Global Refugee Crisis Demands U.S. Action

By Mary Elizabeth Margolis

The number of refugees in the world today is staggering. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates that there are at least 60 million people displaced worldwide, with 20 million of them classified as refugees who have been forced to flee due to violence, conflict, or persecution. This amounts to about one out of every 122 people on earth. Most of these refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and Central America, where there is widespread violence, conflict, and terrorism.

The Syria conflict alone has forced more than 4 million people to flee the country, while 7.6 million are displaced within Syria in need of humanitarian assistance. These refugees—overwhelmingly women and children—have been living in Jordan, Turkey, or other frontline refugee-hosting countries for years, struggling to survive without access to employment, education, and other basic needs. Frontline states and key U.S. allies including Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan continue to host the majority of these approximately 4 million refugees, struggling under the strain of hosting so many refugees.

Protecting the persecuted is not only a key American ideal, but is also crucial for U.S. national security interests. Meaningfully addressing the global refugee crisis is necessary to ensuring the stability of U.S. allies in the Middle East.

How should the United States leverage its leadership to catalyze an effective global response to this crisis? What can it do to strengthen its ability to lead by example? These are some of the questions that we will tackle as part of the 2015 Human Rights Summit on December 9th in Washington, D.C at the Newseum. We hope that you will join us. Register here.

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Published on November 20, 2015

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