Legal Protection

Family Separation Sign On Letter thumbnail

Family Separation Sign On Letter

Letter to Secretary Kelly Opposing Plan to Separate Migrant Families at the Border

On March 22, 2017, nearly 200 national, state and local organizations sent this letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly expressing opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed plan to separate migrant families at the border. Secretary Kelly has now twice remarked that he is considering such a move in order to deter families from seeking protection at our borders. The letter calls on Secretary Kelly to “reverse course on any policy proposal that would seek to tear apart families or otherwise inflict trauma and harm.” It also notes that separating families undermines their ability to seek asylum, a right protected by both U.S. and international law.
Letter to DHS and ICE To Recognize Immigrant Communities Deserve Safety and Justice thumbnail

Letter to DHS and ICE To Recognize Immigrant Communities Deserve Safety and Justice

On March 8, 2017, Women's Refugee Commission as well as over 560 other national, state and local organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan calling on DHS to recognize that immigrant communities deserve safety and justice.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holds hearing on access to asylum in the United States thumbnail

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights holds hearing on access to asylum in the United States

Letter to Secretary of State Tillerson Urging US to Reaffirm Commitment to Protect and Defend Human Rights

WRC requested and participated in a thematic hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the autonomous human rights body of the Organization of American States (OAS), during its 161 Period of Sessions (Mar. 15-22, 2017) on measures taken by or at the request of the United States that impede access to asylum in the United States and interfere with the right to family life and other core human rights protections.
A Guide to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Legal Protection in Acute Emergencies thumbnail

A Guide to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Legal Protection in Acute Emergencies

In times of war and its aftermath, legal structures that traditionally protect women and children, including formal and informal justice systems and respect for the rule of law, break down leaving them vulnerable to abuse including but not limited to rape, early and forced marriage and domestic violence. The guide summarizes an assessment of War Child Canada’s three-pronged legal protection model was implemented with South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda and uses it to identify the most important lessons for ensuring legal protection mechanisms are in place at the onset of an emergency.
Separation of Immigrant Families in U.S. Immigration Custody  thumbnail

Separation of Immigrant Families in U.S. Immigration Custody

As the numbers of family units migrating together rises, so have the instances of arbitrary and harmful family separation, both before and upon reaching the U.S. border. Family unity must also be a respected principle in enforcement and removal operations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Family Detention & the Flores Settlement Agreement thumbnail

Family Detention & the Flores Settlement Agreement

In the summer of 2015, a court ruled that government practices of detaining asylum-seeking families violate the 1997 Flores Settlement for unaccompanied children. The government’s should immediately reverse their family detention policies, dismantle the facilities, and release children and their parents.
One Year Later: Where are the refugee mothers and children? thumbnail

One Year Later: Where are the refugee mothers and children?

In June 2014, President Obama referred to the unprecedented numbers of children and families fleeing violence in Central America as an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Since then, these asylum-seekers have been detained in prison-like detention facilities.
Me han Detendo o Deportado: Que Pasara con mis hijos o hijas? (Parental Rights Toolkit | Spanish, Interactive) thumbnail

Me han Detendo o Deportado: Que Pasara con mis hijos o hijas? (Parental Rights Toolkit | Spanish, Interactive)

This toolkit is for detained and deported immigrant and undocumented parents, as well as their allies: officials, attorneys, service providers, friends and family members. It provides crucial information they need to protect and maintain parental rights and make well-informed, critical decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. It includes information on how to get a lawyer, how to stay in touch with children, and how to participate in family court or child welfare hearings.
Detained or Deported: What About My Children? thumbnail

Detained or Deported: What About My Children?

Parental Rights Toolkit

This report and its resources are available in English and Spanish. This toolkit is for detained and deported immigrant and undocumented parents, as well as their allies: officials, attorneys, service providers, friends and family members. It provides crucial information they need to protect and maintain parental rights and make well-informed, critical decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. It includes information on how to get a lawyer, how to stay in touch with children, and how to participate in family court or child welfare hearings.
Recommendations to DHS to Improve Complaint Processing thumbnail

Recommendations to DHS to Improve Complaint Processing

Consistent, documented – yet avoidable - deficiencies within the DHS complaint systems have inhibited the Department’s ability to identify internal civil rights concerns and take appropriate action. Here are specific problems and concrete recommendations to improve the handling of complaints and ensure that migrants' human rights are respected.

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