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    Why Trump's Travel Ban Hits Women the Hardest

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    Trump’s “Muslim ban” is a frontal assault on many universal human rights principles. But the latest temporary reinstatement of the order’s 120-day refugee ban – pending an anticipated October Supreme Court ruling – is already quietly undermining the most fundamental universal humanitarian rule: it puts women and children … last.

    The Executive Order is being challenged primarily for discriminating against citizens of six Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – with an arbitrary 90-day travel ban (with arbitrary, potentially illegal exceptions for those with “bona fide relationships” to US residents.)

    New Paper Identifies Actions To Accelerate Family Planning Efforts In Humanitarian Contexts

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    Inter-agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises: Family planning saves lives and promotes resilience in humanitarian contexts

    “…In preparation [for the London Family Planning Summit,] the Inter-agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) convened an expert consultation on family planning in humanitarian contexts … At the expert consultation, IAWG members presented their experiences providing family planning in diverse humanitarian contexts, demonstrating that there is consistent demand for family planning services and that it is feasible to provide them, even in the most challenging contexts. Building on this momentum, the International Rescue Committee, in partnership with Care, Save the Children, and the Women’s Refugee Commission, organized a donor consultation … to seek input from donors and stakeholders to shape messages and recommendations for the London FP summit. This paper is a synthesis of the findings developed through both consultations and identifies collaborative solutions and actions to be taken at the FP Summit and beyond…” (July 2017).

    Family Planning Saves Lives And Promotes Resilience In Humanitarian Contexts

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    Globally, it is estimated that 128.6 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these individuals, approximately one-fourth are women and girls of reproductive age. Although family planning is one of the most life-saving, empowering, and cost-effective interventions for women and girls, it remains an overwhelming gap in emergency responses due to a lack of prioritisation and funding. Consequently, many women and girls are forced to contend with an unmet need for family planning and unplanned pregnancies in addition to the traumas of conflict, disaster, and displacement.

    Trump Administration Targets Parents in New Immigration Crackdown

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    The Trump administration has begun a new tactic to crack down on illegal immigration, this time arresting undocumented parents suspected of having paid to have their children ushered into the country by smugglers.
     
    When unaccompanied children are apprehended at the border — often afterhaving been taken there by smugglers — immigration officials initiate cases for their deportation, a process that can take months or years. In the meantime, many of those children are placed with parents or relatives who crossed earlier to establish a foothold in the United States and earn money to send back home.

    Immigrant rights groups denounce new ICE policy that targets parents of child migrants

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    The Trump administration has begun to arrest parents and relatives it suspects of paying to have children smuggled to the United States, sparking fierce criticism from immigrant advocates that officials are interrogating vulnerable migrant children with the intent of separating families.

    The first time I met Federica Bianco, she was wearing a “Nasty Woman” t-shirt and punched me in the face, knocking out my right contact lens.

    I had seen a sign up at the gym I belong to, Church Street Boxing Gym, advertising a new women-only Wednesday night sparring class with “professional boxer Federica ‘The Mad Scientist’ Bianco.” Proceeds from the class would go to the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    The Trump Administration Is Using Immigrant Children as Bait to Deport Their Parents

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    The Trump administration has broadened its immigration crackdown with a new push to arrest undocumented parents who paid smugglers to illegally bring their children into the United States, often in a bid to protect them from gangs and other violence in Central America.

    ICE targeting relatives who pay to illegally bring children into U.S.

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    President Donald Trump's administration has begun detaining parents and relatives who they suspect paid to have children brought illegally into the United States, officials said Friday.

    Criminally prosecuting adults who ask smugglers to bring minor relatives here was first floated in a memorandum signed by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in February, but enforcement thus far has been rumored, not confirmed.

    In a statement Friday, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said the enforcement action was part of a broader "surge initiative" to identify and arrest people involved in human smuggling operations. She declined to elaborate on how many relatives have been arrested, what they are being charged with or when the operation began, how long it will last, and how many people it will target.

    Working with Refugee Women Engaged in Sex Work: Bringing a Peer Education Model and Mobile Clinics to Refugees in Cities

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    Interventions for Strengthening GBV Prevention and Response for Urban Refugees

    In Kampala, the WRC partnered with Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), an organization that provides integrated SRH and GBV services to Ugandans, including Ugandan sex workers. The goal was to expand their services to be inclusive of refugee women. This case study outlines two different interventions that were conducted: (1) a free mobile health clinic that went to refugee neighborhoods and provided a range of GBV and medical services, and (2) a peer education program conducted with refugee women engaged in sex work in Uganda—both in Kampala and in the Nakivale Refugee Settlement—that was designed to address information, service, and support gaps affecting these women’s health and safety.

    Piden que cumbre centroamericana ofrezca respuestas a “crisis de refugiados”

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    En vísperas de la cumbre regional sobre Centroamérica en Miami (Florida), líderes cívicos y religiosos afirmaron este martes que el encuentro debe incluir respuestas a la “crisis de refugiados” en el “Triángulo del Norte”, y las causas que obligan a su éxodo masivo hacia EEUU.

    Durante una conferencia telefónica, los activistas y expertos en materia migratoria coincidieron en que la reunión en Miami, entre el jueves y viernes  próximos, bautizada como la “Conferencia sobre la Prosperidad y Seguridad en Centroamérica”, debe abordar políticas que garanticen los derechos de los solicitantes de asilo, muchos de los cuales terminan encerrados en centros de detención y de forma prolongada.

