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  • First-Ever Global Refugee Forum Kicks Off in Geneva Next Week

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    WRC Urges Support for Refugee Self-Determination, Focus on Gender Equality

    NEW YORK, NY – Representatives from governments, international organizations, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, and refugees from around the world will gather in Geneva next week for the first-ever Global Refugee Forum. The two-day event is co-hosted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the government of Switzerland, with the governments of Turkey, Germany, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica serving as co-conveners.

    Women's Refugee Commission Responds to Trump Administration's Safe Third Country Action with Guatemala

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the Trump administration sent an asylum-seeking Honduran man to Guatemala – the first such action as part of the controversial “Safe Third Country” agreement signed with the nation in July, but which did not take effect until Tuesday, November 19, when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued rules about its implementation. The Women’s Refugee Commission has long criticized “Safe Third Country” agreements for sending asylum-seekers to danger.

    Women's Refugee Commission’s Statement on the Launch of the new Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

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    On behalf of the Women’s Refugee Commission, we warmly congratulate everyone involved on the launch of the Guidelines after three years of extensive consultations.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission is proud to have worked with other stakeholders, including organizations of women with disabilities, to integrate gender and address gender-based violence throughout the Guidelines. We have also provided technical support to three pilot partners in Jordan, Uganda, and Sri Lanka.

    Statement Regarding the Death of Former Women's Refugee Commission Staff Member Jennifer Schlecht

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    “We are devastated and horrified by this unimaginable news. Jenn was family to the Women’s Refugee Commission both during her seven years with us and after her time here.

    “She brought joy and light to all who knew her and was an unyielding champion for the rights of displaced women everywhere. Most of all, she was a phenomenal mother who loved her daughter with all she had. Our hearts are broken today and our prayers are with Jenn and her family,” Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

    Statement by Ms. Alaa Salah, UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

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    Statement by Ms. Alaa Salah
    UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
    October 29, 2019

    Madam President, Excellencies, my civil society colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

    Good morning. I am honored to be here with you from Sudan, which is today full of hope for peace, freedom and justice.

    White House Guts U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following weeks of speculation, the White House yesterday gutted the U.S. Refugee Admission Program (USRAP), a program created in the wake of World War II to facilitate refugee resettlement in the U.S. The program – which had historically seen strong bipartisan support – has seen a dramatic decline under the Trump administration in the number of refugees that could be admitted into the U.S. each year, going from 110,000 in FY 2017 to 30,000 in FY 2019. Yesterday’s action reduces the number of admissions for FY 2020 to 18,000, a historic low.

    Women's Refugee Commission Responds to White House Agreement with Honduras

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration late yesterday reached an agreement with Honduras that would require migrants and asylum seekers on their way to the Unites States – and passing through Honduras – to stay in that country and seek asylum. This is the third such agreement the Trump administration has made with a Central American country to prevent those fleeing violence from reaching the U.S. Earlier this year, Trump signed similar agreements with El Salvador and Guatemala.

    On Eve of UNGA SDG Summit, New Findings Show Marked Advances in Promoting Gender Equality in Cox's Bazar

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    NEW YORK, NY – As world leaders gather for the 74th U.N. General Assembly – including a special summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) today released new findings showing marked advances in promoting gender equality in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps. SDG 5 promises to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” The findings were compiled in the report Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Rohingya Humanitarian Response in Cox’s Bazar.

    U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Trump Administration Asylum Ban

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court decided late Wednesday to allow the Trump administration to ban asylum claims at the U.S. border with Mexico for those individuals who cannot show that they have applied for asylum in the countries they pass through on the way to the United States. The Court’s decision stays a lower court injunction, allowing the government to implement the new rule until the case is decided as a legal fight continues.

    Urgent Action Needed to Reform Gender Discriminatory Nationality Laws Causing Childhood Statelessness

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    UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, UNICEF, and the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, which is housed at the Women's Refugee Commission, are calling for urgent action to reform gender discriminatory nationality laws that remain a root cause of global childhood statelessness.

    A new report released this week by the three organizations highlights that 25 countries still retain laws that deny women the right to pass their nationality to their children on an equal basis with men, while three countries also have laws that deny men the right to pass their nationality to children born outside of legal marriage.