News from the Week of March 14

Information is power. Here’s a round-up of what we’ve been reading and watching this week, from in the news and around the web:

As the Syria crisis worsens, more stories are emerging of the despair and challenges confronting Syrian refugees and those left behind. ABC News shares the story of Layla Ali Kamal Adee, a 39-year-old mother of four who is stranded in Greece and separated from her children. The New York Times reports that the conflict has led to 2.4 million child refugees, and the recruitment of children as young as seven as soldiers, as well as the rise of human smuggling by organized crime. In a more heartening piece, the Independent featured an elderly Greek couple who has opened their home to refugees.

Monkey Cage highlighted results from a new survey by researchers from Harvard Business School, UCLA, and Bogazici University in Turkey, which found that despite extensive trauma and loss, most Syrian refugees desire to return home to a united Syria.

The Washington Post reports that despite the Administration’s recent push to settle more Syrian refugees, its effort isn’t resulting in speedier resettlement processes. Most applicants are still likely to wait at least 18 months before being resettled, meaning the U.S. is unlikely to meet its September target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in Fiscal Year 2016.

This week also saw the introduction and committee approval of new, harmful legislation by the House Judiciary Committee that would severely hamper the United States’ ability to provide safety for those fleeing violence and persecution around the world and would discourage the integration of resettled refugees. The bill will next possibly go to the House floor, and we’ll be monitoring.

Last, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you don’t want to miss this message from the cast in support of the International Rescue Committee.

Have reactions to share, or want to get more involved? Contact us at vfai@humanrightsfirst.org.