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June 2014

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Children at the Border

“Plain and simple, family detention is an awful and damaging process. It profoundly and irreversibly affects the physical and mental health of children and breaks down parent-child relationships.” ~ Michelle Brané, Director, Migrant Rights & Justice Program

There has been a massive influx of children crossing the U.S. border alone, fleeing violence in Central America without a parent or guardian. Government agencies and the media, struggling to understand, have turned the to the Women's Refugee Commission’s Migrant Rights & Justice team and our seminal report Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America.

On June 20, World Refugee Day, the U.S. government announced that it would resume detaining families—a detrimental process that the WRC had successfully advocated to end. Alternatives to detention are more humane, more economical, and have a high success rate in ensuring that migrants appear for their court dates. 

Read the Statement

Ending Gender-Driven Statelessness, Ending Injustice

"Please, can you explain to me, because I don't understand. Why is there this discrimination? Why do they differentiate between men and women? I don't understand why?"
~A Kuwaiti woman whose children are stateless because her husband lacked citizenship.

Statelessness—a condition where a person is not a legal citizen of any country— leads to poverty, alienation and persecution. Yet 27 countries perpetuate this injustice by forbidding women to pass their nationality to their children; children can only acquire citizenship from their fathers. This leaves the children of stateless men at a life-long disadvantage. 

On June 18, the Women’s Commission joined with five other organizations to launch a Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws. We’re working to end this practice within the next two years.

Learn More at

UN Refugee Agency Takes a Big Step to Make
Women & Girls SAFEr

“4.3 million people died because of household air pollution in 2012. Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.” ~Megan Gerrard, Senior Program Officer for GBV & Protection

One third of the world’s population—and a far greater percentage of its refugees and internally displaced persons—depends on fuel that is dangerous to collect and deadly to use. Last month, the UN refugee agency launched a new SAFE Access to Fuel & Energy strategy, a leap forward in protecting refugee women and girls.

The Women's Refugee Commission has been a leading partner in formulating this strategy, contributing years’ worth of research and experience.

Read More from Megan Gerrard on

Meet the Refugees; See the Stories

Our 25 Voices of Courage campaign is telling the stories of 25 people—refugees, activists, government leaders and ordinary citizens—who have changed the world for refugees. There’s one story for each year that the Women’s Refugee Commission has been working for refugee women and children.

Meet Elizabeth and learn how a fuel-efficient stove changed her life.

Meet Leymah Gbowee and see how one woman’s threat to disrobe helped bring peace to Liberia.

Meet Judy Mayotte and see what led her to help shape the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Meet Them at