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Among flood fleeing Syria, a trickle crosses ocean to brave Central American smuggling routes

If refugees can’t reach their destinations — and declare asylum there — legally, smugglers will help them to do it illegally, according to Jennifer Podkul at the Women's Refugee Commission.

Central Americans Flee to USA to Escape Mayhem Back Home

"That refutes this concept that (the refugees) are just coming to the United States for work, that this isn't a refugee crisis, that they're just trying to take advantage of Obama's policies," said Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights and justice for the Women's Refugee Commission. "They're clearly trying to flee anywhere they can go."

As Asylum Seekers Swap Prison Beds For Ankle Bracelets, Same Firm Profits

"We were not very pleased that the contract ended up going to GEO Care, that is affiliated directly with a company that had prison ties," says Michelle Brané, director of migrants and justice.

Women Refugees Are “Running For Their Lives” In Central America

“If someone is going after a young man who is refusing to join a gang, they’ll threaten their mother, sister, or girlfriend. Women also face threats of rape, domestic violence, and there are no shelters or places to keep them safe," said Michelle Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission.

Global Citizenship Education Underpins Efforts of Youth to Build Peaceful Societies

According to the Women’s Refugee Commission, all 51 countries experiencing some form of conflict since 1986 also reported high levels of sexual violence against adolescent girls.

tags: Education

Young, Illegal and Alone

Fleeing violence in Central America, unaccompanied children enter a thicket of inconsistent deportation laws. "A more straightforward approach would be to adopt an immigration law that considers a child’s best interest," said Jennifer Podkul of the Women’s Refugee Commission. 

The Refugees at Our Door

"You can lock people inside a burning house, you can close the front door, but they will find a way out," says Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. "The U.S. doesn’t want to recognize this as a refugee situation. They want Mexico to be the buffer, to stop arrivals before they get to our border."

ICE announces caseworker program for immigrant families

Alternatives to detention "less harmful and less expensive," said Michelle Brané, so they are are good first step. However, "we are disappointed that it went to a company that focuses more on corrections and prisons."

The US must raise the cap for Syrian refugees

"Helping these people is first and foremost a humanitarian imperative," said Stephanie Peters, a commissioner for the Women's Refugee Commission.

Why Is the U.S. Not Doing More to Help Syrian Refugees?

"The U.S. could and should be doing more. The silence of the White House on this is unacceptable," said Michelle Brané of the Women's Refugee Commission.

Are Male Detainees Treated Differently Than Women?

In February, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that jailing the mothers as a deterrent to future migrants was “likely unlawful” and ordered the government to stop.

Judge orders release of immigrant families within 60 days

“The Court gave Immigration and Customs Service 60 days to end the immoral detention of children and we see no reason why the Administration should not act immediately,” said Michelle Brané, director of the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Migrant Rights and Justice Program.

Working towards better health in humanitarian crises

World Humanitarian Day (August 19) "should also be a day to remember the populations living in crises. A Global Evaluation launched last week by the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises, found that only 43% of the funds requested for reproductive health to served displaced communities had been filled. (IAWG is a group of 18 international organisations including the Women's Refugee Commission.) 

Women lack access to safe abortions in humanitarian crises

Efforts to provide safe abortions in countries hit by conflict or disasters are being held back by a lack of information and funding.

Family Detention -- It’s Time to Do the Right Thing

A court ruling is the latest blow to the controversial practice of detaining families seeking asylum. Now it’s up to the Obama administration to do the right thing.

Migrant Mothers Lodge Formal Complaint Over Lack Of Medical Care In Family Detention Centers

Ten organizations, including the Women's Refugee Commission, sued the government, protesting that while detained by DHS, mothers and their children received substandard medical care and suffered severely.

Women, Peace and Security Agenda Still Hitting Glass Ceiling

"The key challenges in protecting women and children in emergencies, and ensuring women are able to participate in these processes, is not related to knowing what needs to happen. We need a commitment to do it, said Marcy Hersh of the Women's Refugee Commission.

Mother who fled Honduras 'to escape abuse, mistreatment' says 'it's the same' in U.S.

Organizations including the Women's Refugee Commission note regular failures of DHS to provide adequate medical care for asylum seeking mothers and children in family detention facilities, and they add to the already ample evidence demonstrating why family detention must end.

Why is the Obama administration still fighting to keep immigrant families behind bars?

U.S. family detention, nearly ended in 2009 and revived in 2014, "has been marked by failure after failure." Last week, a judge ruled that the practice still violates the government's own rules about how to treat children humanely.

Border Patrol Deported 93% of Unaccompanied Mexican Children under 14 without Legal Hearings

"The vast majority unaccompanied minors are not getting a chance to show they fear persecution if they’re returned to their home countries"--a legal requirement under U.S. and international law.