How to Help Syrian Refugees

As their country enters the third year of a bitter civil war, roughly 4 million Syrians have fled their homes. At least 1 million have crossed into neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. The rest are displaced within Syria, including a large contingency hiding out in Roman-era caves. And to make the situation … Continue reading

Bearing Our Own Energy Burden

The Keystone XL pipeline – once relatively unknown to everyone but energy execs and protestors – has become a major US election issue and the source of much controversy lately. The proposed pipeline would carry oil 2,000 miles from Canada’s tar sands through the US and down to Texas. Environmental activists have been fighting the … Continue reading

Good News Friday

If there isn’t any other good news in the whole world, we have this: it’s holiday season! I’m half-Jewish so along with family Christmas, I celebrate Hanukkah. Heck, I might even throw Festivus in there, too. On a related note, before I post some other good news below, let me say that this will be … Continue reading

Good News Friday – The Good News About Disappearance

The good news about disappearance is that there’s something you can do about it. This week I shared a couple of examples of enforced disappearance in Iraq and Pakistan, but it occurs in far too many countries to discuss in a few short days. Fortunately, some folks are fighting back: 1. EDIEC (Enforced Disappearances Information … Continue reading

Washing Our Hands of Iraq’s Missing Million

I mentioned some scary numbers in yesterday’s post – in particular that anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million Iraqis have disappeared in recent years and not yet been found by their loved ones. These numbers come from three major eras in Iraq’s recent history: War with Iran: Enforced disappearances occurred relatively often in Iraq during … Continue reading

The Myth of the Missing

My high school Spanish teacher first sparked my interest in human rights when she showed us two films during senior year: The Mission and Missing. Both discuss atrocities in South America. The Mission portrays the massacre of a South American native tribe, and Missing shows the fallout when family members investigate the enforced disappearance of … Continue reading

My Decade of War

I cried on September 11th because I worried it would affect my plans to attend NYU. Yep, I was that immature. I was in high school. Like most people I was also terrified that we were going to war, that the people I loved might die, and that the country as we knew it would … Continue reading

Congress: Fight Human Trafficking By Not Paying For It Yourself

A bill passing its way through Congress would require large companies to report their efforts against human trafficking. Companies making more than $100 million annually would have to reveal any work they’ve done to ensure that forced labor did not contribute to their products, like audits or on-site inspections. Huh? So companies that do the … Continue reading

Law or Roof?

Polling lines and roofs, Iraq 2005 – public domain When asked about their greatest needs, internally displaced people (IDP) in Iraq list legal help above shelter, sanitation and education. Why? Why request a lawyer before a roof? In general, access to work, food, and shelter have been the most pressing concerns for Iraqi IDP’s since … Continue reading

Displaced Women in Iraq

Iraqi woman carrying water Out of the almost 2 million internally displaced people (IDP) in Iraq, 13% are families headed by women. Most of these women are widows, although some have fled their communities because of gender-based threats. In a country that gives women less opportunities than men, IDP women and their families can have … Continue reading

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