Syria: Getting Non-Camp Refugees the Aid They Need
RI has consistently recommended more support for services that assist Syrian refugees outside of camps. Even as many large aid agencies and non-governmental organizations established programming in camps, RI repeatedly noted the lack of support for those living outside of them and requested that donors and service providers pay more attention to this enormous population. Finally, as part of its 2014 regional response plan for Syria, the UN Refugee Agency announced that it would specifically focus more of its efforts on non-camp refugees in the region.
Israel: Accepting African Asylum Seekers
RI spoke with Israeli officials in late 2013 about their failure to recognize Eritreans as refugees, and offered suggestions for improvement. In February 2014, Israel granted asylum to a small number of Eritreans for the first time. RI calls on Israel to accept and evaluate all asylum claims consistent with international law.
Syria: More Protection for Women and Girls
RI was the first NGO to raise the alarm about a lack of programs to address and prevent gender-based violence among displaced Syrians. In November 2013, the UK Department for International Development responded to this shortfall by providing £8.6 million in new funding.
South Sudan: Additional Nationality Offices Provide Documentation to Citizens
RI asked South Sudan's government to open local nationality offices to serve rural populations and minority tribal groups and reduce the risk of statelessness. In November 2012, South Sudan announced that it would open these offices in each of its ten states. As of October 2013, six offices had opened.
Women & Girls: State Department Launches New Initiative
In response to RI's repeated calls for the U.S. government to do more to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian crises, the State Department launched “Safe From the Start,” a $10 million initiative to protect women and girls.
Myanmar: Ban on the Importation of Gemstones Extended
In July 2013, RI and supporters demanded that the U.S. Congress renew a ban on the importation of Myanmar gemstones, which fuel corruption and human rights abuses in ethnic minority regions. While Congress did not act, President Obama signed an executive order to extend the ban.
South Sudan: U.S. House of Representatives Addresses SPLA Abuse
In line with RI’s recommendations in its July 2013 report, the U.S. House of Representatives added language to its Appropriations bill requiring a report on whether South Sudan is “investigating and punishing members of security forces who have violated human rights” before aid to the country is released.
DRC: UN Considers Changes to GBV Response
The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spurred largely by the findings in RI's spring 2013 report. In addition, a member of the UN's Gender-based Violence Rapid Response Team was sent to the country to consider overhauling its coordination system, which RI had urged.
DRC: Additional UNHCR Staff Deployed to the East
After RI raised concerns about the lack of adequate camp coordination staff in the DRC, the UN Refugee Agency requested an additional five staff be deployed to eastern Congo.