• Rights & Justice

    U.S. immigration authorities begin a new round of deportation raids

    "The administration is telling us that they are only focusing on children and families [who] have had an opportunity to request legal protection," explains Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission. "However, it’s been very clear from the last round of raids that this is not consistently the case."

    Calling for Protection and an End to Raids for Central Americans [Spanish]

    "There is no doubt that there is a discrepancy in how the government is dealing with Syrian refugees and Central American refugees," said Michelle Brané of the Women's Refugee Commission. "It refuses to accept that this is a refugee situation in our own hemisphere." [Article in Spanish]

    What’s in a name? Migrant vs. refugee vs. illegal immigrant

    When refugees sought safety in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015, their due process rights were violated because "the administration panicked. They weren’t ready. There were a lot of kids and families arriving at the border, and the reaction was, 'We’ve got to stop it,'" said Michelle Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    National Scandal that Women Need to Escape Swedish Asylum Accommodation [Swedish]

    "The Women's Refugee Commission criticized the Swedish system on a range of points, including the critical overcrowding of reception centers. And there are signs that abuse is not taken seriously." [Article in Swedish]

    After the Assault: Female Zones in Swedish Asylum Centers [Swedish]

    Research by the Women's Refugee Commission reveals dangerous patterns of risk at refugee detention centers. [Article in Swedish]

    The Quiet Crisis of Europe’s Pregnant Refugees

    "Researchers at the Women's Refugee Commission found that women often left hospitals less than 24 hours after giving birth, some having had a Caesarean section."

    Obama Wants to Let More Central American Migrants Apply for Asylum

    "In the very beginning, we saw complete denial and refusal to acknowledge any eligibility for refugee status," Brané said. "They were really insistent for the first several years that this was a purely economic issue or that general violence didn't rise to the level of persecution. I think that is evolving."

    Why the U.S. effort to stop Central Americans from surging across the border is failing

    "There's no question that deterrence has not been effective, and why would it be if you're fleeing for your life?" said Michelle Brane. "If people are trapped in a burning house or a burning apartment, they're going to find a way out."

    Private Prison Reveals the Truth About Obama Immigration Policy

    “What’s really very clear under international and domestic law is that there will always be people who need to flee immediately for various reasons,” Brane told ThinkProgress. “Those people continue to have the right to seek asylum at our borders. You’re not going to stop people from jumping out of a burning house by locking the door."

    The Neglected Stories Of Refugee Women

    "We know that a great number of people who arrived in Greece, seeking to reunite with their families in other European countries, are women and children," -states Obser- "who are now trapped in a very unsafe situation."

    Media Advisory: WRC at 71st UN General Assembly Events

    As world leaders gather at the United Nations for the first high-level summit on Refugess and migrants, the Women’s refugee commission asserts that all responses to refugees and migrants must protect the rights and improve the lives of women, children, and youth.


    WHAT: New York, NY - On Monday, September 19, 2016, the 71st UN General Assembly will convene Heads of State and leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector at the first high-level summit focused on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants. This landmark meeting aims to bring countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach. 

    WHEN: Friday, September 16th through Tuesday, September 20th. WRC will support the following events listed below:

    WRC Applauds Clinton Commitment to End Family Detention

    Hillary Clinton Renews Commitment to Ending Inhumane Family Detention, Private Prisons

    Women’s Refugee Commission applauds Clinton’s announcement, urges Obama Administration to end these practices now.

    Women’s Refugee Commission: Refugee Protection Must be Gender Specific

    "We are looking for an explicit, detailed commitment to protect all displaced women and girls from gender-based violence while in transit and upon reaching their destinations. We are also calling for expansion of legal and safe employment opportunities that leverage the capacity of refugee women and youth to sustain and protect themselves and their families." - Marcy Hersh, WRC senior advocacy officer

    DHS Announces Application of Expedited Removal to Haitian Earthquake Survivors

    Statement by Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice Program

    Announcement highlights need for reform of procedures for processing asylum-seekers at our border

    This morning, the Department of Homeland Security announced that they will resume removals to Haiti and begin applying expedited removal to Haitian earthquake survivors seeking safety at our southern border.

    VIDEO: Shadow Summit: The U.S. Response to Central American Refugees

    The United States and other nations hosted a leaders summit on September 20, 2016 to discuss the world refugee crisis and how nations can increase their commitments to refugee protection worldwide. In a side event, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) hosted the Shadow Summit: U.S. Response to Central American Refugees, a panel discussion examining U.S. policy response to unaccompanied children and families fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America.

    Katharina Obser, WRC Senior Program Officer of Migrant Rights and Justice Program joined fellow panelists Dr. Allen Keller, Director, Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture; Karen Lucas, Associate Director of Advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association; and Elvis Garcia Callejas, Migration Counselor, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Former Unaccompanied Minor. 

    A video of the panel discussion is now available for viewing (below).

    Germany Makes Refugee Shelters Safer for Women – But Problems Remain

    “Often there are no separate living spaces for women and families and no sex-separated latrines or shower facilities,” according to the Women's Refugee Commission's recent report. “Women and girls are vulnerable to rape, assault and other violence in these facilities.”

    Five Questions About the Historic UN Summits on Refugees and Migrants

    "The summits provided a good opportunity to highlight what’s going on, but we were disappointed that there were not more concrete, tangible commitments made that would make a real difference on the ground for refugees and migrants." - Sarah Costa, Executive Director of WRC

    WRC Represented at Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC)

    On Friday, Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission will join fellow members of the Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC) in a public meeting at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to discuss recommended reforms to the family detention program.

    CLARA: How a livelihoods and risk assessment tool is supporting women’s economic empowerment

    In Partnership with the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) Oxfam in Iraq has piloted the Cohort Livelihoods and Risk Assessment (CLARA) tool. In June 2015 Oxfam and the Women's Refugee Comission (WRC) used this innovative participatory research method intended to help learn more about the challenges facing women - and in particular challenges to women's economic empowerment - in the northernmost district of Diyala governorate (Manell and Roberson 2015).

    An outsider takes charge of the Border Patrol — and yes, he'll wear the green uniform

    “The really tricky part is to make sure he has buy-in from the rank and file and the boots on the ground who will be following his leadership,” said Michelle Brané, an immigrant rights advocate at the New York-based Women's Refugee Commission, who met with Morgan last month.