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    Protecting L.G.B.T.Q. Refugees

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    Letter to the Editor in The New York Times

    To the Editor:

    Re “Refugees Who Need Safety, Fast,” by Annie Hylton and Malia Politzer (Op-Ed, July 22):

    In May, the Women’s Refugee Commission undertook research in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya, and met with more than two dozen L.G.B.T.Q. refugees from the region. All had suffered physical and sexual violence in their home countries and in Kenya. Most did not have enough to eat or a safe place to sleep.

    Read more: Protecting L.G.B.T.Q. Refugees

    Big Picture: Tim Wakefield's Sound-Wave Art Pieces Raise $2.4 Million for Charity

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    Wakefield has collaborated with more than 200 acts -- from Queen to Paul McCartney, Kacey Musgraves and Panic! at the Disco -- on limited-edition prints, raising over $2.4 million for charities of the artists' choice .... The foundation recently worked with Puerto Rican pop star Chayanne to raise money for the Women's Refugee Commission, which advocates for migrant rights.

    Heinrich, Udall call for changes in the care of migrant children

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    “There is absolutely no reason to detain anyone who is not a danger to the public for weeks and months in overcrowded substandard facilities that endanger the health and safety of migrants and the government employees who work in these facilities,” said Michelle Brané, policy expert at the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Mexico not in favor of Trump's safe-third-country agreement

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    The only way the U.S. could get by with refusing to take in asylum seekers at our southern border would be "to have a “bilateral or multilateral agreement” in place with a third country.

    Herein lies the problem - The Women's Refugee Commission states that Mexico is clearly not a safe, or in many cases viable, alternative for many refugees and vulnerable migrants seeking international protection.

    Trump's new plan for asylum seekers isn't just stupid and xenophobic — it's unworkable

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    A new law is set to be published in the Federal Register today that practically eliminates applications from asylum seekers at the southern US border, requiring them to apply for refugee status in another country first. ...

    And in a statement senior director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission Michelle Brané said, “Like the previous travel and asylum bans, this is the latest attempt by President Trump to try to undermine and eliminate asylum by circumventing both Congress and existing law. Seeking asylum is a legal right. Seeking safety is a human right.”

    How To Help Immigrant Families During ICE Raids That May Lead To Deportations, More Separations

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    Several organizations are working tirelessly to protect and fight for immigrant families every single day. If you have resources to support their invaluable work, here are few advocacy groups and organizations to consider:...

    The Women's Refugee Commission (WRC): For the past three decades, this organization has been working to help protect women and children "displaced by conflict and crisis."

    INSIGHT - When the U.S. puts a border between migrant kids and their caretakers

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    Leah Chavla, a policy advisor with the Women's Refugee Commission in Washington, D.C., said she knows of at least six cases of children separated from parents who were returned to Mexico. "I am positive we are scratching the tip of the iceberg," Chavla said.

    She and other advocates said that when the validity of a familial relationship is uncertain, it makes more sense to let parents stay in the United States while the matter is sorted out.

    Referring to Gerardo's case, "It's just so shocking how easily they separated him and sent him across the border," Chavla said. "You'd think they'd do a little due diligence before that."

    Feminist Organizations are Fighting for Migrant Children at the Border

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    “If you look at the conditions of custody at the border, it’s really primarily small cells used for processing with the intention of very quickly turning [people] back because they had no legal basis for wanting to stay in the United States,” Michelle Brané, Senior Director of Migrant Rights and Justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a global nonprofit that fights for the migrant and refugee women’s rights, explained. “As that demographic started to shift, what we started to see is more unaccompanied children arriving and more women arriving with children. Eventually, that dynamic and demographics sort of expanded to a lot of men coming with their children and full families. [The holding cells] are no longer appropriate settings for these children and families. They’re not built for families.”

    Fact-check: Are immigrant children free to leave shelters ‘at anytime’?

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    The doors at Casa Padre (a former Walmart store) are not locked but they have alarms that would alert staff if a child is exiting (and in the back area where children play outside, there is a fence), said Michelle Brané, senior director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the nonprofit Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Are immigrant children free to leave shelters ‘at anytime’? Half True

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    The doors at Casa Padre (a former Walmart store) are not locked but they have alarms that would alert staff if a child is exiting (and in the back area where children play outside, there is a fence), said Michelle Brané, senior director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the nonprofit Women's Refugee Commission.

