• Rights & Justice

    About A Boy: One Refugee’s Tale About Being Barred From The U.S.

    Imagine a boy, 13 or 14, dashing home from school, his mother there to greet him and give him a quick snack before he rushes back out to kick the soccer ball with his friends in the dusty street. Like most boys that age, he spends the requisite time on school work but lives for those precious hours after school and before dinner to spend with his friends. His body is changing. His interests are evolving. His world is full of possibility.

    Family of Woman lecture returns to nexStage

    One of the mainstays of the Family of Woman Film Festival, the Bonnie Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women, will return this year on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre on Main Street in Ketchum.

    This year’s keynote speaker will be Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission. With more than 25 years of experience in the fields of women’s rights, reproductive health and gender and youth development, as well as global philanthropy, Costa’s mission at the Women’s Refugee Commission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Commends the Unity and Support Shown by Americans in the Midst of Executive Order Chaos

    Washington, DC--Donald Trump’s Executive Orders late last week blocked refugee admissions from several Muslim countries and suspended the refugee resettlement program from all countries for 120 days, spurring massive protests and hysteria in airports across the nation. This weekend, as a travel ban went into effect, Americans rose up to challenge President Trump’s Executive Orders with cries for justice. The Women’s Refugee Commission stands in solidarity with those affected, and urges the Trump Administration to reverse these policies. 

    How President Trump’s entry ban rattled an Iranian-American immigration lawyer

    President Trump’s order barring travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations has led to detentions at US airports. An Iranian-American lawyer told DW how the ban personally affected her. Unlike many of the executive orders President Donald Trump's signed in his first week in office, the one titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" had immediate repercussions in the US and around the world.

    Trump shuts nation's door to most refugees

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that temporarily would halt the nation’s refugee program and usher in the most sweeping changes in more than 40 years to how the U.S. welcomes the world’s most vulnerable people. The order would block all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days and suspend the acceptance of refugees from war-torn Syria indefinitely. “We want to ensure that we are not letting into our country the very threats that our soldiers are fighting overseas,” Trump said after swearing in new Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to Trump’s Executive Order Targeting Muslim Refugees

    President Trump has signed an Executive Order that includes, among other provisions, a suspension of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program altogether and a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. for people traveling from a number of predominately Muslim countries.  The Executive Order says that priority will be given in the future to refugees who face religious persecution, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

    This Executive Order also contains provisions that block refugee admissions from Syria indefinitely, suspend refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days, cap total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000, suspend visa issuance to countries of “particular concern,” and expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all visitors to the U.S.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Responds to Trump’s Executive Order Targeting Muslim Refugees

    Washington, DC - President Trump has signed an Executive Order that includes, among other provisions, a suspension of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program altogether and a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. for people traveling from a number of predominately Muslim countries.  The Executive Order says that priority will be given in the future to refugees who face religious persecution, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

    This Executive Order also contains provisions that block refugee admissions from Syria indefinitely, suspend refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days, cap total refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017 at 50,000, suspend visa issuance to countries of “particular concern,” and expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all visitors to the U.S.  

    Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration are Harmful, Ineffective, and Un-American

    President Trump’s executive orders that calls for building a wall on the Mexican border, aggressive new actions to deport immigrants who lack legal status, and temporary or indefinite bans for some refugee populations is extremist, xenophobic, and misguided.

    In one fell swoop, Trump has taken a wrecking ball to our immigration system by ending a decades-long program that has granted refuge to the world’s most vulnerable people. Globally, the number of people displaced globally by crisis and conflict is at its highest since World War II. There are more than 65 million refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and approximately half of them are women and children.

    Trump poised to temporarily shut U.S.'s door to most of the world's refugees and start 'extreme vetting'

    President Trump is poised to temporarily halt the nation’s refugee program and usher in the most sweeping changes in more than 40 years to how the U.S. welcomes the world’s most vulnerable people. Trump’s actions, which could come as soon as this afternoon, would block all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days and suspend the acceptance of refugees from war-torn Syria indefinitely.

    Muslims, Latinos unify over Trump's immigration, border plan

    Many U.S. Muslim and Latino advocates have joined forces in opposing changes to immigration rules by President Donald Trump, bolstering an alliance between them as they mull the prospect of aggressive restrictions.

    In joint press conferences and rallies across the country, they are decrying an action Trump signed to jumpstart construction on a southern border wall. Trump is expected to take steps to stop accepting Syrian refugees, suspend the United States' broader refugee program for 120 days and suspend issuing visas for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

    Some support Trump's immigration moves, others decry them

    President Donald Trump’s first actions on immigration validated his supporters’ expectations and stirred those who advocate for immigrants, refugees and Muslims to respond with messages of strong opposition. Trump signed executive actions Wednesday that start work on the border wall, increase immigration enforcement and take away federal grant money from “sanctuary” cities that don’t help with immigration enforcement. He is also considering taking action to bar refugees from countries with large Muslim populations from coming to the United States.

