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    More Than 100 Women Arrested at Capitol Immigration Reform Protest

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    U.S. Capitol Police arrested more than 100 people Thursday after a group of female demonstrators participating in an immigration reform rally locked arms and blocked an intersection in downtown Washington, D.C.

    Emily Butera, senior program officer, migrant rights & justice program, speaks in this NBC piece.

    Watch the video here.

    In an Afghan refugee camp, Sakena Yacoobi looked to universal principles of law

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    In The Christian Science Monitor, Sakena Yacoobi, the executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and WRC Commissioner, writes about founding AIL in the refugee camps of Pakistan and establishing universal principles of law at a time when law was absent. 

    Read the full article here

    Unaccompanied Minors Deported To Mexico By The Thousands

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    This article on the apprehension and deportation of Mexican children in the U.S. in the Huffington Post cites the Women's Refugee Commission.

    Read more: Unaccompanied Minors Deported To Mexico By The Thousands

    More than 10,000 Children Were Deported to Mexico Last Year Alone

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    ABC News quotes the Women's Refugee Commission in a piece on the increasing number of children crossing the US/Mexico border alone. 


    Read more: More than 10,000 Children Were Deported to Mexico Last Year Alone

    War survivor Mariatu Kamara speaks for children at risk in conflict

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    Mariatu Kamara, former Voices of Courage honoree, is featured in story by the Christian Science Monitor.

    Mariatu Kamara has just arrived in Ottawa to help promote an exhibition on women civilians caught in the crossfire of conflicts at the Canadian War Museum. Ms. Kamara, who lived through the civil war in Sierra Leone, hopes events like this will help raise awareness about the impact of war on civilians, particularly children.

    Kamara has been recognized for her work championing the cause of war victims by the Women's Refugee Commission, based in New York City, which honored her with a Voice of Courage award. Liv Ullmann, the award-winning actress and cofounder of the commission, commended Kamara for her "incredible resilience in the face of adversity, for her compassion, and for her quest to tirelessly advocate for refugees and the displaced."

    Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor here.

    Refugee women need sexual healthcare too, says Lakshmi Puri

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    In a recent article in the Guardian, acting head of UN Women sites a report by the Women's Refugee Commission, and highlights the need for family planning to be made available to refugees and women displaced by conflict.

    "According to the UN, at the beginning of 2012, more than 15 million people were registered as refugees globally. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the number of people internally displaced by conflict, war or human rights abuses reached a record-high 28.8 million last year. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says refugees' demands for contraception should be met as soon as possible.

    But a study of refugee camps in Djibouti, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia and Uganda – conducted in 2011 by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and the Women's Refugee Commission – found the use of contraceptives in camps was lower than in surrounding settlements."

    Read the full Guardian article here.

    The Women's Refugee Commission at Women Deliver

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    Concurrent Sessions and Side Events

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 28 – June 1, 2013


    • Click here to download a PDF of this page.
    • Click here to watch the LiveStream of Women Deliver events.
    • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter #wrcdelivers

    The Women's Refugee Commission works to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. We research their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice.

    Our vision is a world in which refugee and internally displaced women, children and youth:

    Read more: The Women's Refugee Commission at Women Deliver

    Two extraordinary African women tell their stories

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    The Christian Science Monitor features article on 2013 Voices of Courage honorees Dahabo Hassan Maow and Atim Caroline Ogwang.

    Being forced by war or natural disaster to become a refugee presents huge challenges. Just finding food, water, and shelter is a major accomplishment. But if you are a woman, and have a disability as well, these challenges can multiply until they seem insurmountable.

    But two young women honored in New York in early May by the Women's Refugee Commission show that anything is possible. Their lives make two important points: As disabled women African refugees they represent remarkable stories of perseverance and courage as they lifted themselves out of dire circumstances. And to top that, they have now taken on a second role, as advocates for the many other disabled women refugees still in desperate need of help.

    Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor here.

    Atim Caroline Ogwang Voice of America Interview (audio)

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    Voice of America interviews Atim Caroline Ogwang, our 2013 Voices of Courage honoree, about growing up as a deaf refugee girl in Uganda, life in the new nation of South Sudan, and her work with the organization she founded, Southern Sudan Deaf Development Concern. Emma Pearce, WRC's disability program officer, talks about the importance of providing education for children with disabilities.

    Listen to the interview below:

    If you are unable to play the interview through your browser, you can download it here.

    Number of Undocumented Children Who Cross U.S. Border Alone Has Tripled

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    Stateline, the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, quotes Jessica Jones in an article on the sharp increase in the number of children fleeing violence in Central America.

    Every day, 80 to 120 children cross the Texas border illegally — and alone.

