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    Re: Prophet Motive

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    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.

    Pregnancies Don't Wait for Emergencies to End

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    Sandra Krause, reproductive health programme director for WRC, discusses the newly updated Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings in this IPS news article.

    Call for House to Restore Funding Levels for Humanitarian Aid

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    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.

    Children of illegal immigrants caught in middle of adoption fights

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    This article was written by Laura Bauer of the Kansas City Star. The original article can be read here.

    In a small community in southwest Missouri, one little boy is torn between two families, two worlds.

    He even has two identities.

    His Guatemalan birth mother named him Carlos. To his adoptive parents, the couple he calls mommy and daddy, he’s Jamison.

    And today his future is more uncertain than ever.

    Will the 4-year-old boy remain Jamison and stay in Carthage with Melinda and Seth Moser, who adopted him more than two years ago and cared for him a year before that?

    Or will he go back to his birth mother, Encarnacion Bail Romero, an illegal immigrant who last held him on May 22, 2007, the day she was picked up in an immigration raid at a Barry County poultry plant. He was just 7 months old.

    It’s an emotional case that wedges the boy, who likes to play ball and watch Nickelodeon, between federal immigration laws and state adoption laws. Where what’s legal may clash with what some people view as what’s right. It’s also a case bringing nationwide attention to the plight of children who get tangled in the system when moms or dads are detained or deported.

    Read more: Children of illegal immigrants caught in middle of adoption fights

    Women in Detention from The Statesman

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    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”

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    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.

    Dale Buscher Interview on BBC World News

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    Dale Buscher, director of protection, talks with BBC World News about conditions for children living in refugee camps.

    Clean-Burning Cookstoves for Developing Countries

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    A letter from executive director, Sarah Costa, on clean-burning cook stoves is in today's online edition of the New York Times. Read the letter below.

    To the Editor:

    Re “Developing Nations to Get Clean-Burning Cookstoves” (news article, Sept. 21):

    It is great news that the United States will provide $50 million to help provide clean-burning cookstoves for villages in Asia, Africa and South America. In addition to the appalling health risks (1.9 million deaths a year due to inhaling smoke from open fires) and the environmental devastation caused by cutting down trees for fuel, women and girls risk rape and sexual violence when they gather wood to cook or sell.

    This is particularly true in refugee camps and other displaced settings, where fuel is typically not provided to cook the food that displaced people receive.

    In addition, girls may miss out on education opportunities as they spend hours each day foraging for cooking fuel or stay at home to watch younger siblings as their mothers collect firewood.

    It is essential that the clean-burning stove initiative — both the provision of stoves and the development of local stove-making businesses — reaches humanitarian settings, as it will enhance the protection of refugee women and girls immeasurably.

    Sarah Costa
    New York, Sept. 21, 2010

    Find the full article, posted on the online edition of the New York Times here.

    Need for Clean Cook Stoves in New York Times

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    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.

    Struggling to Make a Living in Ethiopia: Surviving in the Informal Economy

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    Food is scarce in Ethiopia, where most of the population lives in rural, drought-prone areas in a state of chronic poverty. In 2010, the Government of Ethiopia identified 5.2 million people in need of emergency food aid. Not surprisingly, this hunger crisis also impacts the thousands of refugees living just within Ethiopia's borders.

    Read more: Struggling to Make a Living in Ethiopia: Surviving in the Informal Economy

    The Secretary-General's Message on World Refugee Day

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    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

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    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.

    Desperate lives: urban refugee women in Malaysia and Egypt

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    Dale Buscher, director of protection, and Lauren Heller, program officer, Women's Refugee Commission, have an article in the current edition of Forced Migration Review, which focuses on urban displacement. The article, “Desperate lives: urban refugee women in Malaysia and Egypt,” is based on research undertaken by the Women's Refugee Commission as part of its project on the links between livelihoods and gender-based violence.

    Download: Desperate lives: urban refugee women in Malaysia and Egypt

    Building Back a Better Haiti: The Need for Cooking Fuel

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    The names in this post have been changed to protect their privacy.

    The morning I met Nadine in her new "home" in a former park in the middle of the Peacutetionville neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, it had been raining -- the first rain since the earthquake. The ground was muddy and slick, and her shelter did not have a floor. She and her family slept on cardboard boxes on the dirt. The shelter did, however, have walls and a roof of bed sheets and some plastic sheeting. A rudimentary charcoal stove was set up just outside, where a small pot of rice was cooking for the day's meal for her family of five.

    Read more: Building Back a Better Haiti: The Need for Cooking Fuel

    JORDAN: Where Iraqi Women Are Also Fathers

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    A report put out by the Women’s Refugee Commission in December 2009 affirms that the vast majority of Iraqis in Jordan cannot lawfully work and have few sources of sustainable income. Read more

    Watch Us On NY1's "Women Helping Women" Series

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    As NY1 continues its coverage of Women's History Month, the station profiles an organization that works to address the specific needs of refugee women and children, who make up about 80 percent of refugees worldwide. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report. Watch the video here

    Haiti: Remembering the Needs of People with Disabilities

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    Director of protection, Dale Buscher, discusses the urgent need to include people with disabilities in Haiti's emergency response and reconstruction efforts in an article on Huffington Post.

    Haiti 'orphan' rescue mission: Adoption or child trafficking?

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    This weekend's arrest of 10 members of an Idaho-based Baptist charity for trying to take 33 Haitian children across the border with the Dominican Republic without proper paperwork has become an international incident. Read more

    Needs of Haitian Children in Washington Post

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    In a letter to the editor, Michelle Brane, director of our detention and asylum program, and Wendy Young, executive director of KIND, talk about the needs of Haitian children following the earthquake in Haiti. Read the letter as it appeared in the Washington Post (It's the second letter).

    Haiti: Women and Girls at Risk

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    Haiti: Women and Girls at Risk. Read Carolyn's Makinson's article on the Huffington Post on reproductive health needs following the earthquake.