This Week in Restoring Family Links News 03/14/2016 - 03/18/2016

Panel discussion on migrant (re)integration.

Panel discussion on migrant (re)integration.

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.

Migration Conference: This week, the American Red Cross hosted its second annual migration conference, Community Resilience: Evolving Perspectives and Approaches to migration. This event brought together leading advocates, service providers and government actors to focus on strengthening and supporting the resilience of migrants and the communities in which they live. This included focusing on two topics often relegated to the sidelines when discussing protections for migrants – mental health and sexual/gender identity. Both these panels demonstrated how these aspects of human existence are not only vital considerations for how we approach humanitarian responses to migration, but how they shape the entire migration experience.

Throughout the day, we shared highlights from our panelists and keynote speakers.

We were also fortunate enough to feature the photo exhibit, “Children Don’t Migrate, They Flee,” which highlights the violence experienced by children in the Northern Triangle countries of Central American and the stories of the children who flee it. 

The majority of the event was livestreamed, and recordings of the sessions will be available on the blog in the coming weeks.

Homs, Syria. Photo credit: Jerome Sessini, ICRC

Homs, Syria. Photo credit: Jerome Sessini, ICRC

Syria: As this week marked the 5th anniversary of the conflict in Syria, much of the news was focused on the ongoing conflict, the mounting humanitarian crisis, and the work done by non-government organizations and government agencies alike to address the needs of the most vulnerable. A lot of attention has focused on the conflict’s effect on children. An entire generation is growing up amidst the traumatic experiences of war. Coupled with the lack of education opportunities available for those in Syria and even those who have fled, there is and will continue to be much work to do to support Syria’s youngest generations.

A significant effort is also being made to highlight the individual stories of Syrians affected by the war and share insights on the conflict itself and the resulting population movements. Both the United Nations and CNN posted stories of Syrians to stand in solidarity with those caught in the midst of war. They range from the young to the old, from those who've stayed to those who've fled, all emphasizing the need to better support Syrians. The United Nations also shared ten insights about the current refugee crisis, all with the underlying theme: the world can do more.