Save the Children Statement on New Executive Order Impacting Refugees
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 6, 2017) — In response to executive action today by the United States Government regarding refugee resettlement, Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children, and Mark Shriver, President of Save the Children Action Network, released the following statement:
"Save the Children is disappointed in this latest executive action that seeks, once again, to bar refugee children and their families from finding safe haven in the United States. The order uses different words to accomplish the same thing the Administration tried to do in January – close America’s doors to families fleeing violence and persecution.
"We urge the Administration to continue the country’s long history of providing support for refugee children and their families overseas. Less than 1 percent of refugees are ever resettled, and 8 out of 10 are hosted in developing countries that struggle to help meet their basic needs. The average time a refugee stays in exile is 17 years—a lifetime for a child.
"Refugee children have been terrorized; they are not terrorists. They’ve had their childhoods interrupted, suffered through years of war, and watched friends and family lose their lives. At present, less than half of all refugee children are able to attend school, hindering their ability to develop and move past their trauma. The United States should demonstrate leadership and courage by restarting its refugee resettlement program as quickly as possible and returning the program to at least the level set in 2016, 110,000 refugees per year. The Administration should also ensure robust humanitarian funding that provides for resettlement as well as support to refugee children living overseas.
"Next week will mark six years since the beginning of the current conflict in Syria, which is the top driver of today’s global refugee crisis. We need more resettlement options for vulnerable Syrian refugees, as well as funding for education and protection services in front line host countries, not less.
"For nearly 100 years, Save the Children has worked tirelessly to help millions of refugee children and families—providing lifesaving assistance, improving access to education and quality healthcare, and protecting children from exploitation. In 2015, Save the Children was able to reach nearly 14 million people, many of them refugees, with lifesaving humanitarian assistance. We are committed to helping these families, regardless of ethnicity, religion or any other factor."
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