Our Successes

  • Sahel: President Obama authorizes $10 million in emergency relief for displaced Malians
    In June 2012, RI declared that it was "alarmed by the weak donor response" to the crisis in the Sahel. A month later, U.S. President Barack Obama authorized $10 million in emergency relief for displaced Malians.
  • Colombia: USAID pledges $50 million to support the implementation of the Victims Law
    Thanks in part to RI’s advocacy on Colombia’s new Victims Law – designed to assist millions of internally displaced people – the U.S. Agency for International Development announced that it will dedicate $50 million over the next three years to support the law’s implementation.
  • Colombia: Increased U.S. funding for internally displaced people in Colombia
    RI's tireless work with Senate offices resulted in the inclusion of a call for an increase in funding for Colombian refugees and internally displaced people in the Senate's 2013 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.
  • Sudan & South Sudan: Airlift of 12,000 returnees
    In May 2012, RI raised the alarm after the governor of Sudan’s White Nile State said that thousands of southerners stranded in the border town of Kosti had just days to leave the country. As a result, the International Organization for Migration began an airlift of 12,000 southerners from Kosti to Juba, South Sudan.
  • Kenya: Number of protection officers increased at Dadaab
    UNHCR increased the number of protection officers deployed to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camps after RI called the program “vastly under-staffed” in December 2011. RI, however, continues to push for greater resources for protection of refugees in Dadaab, especially for vulnerable groups such as children.
  • Kuwait: U.S. and UK address abuses of stateless people
    After RI pressed Kuwait's allies to respond to its abuse of stateless people, both the U.S. and the UK dispatched special delegations to the country. UNHCR also sent its director of international protection to meet with Kuwaiti officials.
  • Sudan: Agrees to transfer 300,000 southerners to South Sudan
    After RI publicly condemned plans to deport hundreds of thousands of denationalized southerners, Sudan announced a deal with South Sudan for the orderly transfer of 300,000 southerners. RI, however, views the agreement as deeply flawed and will press for a broader solution.
  • 2012 U.S. Federal Budget: Secured funding for the core humanitarian accounts
    RI's consistent calls for Congress to maintain U.S. leadership in providing emergency assistance to internally displaced people and refugees helped to secure solid funding for the core humanitarian accounts in the 2012 U.S. federal budget. Congress appropriated $1.86 billion for “Migration and Refugee Assistance” and another $975 million for the “International Disaster Assistance” account.
  • Protection & Security: Key language in the 2012 Defense spending bill
    The 2012 Defense spending bill included key language drafted by RI on the African Standby Force (ASF). The bill requires the Pentagon to assess the African Union’s development of the ASF: a planned multi-nation peacekeeping forced designed for rapid deployment throughout the continent.
  • Afghanistan: Protection of Civilians Working Group called to action
    Following RI's June 2011 report on Afghanistan that highlighted the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) role in causing displacement, ISAF and NGOs reinvigorated the Protection of Civilians Working Group. RI was asked to provide input for the group’s December 2011 meeting.
  • Colombia: Increased Funding for NGOs
    In October 2011, with serious cuts to foreign assistance looming, RI advocates pushed for and secured $8 million in U.S. aid to Colombian refugees, almost half the total funding for international NGOs working on this issue.
  • Afghanistan: Increased Protection Staff
    Following our June report on Afghanistan, in September 2011 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees increased the number of protection staff to track displacement in the country’s northern regions.
  • Return and Reintegration: Transport for Southern Sudanese back home

    After we sounded the alarm in May 2011, that 5,600 southern Sudanese were stranded in a transit facility south of Khartoum that was built for 800 people, agencies provided transportation to help them return to South Sudan.

  • Peacekeeping: Reconciliation in the DR Congo and Civilian Protection in South Sudan

    In March 2011, two communities in Equateur province in the DR Congo signed a non-aggression pact ending more than a year of deadly conflict.  We are pleased that peace has arrived after the UN and other agencies followed RI’s recommendation to support reconciliation efforts.

    Then in August 2011, as the new UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was being formed, RI was instrumental in pushing the UN Security Council to prioritize the protection of civilians and authorize the greatest possible number of troops.

  • Iraq: Improved Conditions for Iraqis in Squatter Settlements
    February 2011: After RI called for greater assistance to displaced Iraqis living in squalid squatter settlements, the U.S. government and UNHCR made the provision of assistance to these communities a top priority.  Today, some of the funding helps these Iraqis stay dry from the winter rains, watch their children play in safe spaces, and drink clean water.
  • Statelessness: Ammendment to Laws Affecting Citizenship for Stateless People in the US

    For six years, RI has continued to promote the human rights of the some twelve million people worldwide who lack citizenship. These stateless people are deprived of accessing basic services and exercising their political and civil rights. By prompting positive change in the UN system and strengthening US government attention to the issue, the US refugee bureau gave $320,000 to UN efforts to identify people at risk of statelessness in the Sudan. The US Senate also introduced an amendment to legislation that would create a legal pathway to citizenship for stateless people in the United States. Furthermore, the UNHCR pledged greater attention to stateless people during field visits and requested that the UN General Assembly support efforts to prevent statelessness.

  • Climate Displacement: UN Human Rights Council's Social Forum
    In order to increase awareness of the link between climate change and displacement, The Ken & Darcy Bacon Center for the Study of Climate Displacement assessed climate-related migration and displacement in Senegal and Pakistan, worked closely with congressional leaders to promote the issue, participated in international forums and panel discussions, and hosted education and outreach events. As a result of RI’s time in Pakistan, the report from the UN Human Rights Council's 2010 Social Forum included our recommendations to better protect people displaced by natural disasters.
  • Peacekeeping: Protection of Civillians curriculum development
    RI aims to improve international peacekeepers' efforts to protect civilians from harm. We called for the peacekeeping missions in the Sudan and DR Congo to improve their information-gathering and planning processes. Due to such calls, RI is playing a central role in developing a Protection of Civilians training curriculum for UN peacekeepers. The UN Security Council also included several RI recommendations in a resolution on the UN Mission in Sudan, including the need for a comprehensive protection strategy.
  • Women's Rights: Community Protection Networks
    Systematic targeting of women has become a widespread tactic of war and the stresses of displacement often lead to increased violence against women. RI called attention to the specific needs of women in Haiti, Sudan and the DR Congo and urged the US and key UN agencies to provide more resources to respond to rape and the abuse of women. In Sudan, this translated into the UN providing funding for women's groups who set up community protection networks. Agencies also pre-positioned safe birthing kits and post-rape kits in the run-up to South Sudan's referendum for independence. Coordination in the DR Congo also improved between agencies providing emergency aid and those longer-term programs related to sexual violence, and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced a plan to increase communication over the sexual violence strategy with local and national NGOs.
  • DR Congo: Non-Aggression Pact signed
    Nearly two million people remain internally displaced from the deadly conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. RI traveled to Equateur province where aid agencies were struggling to assist some 200,000 newly displaced people. Some of those agencies told RI that our field report on this extremely neglected region, and our media outreach as well as ongoing advocacy led to greater resources in the province. Two communities in this province even signed a non-aggression pact after RI recommended that the UN and other agencies support reconciliation efforts. The US refugee bureau also funded staff to work on human rights issues for the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo to improve the protection of its civilians.