    ICE Shuts Down Program for Asylum-Seekers

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    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will soon close a family case management program for asylum-seekers that, as of April 19, housed more than 630 families. According to Sarah Rodriguez, an ICE spokesperson, the program caters to “special populations, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, [and] families with very young children.” It is currently considered the least-restrictive alternative for asylum-seekers who come to the U.S. illegally. The more common scenario is for immigrants and refugees to be held in prison-like detention centers as they wait for their cases to be heard in the immigration court system.

    Trump administration shutters a program geared to protect immigrant mothers and children

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    HOUSTON (AP) — The Trump administration is shutting down the least restrictive alternative to detention available to asylum-seekers who have entered the U.S. illegally, The Associated Press has learned.

    Immigration activists consider the move a callous insult to migrants fleeing traumatic violence and poverty — nearly all the program's participants are Central American mothers and children — by a White House that has prioritized deportations that break up families over assimilating refugees.

    11 Experts to Watch on Refugee Health

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    Refugee health has been called “a public health crisis of this century,” needing as much attention and collaboration over resources as global epidemics such as polio and HIV/AIDS.

    From war trauma to women’s health, refugees have a complex spectrum of medical needs, bringing challenges for displaced populations, their host countries and aid organizations.

    Many refugees who have fled war or ethnic and political violence are exposed to exploitation and abuse along their migration route, leaving them vulnerable to mental health issues such as depression, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some children born in conflict zones may have to deal with toxic stress for their entire lives.

    Babatunde Osotimehin, who led U.N. population agency, dies at 68

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    Babatunde Osotimehin, a ­Nigerian-born doctor who led the United Nations’ population agency, where he promoted public health and sexual and reproductive rights and services for women and girls, died June 4 at his home in West Harrison, N.Y. He was 68.

    The U.N. Population Fund announced the death but did not cite a cause. Dr. Osotimehin led the agency, known as UNFPA, since 2011.

    Dr. Osotimehin was Nigeria’s health minister before taking the reins of UNFPA with the rank of undersecretary general. Before that, he served in Nigeria as director general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS and as provost at the University of Ibadan College of Medicine.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Expresses Concern Over Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers

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    As President Donald Trump’s hasty and indiscriminate deportation force continues to affect men and women throughout the United States, claims of asylum appear to be increasingly ignored or outright rejected, as corroborated by a New York Times report last month. In other cases, asylum seekers are treated as prisoners and held for months in detention centers.
    The following are just two incidents in which the mishandling of asylum cases has put lives in danger, and signals a worrisome pattern for those fleeing violence.

    Letter to Congress to Oppose President Trump's $4.5 Billion Request for Mass Deportation Agenda

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    Dear Chairman Cochran, Vice Chairman Leahy, Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Lowey:

    We, the undersigned, immigrant rights, civil and human rights, faith-based, environmental, labor and women’s organizations write to ask you to oppose President Trump’s request for $4.5 billion to fund his executive orders that would fund the construction of a divisive border wall, expand his deportation force and immigration detention and lower accountability for immigration and border agents. We therefore urge you to significantly reduce funding for immigration enforcement and detention in the FY2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) appropriations bills until the Administration can demonstrate that there is prioritization and accountability at the agencies.

    Federica Bianco Is the World’s Most Badass Astrophysicist

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    The first time I met Federica Bianco, she was wearing a “Nasty Woman” t-shirt and punched me in the face, knocking out my right contact lens.

    I had seen a sign up at the gym I belong to, Church Street Boxing Gym, advertising a new women-only Wednesday night sparring class with “professional boxer Federica ‘The Mad Scientist’ Bianco.” Proceeds from the class would go to the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Federica Bianco Is the World’s Most Badass Astrophysicist (2)

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    The first time I met Federica Bianco, she was wearing a “Nasty Woman” t-shirt and punched me in the face, knocking out my right contact lens.

    I had seen a sign up at the gym I belong to, Church Street Boxing Gym, advertising a new women-only Wednesday night sparring class with “professional boxer Federica ‘The Mad Scientist’ Bianco.” Proceeds from the class would go to the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Border Agents Turning Away, Blocking People Seeking Asylum: Report

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    Border agents are illegally turning away people seeking asylum or refusing to deal with their requests, according to a report released Wednesday by a human rights group.

    U.S. law requires border agents to refer people who arrive at the border and request asylum to an interview with an asylum officer or to an immigration court. But Human Rights First, which issued a report Wednesday and is briefing Senate offices on the issue Thursday, said that's not what's happening.

    200 Refugees Are Crossing Mexico to Escape Violence—and to Confront Trump

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    At this moment, a group of 200 refugees fleeing violence and gangs in Central America are heading north through Mexico in hopes of seeking asylum when they reach the US border later this week. The caravan, which has been planned with a coalition of Mexican and American organizers, is meant to raise awareness of the perils facing migrants in Mexico as well as the Trump administration's efforts to prevent refugees from legally entering the United States.

    Tightening of Borders Makes Women Invisible Along Balkan Refugee Route

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    As borders have tightened along the western Balkan route to Europe, more lone female refugees are arriving in Serbia having experienced violence and trafficking. Many who want to continue their journeys are using even riskier routes and never appear in official data.