This Week in Restoring Family Links News 11/16/15 – 11/20/15

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.

Universal Children’s Day: Every year, November 20th marks Universal Children’s Day, a day of “worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.” It also marks the anniversary of the signing of both the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, two landmark pieces of international legislation ensuring protections for our future generations.

To mark this year’s recognition, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a report highlighting the obstacles facing the world’s most disadvantaged youth. To combat this inequality, the “Fight Unfair” campaign has been launched to change the way governments and communities view and treat children with disabilities. You can check out what other people and organizations are doing and saying for Universal Children’s Day by clicking here.

Migration in Europe: The world continues to closely follow the refugee situation in Europe. As winter quickly approaches, many governments are being urged to provide better protections for migrants and refugees. This is especially true in the Western Balkans where further border crossing restrictions are increasing the vulnerability of refugees. Dominating US news concerning the situation was the US House of Representatives decision to consider and then pass a bill adding further oversight to the screening process of refugees from Syria and Iraq. This comes in response to the Islamic State terrorist attack in Paris and fears that terrorists could be brought to the United States through refugee resettlement programs.

The terrorist argument is just the latest in a string of rhetorical devises used to demonize refugees and migrants and stir public resentment against them. Yet while the overwhelming humanitarian needs of refugees have most often won over economic arguments, fears of terrorism have resulted in concrete actions taken to limit the protections available to the most vulnerable populations. As far as the US is concerned, President Barack Obama has promised to veto the bill. However, only time will tell whether fear or compassion will win. In the meantime, you can learn more about the resettlement process for Syrian refugees by clicking here. You can also read Human Rights Watch ten recommendations for addressing the global refugee crisis, which includes resettlement, by clicking here.

Lastly, a great video (see below) was shared this week detailing the Restoring Family Links work being done in Greece and throughout the Balkans for migrants.