – to advocate for gender-sensitive livelihoods programming in such a fragile context. This article considers some of the lessons so far and reflects critically on our experience.

    An outsider takes charge of the Border Patrol — and yes, he'll wear the green uniform

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    “The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women's Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.

    CLARA: How a livelihoods and risk assessment tool is supporting women’s economic empowerment

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    In Partnership with the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) Oxfam in Iraq has piloted the Cohort Livelihoods and Risk Assessment (CLARA) tool. In June 2015 Oxfam and the Women's Refugee Comission (WRC) used this innovative participatory research method intended to help learn more about the challenges facing women - and in particular challenges to women's economic empowerment - in the northernmost district of Diyala governorate (Manell and Roberson 2015).

    Five Questions About the Historic UN Summits on Refugees and Migrants

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    "The summits provided a good opportunity to highlight what’s going on, but we were disappointed that there were not more concrete, tangible commitments made that would make a real difference on the ground for refugees and migrants." - Sarah Costa, Executive Director of WRC

    Germany Makes Refugee Shelters Safer for Women – But Problems Remain

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    “Often there are no separate living spaces for women and families and no sex-separated latrines or shower facilities,” according to the Women's Refugee Commission's recent report. “Women and girls are vulnerable to rape, assault and other violence in these facilities.”

    Women’s Refugee Commission: Refugee Protection Must be Gender Specific

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    "We are looking for an explicit, detailed commitment to protect all displaced women and girls from gender-based violence while in transit and upon reaching their destinations. We are also calling for expansion of legal and safe employment opportunities that leverage the capacity of refugee women and youth to sustain and protect themselves and their families." - Marcy Hersh, WRC senior advocacy officer

    The Neglected Stories Of Refugee Women

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    "We know that a great number of people who arrived in Greece, seeking to reunite with their families in other European countries, are women and children," -states Obser- "who are now trapped in a very unsafe situation."

    Is Germany Failing Female Refugees?

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    “These things that weren’t expensive to solve, that would’ve gone a long way to improving women’s safety and dignity, were completely overlooked,” says Marcy Hersh, WRC senior advocacy officer.

    Private Prison Reveals the Truth About Obama Immigration Policy

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    “What’s really very clear under international and domestic law is that there will always be people who need to flee immediately for various reasons,” Brane told ThinkProgress. “Those people continue to have the right to seek asylum at our borders. You’re not going to stop people from jumping out of a burning house by locking the door."

    Why the U.S. effort to stop Central Americans from surging across the border is failing

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    "There's no question that deterrence has not been effective, and why would it be if you're fleeing for your life?" said Michelle Brane. "If people are trapped in a burning house or a burning apartment, they're going to find a way out."