HIAS works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, the U.N. Refugee Agency); the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; other international refugee assistance organizations; and local and regional human rights groups to protect refugees overseas.
We advocate for the fair and equal treatment of the most vulnerable refugees in the countries where they first arrive. We also advocate on behalf of increased resettlement slots globally and additional funding from the international community to assist the 70 million refugees and displaced persons in the world today.
International Resettlement Quotas
Vulnerable refugees who are at increased risk of harm even after they have fled from their countries should be resettled to safe third countries, however, there are far fewer resettlement slots available annually for refugees worldwide than are needed. According to UNHCR, the projected number of refugees who will need resettlement in 2018 is 1.2 million and yet worldwide resettlement quotas pale in comparison.
Protection for the Most Vulnerable
Refugees are entitled to specific rights and protections under international law. The most vulnerable – including women who are heads of households in cultures where men traditionally serve as protectors, children who are vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, and persecuted LGBTQ persons – have additional needs that must be recognized and addressed. It is vitally important that host country governments recognize and protect the rights of refugees ensuring that local communities and the local law enforcement do the same.
In recent years, the United Nations has established enhanced protections for vulnerable refugee children. UN agencies have directed governments and humanitarian organizations to provide stronger support for child protection and assistance programs, including formal and non-formal education programs in order to help reduce vulnerability of children who have been forced to flee their homes.
Conflicts around the world have forced 70 million people to flee their homelands. Many of these individuals live on the margins of foreign cities for years, in refugee camps for extended periods of time or in other marginalized communities where they often unable to fulfill their basic needs - nor are they able to return home. There is a crucial need for additional resources from the international community to address the needs of refugees and share the responsibility with refugee-hosting countries.
Click below to learn more about HIAS programming abroad: