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Refugees and Migrants

    September 18, 2017
    More Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh in the space of three weeks than the total number of refugees who fled by sea to Europe in 2016 Worldwide situation goes from bad to worse as rich countries fail to do their part in addressing the refugee crisis, leaving poorer countries to pick up the pieces

    As almost 400,000 refugees flee ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, world leaders meeting at the UN General Assembly should hang their heads in shame that they have not only failed to make good on their promises to take in more refugees, but have actively dismantled refugee rights in many parts of the world.

    A year on from the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York, where leaders pledged to take in more refugees and help vulnerable people forced to flee their countries, global refugee numbers are increasing year on year as conflicts spiral out of control.

    September 17, 2017

    Today, we want you to hear and share stories of refugees.

    Whether you go along to a refugee group in your community and hear stories told there, or just read the many stories about refugees on UNHCR’s website, listen to people’s stories as this is the best way to understand the issues facing refugees.

    The more you listen, the more you ask questions, the better you will understand refugees and see that these are just people in a really difficult situation.

    And you might be surprised about how much you get from this experience.

    September 16, 2017
    	Nour Ammana prepares Oúzi, a Syrian street pastry, in her shop Beroea Box in Market 707 in Toronto.

    What are you interests or passions? Do you love eating out, or going to the theatre, for example? Or do you feel like trying something you’ve never done before?

    There may be refugees groups in your community who organize activities which you would enjoy. By taking part in these events, you can learn about another culture through food or art or music. This, as Amir and Noor explained, helps keep these cultures alive.

    September 15, 2017

    You’ve shown until now how much you care, so could you befriend a refugee and help them settle into your local community?

    You may have to do a bit of research to find a local group that can facilitate this, but a good first place to check is with the organizations that provide services to refugees in your Community

    Refugees that have the support of local people tend to settle in much better, so you would be making a huge difference to their lives.

    It could be just a question of meeting someone for a coffee every now and then, to help them work out any issues they may have, or you could be a lot more hands-on and help a recently arrived refugee family navigate the welfare system in your country or register in school or learn to speak English. 

    September 14, 2017
    Toronto Councillor Joe Mihevc with the Syrian Family he sponsored

    It can feel overwhelming trying to work out how to help in something as massive as the global refugee crisis.

    Well, never forget that as well as being a global refugee crisis, it’s also a local one, as so many communities now have refugees living within them.

    So, remember – you are not alone and you don’t have to act on your own - there’s an incredible network of people across villages, towns, countries, globally, who are already really involved, it’s just a question of finding other like-minded people.

    And that’s really easy to do - look for groups in your local community who are supporting refugees. 

    So today, look into what support groups and activities there are in your community or country. And if you don’t find what you need, contact us to brainstorm for ideas about how you can get involved in your community. 

    You can make a massive difference. Thanks again for your support.

     

    September 14, 2017

    Yesterday we talked about finding or creating a safe space online or in your local community where you can meet likeminded people who also care about refugees.

    Well, today we’re asking you to look into actual, real-life safe spaces you might find in your area. You might be able to find landlords locally that are willing to give a room or a whole property to refugees, or perhaps you have a space you can offer in your own home?

    You could offer a place for refugees to stay in the short-term, or find people that are willing to do so.

    Contact refugee service organizations in your community to find out how you can help them meet the needs of refugees in your community

    Amir, a refugee from Syria, fled to Turkey and managed to learn Turkish, find work, and a place to live relatively easily. So he decided to rent out the rooms in his house to others fleeing Syria, so he could help and support them and make things easier for them in Turkey.

    September 13, 2017
    ‘Your brother has been killed,’ the Myanmar soldier said. ‘You can come out of hiding and take him.’

    By Tirana Hassan, Amnesty International crisis response director

    As you approach the fishing village of Shamlapur, near the long, sloping sand beach of Cox’s Bazar, the sense that something is wrong grows. Tens of thousands of exhausted people step out of ramshackle boats that have carried them across the Naf River after an arduous journey from Myanmar. Weary and traumatized, they seek shelter anywhere they can — in one school I entered, hundreds, about half of them children, had gathered in silence. There wasn’t a cry or a laugh; even the babies were listless and deathly silent.

    September 12, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Statement

    NEW YORK – Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to temporarily uphold the refugee ban, Naureen Shah, Amnesty International USA senior director of campaigns, released the following statement:

    “The Supreme Court today has dealt yet another devastating blow to vulnerable people who were on the cusp of obtaining safety for themselves and their families. They continue to be subjected to unimaginable violence and fear while their lives are in limbo. This ban is inherently cruel and no part of it should be allowed to stand.”

    CONTACT: media@aiusa.org

     

     

    September 12, 2017

    Follow Tirana Hassan, Amnesty's director of the research and crisis response unit, for live updates from Bangladesh @TiranaHassan.

    In recent weeks, around 250,000 Rohingya refugees have fled into Bangladesh, as a result of an unlawful and totally disproportionate military response to attacks by a Rohingya armed group.

    Here, Amnesty International explains this people’s plight, their state-sponsored persecution, and the crisis’ wide-ranging humanitarian effects.

    TAKE ACTION > Sign Amnesty's petition to the government of Myanmar

    A persecuted people 

    The Rohingya is a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority of about 1.1 million living mostly in Rakhine state, west Myanmar, on the border with Bangladesh.

    Though they have lived in Myanmar for generations, the Myanmar government insists that all Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. It refuses to recognize them as citizens, effectively rendering the majority of them stateless. 

    September 09, 2017

    It’s been a week since we started the 30 days, and I hope you’re seeing the difference already. Hopefully, you understand the issues a bit more and now understand more the change that one person, like you, can make.

    Sometimes change takes time, and sometimes it feels like it happens before your eyes.

    Watch this video and see what happened when people met refugees face-to-face for the first time.

    You can share it with anyone you think might be interested too.

    September 08, 2017

    We told you yesterday about the story of Baraa , who we were able to help thanks to the support of people like you. We can’t thank you enough for all that you’re doing to help refugees.

    Today, we’re asking you to speak out about the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres in Canada.

    Did you know that over the last 10 years over 800 children have been held in immigration detention in Canada? Children are placed in detention with or without their families for several weeks, and sometimes for up to a year. In February 2016 a 16 year old Syrian refugee boy was help in solitary confinement in immigration detention for 3 weeks.

    September 06, 2017

    You care about refugees – that’s clear from the fact that you’re reading this now.

    And because of that, we thought you might be interested in signing up for a free online course about the rights of refugees.

    This course will help you to understand, defend and promote the rights of refugees. You will also develop new skills and knowledge from experts and learn how to hold governments to account.

    You can do the course at your own pace, and you can also connect with other participants from across the world.  

    We really hope you enjoy it.

    And knowledge is power, so by doing this and sharing the course with others who might be interested, you will be helping to change people’s attitudes to refugees.

    Take the free online refugee rights course

    September 05, 2017
    Graphic of the refugee crisis by numbers

    To really make a difference to refugees, you need to understand the scale of the problem.

    But behind each and every number, behind every image of crowds of people waiting in refugee camps – behind each of these is a person, like Ahmed.

    He’d spent his life working in his 300-person capacity restaurant, which welcomed scores of tourist buses every day. He was well known where he lived, and much loved by tourists and locals alike.

    But the war in Syria changed everything. Both his home and his restaurant were destroyed by bombs so he fled to another city with his family, including his two young children, Aya and Read. But even there they weren’t safe, so Ahmed made the difficult decision to leave his beloved country to seek safety in Jordan. .

    Read outside his home in Toronto

    September 04, 2017

    We’re spending a month highlighting all the amazing ways you can help make a difference to refugees around the world.

    If you’ve ever felt helpless or hopeless hearing about the millions of people forced to flee their homes, we want to change all that so that you can do something you believe in.

    You’ve already taken the first step, probably without even realising it. As Mohamed,  a refugee from Somalia, explains:

    “There is a proverb in my culture which says an open heart is entered but not an open door. So if you see an open door you will not enter it, but you will enter it if the person who is there has an open heart. So I think having a great heart, it's the first thing.”

    So you’re off to an excellent start. 

    But if you are going to make a difference, you need to know the basics – what is a refugee?

    August 30, 2017

    Amnesty International USA Release

    NEW YORK – A letter from Amnesty International USA and local Texas groups Grassroots Leadership and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today raised heightened concerns about Hurricane Harvey’s impact on migrant populations and people seeking asylum.

    Writing to the heads of DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, the letter reads, in part:

    “This cannot be overstated: it would be unconscionable for DHS to contribute to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Harvey by taking actions that separate families, deny vulnerable people access to asylum, and evade U.S. human rights obligations.

    “The threats of enforcement actions forced undocumented Texans to brave the storm rather than seek safety outside the path of the storm, pass checkpoints, or enter shelters. Fifty-two mothers and children were left at a bus station in San Antonio hours before the storm, with nowhere to go.”

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