This Week in Restoring Family Links News 9/20/2014-9/26/2014

Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.

Syria’s Refugees:  Amid the media coverage of the US government’s decision to bomb ISIS in Syria, there remained a steady stream of stories dedicated to the plight of Syrians who continue to flee fighting in the nation. Last weekend, a sudden influx of refugees crossed the border into Turkey. While some estimate the number around 66,000, others have reported that as many as 130,000 Syrian refugees entered Turkey over a four-day period. This increase comes at a time when an end to the conflict seems further away than ever. More than 3 million Syrians are now registered as refugees outside their home country. Many of them suffering injuries in addition to the trauma of displacement.

Many Syrian refugees, as well as others fleeing conflict and poverty in the region, are increasingly risking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe. Just last week, 700 persons are believed to have drowned due to shipwrecks while making the journey. This humanitarian crisis underscores the desperate situation in which many refugees and migrants have found themselves. While Italy’s Mare Nostrum mission has saved thousands from a watery grave, the operation is due to close soon, leaving many worried for an impending catastrophe.

United Nations: This week, global leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Over the course of the next week there is much to discuss. The United Nations is grappling with several significant crises all while trying to provide assistance to the largest number of refugees the world has seen since World War II. From South Sudan, to Cameroon, to Syria, Afghanistan, and the Ebola Crisis, the task is daunting, and many UN agencies continue to call for the international donor community to better fund their response to these efforts. Climate change is also taking center stage during the meeting, with many urging for the creation of protections for persons forced to relocate due to climate change.

Migration Matters: This week, the Restoring Family Links Blog continued to cover migration issues and the work of the Red Cross Movement to assist migrants through its blog series – Migration Matters. These blogs explore the language used when we talk about migrants as well as the work of the Cruz Roja Hondureña, Cruz Roja Salvadoreña, and Cruz Roja Guatemalteca to assist returned migrants. While the blog has primarily focused on migration in the Americas, the Red Cross Movement is involved in providing services and protection to migrants around the globe. The Malaysian Red Crescent and ICRC help migrants detained in Malaysia communicate with their families back home. As migration issues continue to be discussed in international and domestic spaces, it is important to keep in mind the following words of Pope Francis:

“A more decisive and constructive action is required, one which relies on a universal network of cooperation, based on safeguarding the dignity and centrality of every human person. This will lead to greater effectiveness in the fight against the shameful and criminal trafficking of human beings, the violation of fundamental rights, and all forms of violence, oppression, and enslavement…It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation.”