Global Responsibility for Syrian Refugees Stressed At Geneva Meeting

USA one of three nations who took the pledge – but the American people were never asked to vote on it. 

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Nearly 5 million Syrians have fled their country.  That’s equal to the entire population of South Carolina.  (There are approx. 1.4 million people serving in the US military.)[/pullquote]

The U.N. Refugee Agency hosted a high-level meeting in Geneva Wednesday, March 30th, on global responsibility sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees.   The goal:  resettlement of more Syrian refugees around the globe.  

At the meeting, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries on Wednesday to re-settle nearly half a million Syrian refugees in the next three years, but only Italy, Sweden and the United States immediately announced plans to play a part.   Ban urged countries to pledge new legal pathways for admitting the refugees, such as resettlement or humanitarian admission, family reunions, as well as labor and study opportunities.

The day before the meeting, the International Rescue Committee posted an open letter to global leaders, calling on them to pledge resettlement for at least 10 percent of Syria’s nearly 5 million refugees.  The letter said that resettlement of Syrian refugees has been insufficient so far, with only 178,195 pledges for resettlement.

Included in the IRC demands:  “Resettlement and non-resettlement pathways for admission, such as via humanitarian visas and family reunification, must be expanded. And in doing so, states must ensure that the protection and post-arrival services offered to Syrian refugees allows them to live in safety and dignity, with a significant degree of certainty about their future so that they may start on the process of integrating in new host communities.”

The letter was signed by the following organizations, who will place the refugees in a community near you:

  • Refugee Council
  • Christian Aid
  • ActionAid
  • Refugee Action
  • Church World Service
  • HIAS
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • Migration & Refugee Services
  • Mercy Corps
  • S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • World Vision
  • International Refugee Assistance Protect
  • World Relief

 

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