    Wieso die Flüchtlingssituation im Mittelmeer so kompliziert ist (German)

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    Die Zahl der Migranten, die über das Mittelmeer nach Europa kommen, hat massiv abgenommen. Das liegt hauptsächlich an umstrittenen Vereinbarungen der EU mit Transitländern wie der Türkei oder Libyen, welche Migranten zurückhalten. Im Fall von Libyen spricht beispielsweise die NGO Women’s Refugee Commission von Beweisen dafür, dass Migranten dort gefoltert und sexuell missbraucht werden.

    Monitoring Child Protection within Humanitarian Cash Programmes

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    As the Women’s Refugee Commission points out, humanitarian crises are often dangerous contexts that put people at risk. ...

    By mainstreaming child protection concerns into humanitarian cash throughout the programme cycle and by utilizing cash within child protection approaches such as case management, cash can be optimized as a tool to enhance the protection of crisis affected populations. As WRC (2018) argues, cash is not inherently risky, but simply designing a humanitarian cash intervention without weighing the child protection risks and benefits associated with cash and ensuring mitigation mechanisms, can lead to unintended consequences.

    From bad to ‘sheer inhumanity’: Detention conditions for migrants worse under Trump, advocates say

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    “There were issues on treatment of people under the Obama administration, but right now we have a situation where there is abject cruelty, a culture of criminalization, inhumanity and dehumanization,” said Ursela Ojeda, policy adviser for the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Migrant conditions, Democratic race, Trump hawkish adviser: Read the Morning Rundown

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    Migration advocates said the cramped, unsanitary conditions at Border Patrol facilities have worsened since President Donald Trump came to power.

    "There were issues on treatment of people under the Obama administration, but right now we have a situation where there is abject cruelty, a culture of criminalization, inhumanity and dehumanization," said Ursela Ojeda, policy adviser for the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Honduran Man In ICE Custody Dies In Texas

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    Katharina Obser, a senior policy adviser for the advocacy group Women's Refugee Commission, questioned the administration's insistence of sending detainees to such holding facilities.

    "What we're seeing is a reckless and unprecedented expansion of a system that is punitive, harmful and costly," Obser said. "The U.S. government is not even doing the bare minimum to ensure [immigrants] are getting the medical care and the mental health care they need."

    Fear, Confusion And Separation As Trump Administration Sends Migrants Back To Mexico

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    "The government is not documenting these cases, is failing to provide ORR with critical information and has no ability to track or reunify the families it is separating. This practice is traumatizing and endangering children," the Women's Refugee Commission, a nonprofit advocacy group, wrote in a report on Remain in Mexico.

    Children at the border: the crisis that America wasn't prepared for

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    The shift toward children and families “didn’t happen overnight”, said Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission. Though activists have broadcasted the need to prepare for such a more vulnerable population for years, she added, processes and infrastructure at the border still “have not adapted for the new demographic”.

    Here’s What You Can Do to Help Migrants at the U.S. Border

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    Since his election, President Trump has taken a strict stance on migrants fleeing across the Mexico/U.S. border, holding them in custody in detainment camps along the border until they can be sent back home and often working to criminally prosecute these migrants under the “zero-tolerance policy.”

    Other U.S.-based organizations include Kids in Need of Defense, which works to ensure that children don’t appear in immigration court without representation (which, horrifyingly, happens regularly); The Urban Justice Center’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, which works to keep families together and Women’s Refugee Commission.

    The dangers of co-mingling prisons, detention centers and politics

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    In addition to prisons, in 2014 the U.S. government massively expanded its detention centers for immigrant families. According to reports from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), between October 2014 and September 2015, the U.S. government apprehended 68,334 children accompanied by a parent at the southwest border — a 361 percent increase since the previous year. Keep in mind that more than half of all the children who entered into family detention facilities in that time were six years old or younger.

    Why Record Numbers of African Migrants Are Showing Up at the U.S.-Mexican Border

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    One recent June week, the United States stopped a record number of African refugees and migrants at its southern border. Hundreds of people fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and beyond are embarking on journeys to South America either by boat or plane and then, on foot, making the long and treacherous trek north through Colombia and Panama on their way to the United States. ...

    In a recent report, the Women’s Refugee Commission recounted horrifying stories of gang rape and of women being sold from one smuggler to another.