The Women's Refugee Commission helped draft and joined 45 other organizations in signing a letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano calling for the Department of Homeland Security to develop strong, comprehensive Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards based closely on those issued by the Department of Justice.
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
We write to provide our support for the development of comprehensive standards by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). As noted in the May 17th White House memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies, President Obama directed “all agencies with Federal confinement facilities that are not already subject to the Department of Justice’s final [PREA] rule to work with the Attorney General to propose, within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, any rules or procedures necessary to satisfy the requirements of PREA and to finalize any such rules or procedures within 240 days of their proposal.”
The Women's Refugee Commission's Director of Protection, Dale Buscher, wrote a letter to The New Yorker in response to John Cassidy's article, "Prophet Motive". Buscher points out that the "Islamic countries experiencing rapid growth" have more of their women participating in the labor force — a fact that Cassidy's article failed to account for.
Read the letter as it appeared in The New Yorker.
The Women's Refugee Commission joined 28 other international aid organizations in writing to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House leaders urging them to restore funding for humanitarian assistance, which they drastically cut in the spending bill passed last weekend.
In a letter to the editor of The Statesman, Emily Butera, program officer for the Detention and Asylum program, talks about the "actions taken to bring to justice a guard accused of sexually assaulting female detainees who were being transferred from the T. Don Hutto federal detention facility in Taylor to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport."
Read the letter as it appeared in The Statesman.
On this observance of World Refugee Day, we must note a troubling trend: the decline in the number of refugees who are able to go home.
In 2005, more than a million people returned to their own country on a voluntary basis. Last year, only 250,000 did so - the lowest number in two decades. The reasons for this include prolonged instability in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan.