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Research. Rethink. Resolve.

October 2013

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It's Time to Step Up for Adolescent Girls in Crises

Friday, October 11 was the International Day of the Girl Child. For the WRC, this was a day to bring global attention to the needs and the great potential of refugee girls. Check out our adolescent girls webpage to learn more about protecting and empowering refugee girls, ensuring their sexual and reproductive health, and helping them in the chaotic first weeks of an emergency. On the same day, the WRC signed on to the Girl Declaration, a prominent and promising campaign to prioritize girls in the international agenda after the UN’s Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.

Our Executive Director Sarah Costa attended the Clinton Global Initiative in September, highlighting the need for greater attention to girls displaced by conflict. There, she announced our new project on protecting and empowering displaced adolescents in India, Ecuador, and Uganda.

READ: Executive Director Sarah Costa’s article on girls in conflict. “The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is a binding obligation and a moral imperative in all contexts…. Peace and stability are not pre-conditions for girls’ rights.”


Help Immigrant Moms Keep Their Children

No mother should lose her children because of her immigration status. Yet that’s exactly happens when thousands of undocumented immigrant women are detained or deported from the United States. Parents urgently need a guide to help them protect their families within this system—so the WRC is making one. Preview versions have received grateful and enthusiastic responses from immigrants and officials alike—but digital copies can’t reach immigrants with limited computer access. So we’ve launched a Catapult campaign to raise $15,000 to design and print this guide. Can you chip in a few dollars to help reunite immigrant families?

The WRC’s Migrant Rights and Justice team rallied, quite literally, for immigration reform amidst the uproar of the government shutdown. On October 9th, WRC staff joined thousands of people pushing for ethical reform that ensures migrants’ rights and protects their families. Eight congressional representatives were arrested in an act of civil disobedience in Washington, DC. Speakers included 9-year-old Steven, whose father was deported and whose uncle is in proceedings: “I want Congress to stop separating my family.”

TAKE ACTION: Contribute to the design and printing of our guide for detained immigrant parents, and help keep these families together.


UN General Assembly: Historic Focus on Disabilities in Conflict

The WRC was very active at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, especially on the issues of disabilities and gender violence in conflict. The WRC has been a central advocate for people with disabilities in conflicts, and we shared a strong statement with attendees at the first-ever high-level meeting on the issue. We were delighted to see this year’s huge breakthroughs: both the historic high-level meeting and key speeches by Secretary of State John Kerry and Anthony Lake, executive director of UNICEF. 

READ: Check out senior advocacy officer Elizabeth Cafferty’s blog post, High-Level Meeting Shines Spotlight on Disability and Development. “While we have made great strides as a community, further progress is needed—and will only be achieved if the UN, Member States and civil society work as one.”


WRC in the Field

Josh Chaffin, senior program officer for economic strengthening and child protection, recently traveled to Uganda, where he was nominated for a Young Researcher’s award at a symposium on Children and Armed Conflict. For an example of his cutting-edge work, read our report about why measuring child-level impacts can help achieve long-lasting economic change.

Emma Pearce, senior program officer for disabilities, just returned from Jordan. There, she was working on a partnership project with the International Rescue Committee to identify and document effective strategies for including persons with disabilities in gender-based violence response and prevention activities. In addition to Jordan, this project is being piloted in Ethiopia, Burundi and North Caucasus. We'll share more information on this program as it gets underway.

READ: Children and Economic Strengthening Programs: Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Harm “Poor children are much more likely to become poor adults, and if a program fails to positively impact beneficiary children, it may only be effective in the short term.”


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