Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm
Before his sudden and unexpected arrest for “communicating with an enemy government,” Dr. Arash Alaei created a model HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment system in Iran.
A renowned physician and internationally recognized expert in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, Dr. Alaei and his brother established Iran’s first clinic specializing in HIV/AIDS and spent a decade building a public health system to address the pandemic. Under his guidance, the country instituted the distribution of free condoms in healthcare clinics, initiated a nationwide needle-exchange program, and opened methadone
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 12:51 pm
At age 40, Amneh Yakum Abbakah is a mother of six, a grandmother of two and, most recently, an entrepreneur. She holds her youngest grandbaby close to her chest as she sets out a welcome mat for visitors to her new shop.
Amneh has been living in Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad since it opened a decade ago to absorb the tens of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Darfur. Narrowly escaping a ruinous invasion of her home village, she,
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 14:57 pm
After decades of advocacy efforts by refugee protection agencies to bring the issue of sexual and gender-based violence among refugees to the fore, prevention and response programs are finally becoming widely accessible to refugee women and girls who are vulnerable to or have survived gender-based violence.
Yet, the needs of certain populations—including men and boys, sexual minorities, disabled individuals, and older refugees—still remain largely unaddressed. As a result, thousands of refugees fall through the cracks of sexual and gender-based violence prevention
Posted by HIAS – NY on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 15:33 pm
In a welcome move, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued guidelines on refugee claims based on objection to military service. In addition to aiding governments and refugee advocates around the world, the guidelines will be particularly helpful to the government of Israel, which has a large backlog of Eritrean asylum claims on this basis. Israel’s current policy is to reject the asylum claims of those fleeing military service. Many Eritreans have fled indefinite conscription in a brutal military
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 15:16 pm
Widely acknowledged as the worst crisis in decades, the conflict in Syria has displaced well over 2 million people; over half, or an estimated 1.2 million, are children—already being referred to as "Syria's lost generation." As the conflict worsens, refugees continue to flee the chaos and violence and seek sanctuary in neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Turkey. What is to become of them in the long run?
Although most Syrians would like to return home, it is unlikely they will be
Posted by HIAS – DC on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 14:18 pm
Bob Marmor, President and CEO of Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts, a HIAS refugee resettlement partner, says the political backlash against refugee resettlement that has emerged in communities across the U.S. recently erupted in Springfield. The city’s mayor had pushed back against the resettlement of refugees there, saying that they place a burden on municipal resources and calling on the U.S. State Department to stop the flow of refugees.
“The American public doesn’t know who refugees are anymore,” Bob said.
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 13:48 pm
Twenty-three years on, Roman C., 30, a former Jewish refugee from Moldova, still remembers his first time at an arcade in the U.S., staring longingly at the “insert a coin” slot on a video game message and knowing he couldn’t possibly afford to play. A woman came over and handed him a quarter. “I was completely baffled by the act of kindness,” he says. The memory has always stayed with him.
When Roman was only seven years old, he and his
Posted by HIAS – NY on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 11:29 am
Though Nicia* is only 16 years old, her beyond-her-years wisdom has already saved her life several times over.
Two years ago, Nicia was living with her mother and stepfather in Boko, Congo, when war broke out in their village, forcing them to flee. Nicia’s stepfather, a Mai Mai rebel fighter, took the family to the rebels’ camp, hoping they would be protected. Shortly after they arrived, a rebel approached the family asking to marry Nicia.
Only 14 at the time, Nicia insisted
Posted by Mark Hetfield on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 11:37 am
With 76 countries having severe criminal penalties for being gay, the most vulnerable group in the world today is refugees who are sexual minorities. They are the marginalized among the marginalized, the least protected among the least protected. They live under a constant threat, forced to hide their identities and live in fear.
Each year, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people flee to the U.S. in search of safety. But upon reaching our shores, they are often
Posted by Mark Hetfield on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 13:24 pm
Last week I attended the formal launch of the “Affirmations for Faith Leaders,” at the Religions for Peace 9th World Congress. The Affirmations, a document HIAS helped draft earlier this year, calls on faith leaders around the world and from all faiths to welcome, protect, and honor refugees in their communities. I was proud to stand with my colleagues and felt a sense of hope for the plight of refugees around the world.
However, despite the efforts of non-governmental
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