A little boy’s body washes up on the beach in Turkey. Three-year-old Alan Kurdi, along with his mother, father and brother, had fled the atrocities of the civil war in Syria, seeking safety in Europe. But the raft they were in, packed with far too many other desperate refugees, capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.
Alan was one of the almost 60 million people currently uprooted by conflict, the most since World War II. Millions more have been displaced by natural disasters.
It’s more essential than ever to ensure that displaced women, children and youth are safe and empowered. That’s why the Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for programs to prevent gender-based violence, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and for economic and social empowerment. In addition, we advocate for every country to assure the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. 2014 was a milestone year for the Women’s Refugee Commission. We celebrated 25 years of driving change through the humanitarian community; since 1989, our research-based advocacy has ensured that displaced women, children and youth are better served during emergencies and protracted situations.
And on August 2, 2014, we became an independent fiscal and legal entity, separate from the International Rescue Committee. This new status will allow us to assume a more prominent advocacy role on behalf of people uprooted by crisis and conflict.
With your support, we will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that all refugees are safe, healthy and self-reliant.