UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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Kickstarter Will Help You Help Refugees

Crowdfunding site teams up with White House

(Newser) - Kickstarter is crowdfunding for Syria, at the request of the White House, which asked if the crowdfunding website could find ways for the US public to help Syrian refugees, the Guardian reports. The result: this special Kickstarter page launched Tuesday, through which people can donate money that will go to... More »

UN: East Ukraine a Human Rights Mess

Tatars being oppressed, freedom of speech curtailed

(Newser) - Human rights abuses are escalating in Ukraine's contested East, the UN warned in a report today. It's the second monthly assessment of the situation, the BBC reports, and there's been an "alarming deterioration" since the first. The lowlights include:
  • Minority Tatars in Crimea are facing harassment
... More »

Ikea's Latest: Refugee Shelters

Company's philanthropic arm plans major upgrade from tents

(Newser) - It sounds like the set-up to a really bad joke—the world's refugees are going to start using shelters from Ikea. But the idea actually has the potential to do a world of good, reports the Christian Science Monitor . The shelters from the Ikea Foundation, the furniture maker's... More »

There Was a New Refugee Every 4.1 Seconds in 2012

Now 45.2M displaced people in the world—most in developing countries

(Newser) - About 7.6 million people became refugees in 2012—that's one every 4.1 seconds—bringing the total number of displaced people in the world to 45.2 million, the highest figure since 1994, reports al-Jazeera . A new report from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees... More »

UN: It's Illegal to Force-Feed Gitmo Hunger Strikers

High Commissioner of Human Rights says US breaking international convention

(Newser) - The US is breaking international law by force-feeding Guantanamo detainees to keep them alive as they hunger strike, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said today. "If it’s perceived as torture or inhuman treatment—and it’s the case, it’s painful—then it is prohibited by... More »

Syria's Refugee Tally: 1M

And half of them are children, according to UN report

(Newser) - A million people have now fled Syria to avoid the war raging there—and half of them are children, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported today . "Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster," commissioner António Guterres said. "We are doing everything we can to help, but... More »

Congo Massacres Claim Hundreds: Report

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls killings 'beyond comprehension'

(Newser) - Hundreds of civilians, most of them women and children, appear to have been massacred by rival armed factions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay revealed today. While Pillay said that reports were still being verified, she added that "the sheer... More »

Syria Launches Ground Assault to 'Clean' Baba Amr

Western journalists trapped inside city

(Newser) - Syrian ground troops advanced on Homs today, indicating that the regime was about to launch a ground assault to take the restive city. One Syrian official told the AP that the rebel-held Baba Amr neighborhood would be "cleaned" in a matter of hours. Three western journalists are still trapped... More »

In Homs, Opposition Reports 'Indiscriminate Slaughter'

UN raises uprising's death toll to 3,500, calls figure conservative

(Newser) - Syria’s uprising got even bloodier today as government forces continued their assault on Homs, clashing with military defectors and other opposition gunmen. Opposition activists declared the city a “humanitarian disaster area,” estimating that in the past week more than 100 have been killed. “Indiscriminate slaughter is... More »

Qatar Deports Alleged Rape Victim Back to Libya

Iman al-Obeidy says they beat her and forced her onto plane

(Newser) - Qatar has sent Iman al-Obeidy back to Libya kicking and screaming, despite objections from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Obeidy tells CNN that Qatari guards took her and her parents from their hotel in Doha; took their cell phones, laptops, and money; beat her and handcuffed her; and then... More »

Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds on Libya's Borders

Nearly 100,000 people have fled fighting to Egypt, Tunisia

(Newser) - The violence and unrest gripping Libya is creating a humanitarian crisis, as almost 100,000 people have fled the fighting for Egypt and Tunisia, reports the New York Times . About half of the refugees are Egyptians, but those fleeing includes Libyans, Chinese, and others, mostly poorer laborers. "We call... More »

Don't Forget Iraqi Refugees: Brangelina

Stars visit with displaced people in Syria

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are in Syria, using their powers for good. The celebrity übercouple visited Iraqi refugees in Damascus today in an attempt to keep the lowest-profile victims of the war from falling off the radar, People reports. Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the UN's refugee agency,... More »

Wolfowitz: We Must Help North Korea's Refugees

(Newser) - When President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak meet today, they will discuss a host of security and economic issues, but Paul Wolfowitz hopes they take some time out for a purely humanitarian concern: North Korea’s refugees. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have fled to China, but... More »

UN Official Kidnapped in Pakistan

No leads yet in refugee worker's abduction

(Newser) - An American working with a UN refugee agency in southwestern Pakistan was kidnapped today by gunmen who killed his driver, reports the Times of London. The attack occurred as the official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which aids Afghan refugees in the city of Quetta, headed to... More »

Jolie Returns, Moved, From Afghanistan Trip

Goodwill ambassador visited refugees, urges international aid

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie made a trip to Afghanistan last week in her role as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, spending two days among the country's returning refugees. The actress visited sites where thousands of Afghans live in makeshift housing and struggle to find work, problems that typify the stress the... More »

Google Tracking Refugees

UN info on displaced peoples now available through Earth mapping feature

(Newser) - A new feature allows Google Earth users to take a tour of the world’s refugee hotspots, with images of camps supplemented by information from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the AP reports. The search titan has greatly improved the available resolution in its satellite photos of refugee areas—... More »

US to Admit More Iraqi Refugees

Speeds up glacial pace of resettlement

(Newser) - The State Department plans to admit 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the US by September, despite resettling only 375 so far this year, CNN reports. Ambassador James Foley, charged with the task of accelerating resettlement, vowed to reporters that the pace will pick up in the coming months. The US... More »

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