WASHINGTON—After the issuance of Friday’s Executive Order effectively barring Syrian refugees, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) Executive Director Federico Borello said:

“Barring refugees from finding a safe haven in the United States raises serious questions about the United States’ long-standing commitment to protecting civilians from wars around the world. Since 1948, the United States has been the established global leader in providing safety and security for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. These men, women, and—especially—children are often fleeing conflict, and should not be further victimized. They seek nothing more than a chance to rebuild their lives and become valuable contributors to their new communities and countries.

“The current, unprecedented, volume of refugees also serves as a tragic reminder of the importance of minimizing the impact of conflict on civilians through adherence to international humanitarian law. The United States should lead by example and press others to adopt higher standards of protection for civilians in conflict zones such as Syria, reducing the need to accept refugees in the first place. When civilians end up having no choice other than fleeing the violence in their country, they should be welcomed and sheltered in accordance with international law, and all countries—including the United States—must participate in this effort.”

Background:

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Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.

Image courtesy of Eoghan Rice
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