As an organization focused on the rights of refugee women, children, and youth, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) urges the Biden administration to take immediate steps in its first 100 days to re-establish US leadership on humanitarian and human rights issues.
With record levels of people displaced by conflict and crises, the majority of whom are women and children, the Biden administration must move quickly to restore the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States. And the new administration must work intensively to protect the human rights of refugees globally, expand support for gender equality in humanitarian action, and promote access to humanitarian services for all those in need, including sexual and reproductive health care.
View an overview of WRC’s recommendations to advance this humanitarian and human rights agenda.
Prioritizing Attention to Gender-Based Violence
Since its founding in 1989, WRC has been a leading advocate for policies and programs to address the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV). Gender-based violence is pervasive globally and the risks increase significantly in crises. WRC endorsed this memorandum laying out GBV-related priorities for the new administration.
Advancing Women, Peace, and Security Issues
In 2001, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which recognizes the critical role of women in effective peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and post-conflict recovery. The Obama administration launched the first-ever US National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and in 2018, Congress enacted landmark WPS legislation. This issue brief details the key actions the Biden administration must take to ensure the WPS agenda is a foreign policy and national security priority.
Promoting Refugee Self-Reliance
With the number of refugees at record levels, it is critically important for refugees to be able to exercise their right to self-reliance. The United States has a vital role to play globally and through its own policies and programs. As a co-chair of the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative, WRC worked with partners to identify the steps the Biden administration should take early on to strengthen refugees’ opportunities to achieve self-reliance.
Principles to Guide Reunification, Relief, and Redress for Separated Families
During the Trump administration, the government engaged in the systematic separation of families coming to the United States. Although the government can never fully undo these harms, it has an obligation to reunify all separated families, end family separation, and to provide redress, relief, and engage meaningfully in efforts to repair the damage it inflicted. This documents contains a list of principles the Biden administration must include in efforts reunite families.
2021 Immigration Action Plan
By centering human dignity, family unity, community well-being and American prosperity, the 2021 Immigration Action Plan is designed to reinsert and rejuvenate core American values and power the economic recovery of our nation. The action plan is led by the Immigration Hub and America’s Voice with more than 100 organizations, including the Women’s Refugee Commission, working together over a period of nine months on its development.
Immediate Priorities for the Protection of Immigrant Children
The Biden administration must quickly outline its commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of immigrant children. As part of a coalition of organizations dedicated to children’s rights, safety, health, and development, WRC recommends immediate action on the issues outlined in this document.