Migrant Rights & Justice

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Around the world, women and children undertake perilous journeys in search of safety. All individuals have the right to seek asylum. Many nations, however, attempt to prevent refugees from reaching their borders; detain those who arrive in facilities that violate their human rights, prevent them from having a fair day in court, deny them even basic medical treatment; make it difficult for them to access legal protections; and sometimes use deterrence tactics like separating family members.

Even countries that open their borders in humanitarian emergencies often limit or prohibit refugees from legal employment, access to health care, and education.

Gender discrimination tends to travel with refugees and to be exacerbated in displacement. Nationality laws that prohibit women from conferring their citizenship to their children and spouses increase vulnerability, ensuring even fewer rights and less opportunity for some refugees.

Governments have a legal obligation to provide refugees and asylum-seekers with a humane reception, both during flight and upon arrival in a host country. All those seeking protection have the right to fairness and transparency from the agencies designated to ensure their safety and well-being. They have a right to full access to the legal and judicial systems that govern their ability to rebuild their lives. For more than two decades, WRC has exposed rights violations and held the U.S. government to account, working toward a system in which women, children, and families seeking protection are not detained and treated fairly and with dignity.