    What’s happening in Texas reflects a nationwide trend: Immigration by undocumented children under 18 is on the rise, even as fewer adults come into the country illegally.

    Read the article here.

    Somalia's Champion for Displaced Girls: Dahabo Hassan Maow

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    The Daily Beast publishes article on the WRC's 2013 Voices of Courage award winner Dahabo Hassan Maow.

    At just 14 years old, Dahabo Hassan Maow was caught in the crossfire of her native Somalia’s civil war and injured so gravely that doctors were forced to amputate her leg at the knee. With no family (she was orphaned as a baby) or support, she fled her homeland, traveling by unpaved road to what she hoped would be the relative safety of Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, in Kenya.

    Read the full article on the Daily Beast here.

    Australia wins Voices of Courage award for helping refugees with disabilities

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    The Australian aid program was recognised for its global leadership on disability-inclusive approaches in humanitarian settings at an event in New York on 2 May 2013.

    The prestigious ‘Voices of Courage’ award was presented to Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mr Gary Quinlan, by the Women’s Refugee Commission, an international non-government organisation that seeks to advance the rights and dignity of refugees. Two former refugees, Dahabo Hassan Maow and Atim Caroline Ogwang Atanga, also shared their stories and received awards.

    Read the full article on the AusAid website here.

    Child Migrants, Alone in Court

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    New York Times article on children migrants references Women's Refugee Commission report:

    "UNDER normal circumstances, the Border Patrol is supposed to transfer captured children out of its holding cells and into the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours. But last year children were held for up to two weeks in Border Patrol cells with no windows to the outside, showers or recreation space, according to a report by the Women’s Refugee Commission based on interviews with 151 detained children. Some complained of inadequate food and water. One described a cell so crowded the children had to take turns lying down on the concrete floor to sleep. The lights were never turned off."

    Read the full article here.

    ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions

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    Michelle Brané is quoted in Fronteras article on new Immigrations and Customs Enforcement tool.

    The new tool is called the Risk Classification Assessment, and it is supposed be fully implemented nationwide this year.Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission in Washington, D.C. said the new tool ensures taxpayer money is used responsibly. ICE’s current detention budget is $2 billion.

    “It may very well show that we don’t need all those detention beds and we can enforce immigration laws much more economically by using alternatives to detention,” Brané said.

    Read the full article here.

    Displaced women need livelihoods safe from risk of violence

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    Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women's Refugee Commission, was interviewed by TrustLaw on the importance of providing livelihoods for women that are safe from the threat of gender-based violence.

    Given that the average period of displacement is more than 17 years and that 80 percent of the world’s 42 million displaced people are women and children, providing livelihoods for women that are safe from the threat of gender-based violence is crucial, Sarah Costa, executive director of WRC, told TrustLaw in an interview. “If you don’t provide women with livelihoods at the beginning, they become vulnerable” to violence, particularly rape, sexual exploitation and other types of gender-based violence, she said.

    Read the full article here.

    Jessica Chastain to be in movie directed by Liv Ullmann

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    On the Oscars red carpet, best actress nominee Jessica Chastain talks about her upcoming project, "Miss Julie," directed by our co-founder & honorary chair Liv Ullmann.http://wrc.ms/YsfjPK

    Advocates hail passage of Violence Against Women Act

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    Michelle Brané quoted in Asian Journal article on the passage of the Violence Against Women Act:

    “We are encouraged by the Senate’s leadership in passing the Violence Against Women Act, but are concerned that needed protections for immigrant survivors were left out of the final bill”, states Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission. Brané adds, “There is an obvious need for additional U-visas to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and we hope that immigration reform will take seriously the need to ensure the safety of immigrant victims.”

    Read the full article here.

    In immigration reform, remembering the women

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    Salon quotes Michelle Brané on the importance of including women in immigration reform:

    “Overall, one of our big concerns is to ensure that women and children are included in the conversation,” said Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission. “Often as we talk about reforming the immigration system, the fixes and the points that are made are created around protection or pathways to citizenship or roads to relief for men, though it’s not necessarily intentional.”

    Read the Salon article here.

    Risking their lives to reach the U.S

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    Jennifer Podkul, program officer, Migrant Rights & Justice Program, Women's Refugee Commission, appeared on Al Jazeera’s “Inside Stories America” in a segment entitled “Risking their lives to reach the U.S.” She spoke about the findings from the WRC’s report “Forced from Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America.” The show can be seen here

    Catherine O’Neill, Advocate for Women and Children, Dies at 70

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    Catherine O’Neill, whose travels with the International Rescue Committee to refugee camps led her, along with the actress Liv Ullmann and others, to found the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 70.

    Read the full obituary in The New York TImes.