    Women’s Refugee Commission Decries President Trump’s Executive Order Targeting Refugees, Families, and Youth

    Washington, DC--The Women’s Refugee Commission stands in firm opposition to President Trump’s Executive Orders that further endanger and violate the rights of refugees and asylum seekers coming to the United States. The act of turning asylum seekers and refugees away before they reach U.S. soil is reprehensible, as these men, women, and children are fleeing life-threatening situations. These new policies risk returning asylum seekers and refugees to danger and even death. The Women’s Refugee Commission is similarly concerned over the impact that increased immigration enforcement will have on immigrant families in the United States. For too long we’ve documented the trauma and harm on parents and their children when immigration enforcement actions separate them, sometimes indefinitely, with little recourse. 

    Today’s Executive Orders focused on building a wall at the Southern border of the United States, expanding immigration enforcement efforts by increasing the number of border patrol agents, closing the border to those seeking asylum at the Southern border by processing their requests and holding their immigration hearings from Mexico, and massively expanding detention practices. 

    MEDIA ADVISORY: Immigrant, Arab-American, and Refugee Advocates to React to President Trump’s Potential Executive Orders on Immigrant Refugee Policies

    Washington, DC--Today, January 25 at 11 AM Eastern, leaders from America’s Voice Education Fund, Women’s Refugee Commission, NILC, United We Dream, and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will gather on a press call to offer thoughts on a range of Trump’s forthcoming Executive Orders on immigration and refugee policies.

    Women’s Marches Flood Cities Worldwide on Trump’s First Day

    Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in cities across the U.S. and around the world on Saturday for massive protests a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a signal of discontent with America’s new leader that threatened to upstage his first days in office. The Women’s March on Washington, billed as a response to Trump’s surprise election victory, eclipsed Trump’s swearing-in as the most widely attended political event in the capital this weekend. It was mirrored by large rallies across the U.S. and in international capitals including Berlin, Paris and Ottawa.

    NGOs Call for Better Protection for Female Refugees in Europe

    This year more than 170,000 people have risked their lives attempting to reach Europe from Turkey via Greece. Their journeys are perilous and they face uncertain futures when they reach Europe. But for women, the risks are amplified because of inadequate facilities at reception centers. Yet governments and humanitarian organizations are failing to meet their specific needs.

    “It is traumatic for women to stay in a variety of places and detention centers. It can be unsafe and they are unable to get access to protection and services,” Sarah Costa, executive director of the WRC, tells Equal Times.

    WRC, along with other women’s rights organizations, are pressuring the EU to change its approach. In June, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) partnered with the WRC to launch #WomensVoices, a campaign to raise awareness of the situation facing the women and girls in Europe who are fleeing conflict. The aim is to influence decision-makers, through a series of recommendations, events, and members’ networking across Europe, to put violence against refugee women on the European political agenda.

    5 Ways Women's Issues Were Ignored in 2016

    2016, a year many predicted would end with a shattered glass ceiling and female president-elect, has not been great for women.

    The year, of course, undoubtedly had its high points: To name a few, 50+ companies have signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge, Samantha Bee emerged as a much-needed female voice in late-night television and President Barack Obama's administration finalized a rule prohibiting states from withholding federal funding from organizations that perform abortions. 

    But 2016 has also left many women feeling disenfranchised and vulnerable, and vital issues like equal pay, paid family leave, reproductive rights and equality for the LGBT community are even more at risk under the impending Donald Trump presidency.

    Though it's a tough list to narrow down, here are just five of the ways women's issues were ignored in 2016.

    Five Reasons Why Disability Matters in a Crisis

    As social and community structures break down during a crisis, protection threats build up. In these scenarios, people with disabilities are at a much higher risk of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, in part because they are often more isolated and have less access to protection services. Research from the Women’s Refugee Commission shows that women and girls with disabilities are particularly at risk of sexual and gender-based violence. However, they may not be able to access support for survivors due to difficulties in reaching services and communicating their needs, or for fear that their accounts will not be taken seriously.

    A Woman Alone

    In a recent, damning report, the Women’s Refugee Commission—an independent think tank focusing on problems that affect displaced women—called for a dramatic boost to financial, material, and human resources to specifically safeguard female asylum-seekers trapped in Greece and to remedy “a policy of delay, discrimination and despair.” According to the WRC report, more than 50 percent of the refugees stranded in Greece are women, and they face unprecedented threats to their physical and mental well-being.

    According to the WRC, since the EU-Turkey deal was struck in March, there has been an increase in reports of gender-based violence among refugees in Greece: “[G]aps in security expose women and girls to numerous threats, including [gender-based violence], trafficking and even kidnapping of children.”

    Calls for Obama to FREE thousands of asylum seekers from Central America so Trump can't deport them when he becomes President

    Immigration advocates are calling on Barack Obama to free around 4,000 Central American families currently detained in the US while seeking asylum. The advocates want the families to either stop being detained altogether or for them to be released with a notice to appear before a judge, Bloomberg reports. Representatives from groups such as the Women’s Refugee Commission and the American Immigration Lawyers Association met with White House officials last week to discuss the issue. The Central American women and children are currently being kept in low-security jail-like conditions in Texas and Pennsylvania.

    Immigration And Border Security Top President-Elect Trump's To-Do List

    Donald Trump told CBS he plans to build a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. Adding he's not going to round up all unauthorized immigrants as he vowed during the campaign — just the law breakers.