Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

Showing all blog posts in Syria

Marie Soueid is CVT policy counsel.

Imagine for a moment that the entire population of Washington, D.C. suddenly takes refuge in Tennessee over the course of 5 short years. The new residents, however, are restricted from working, half of their children remain out of school, and housing prices continue to rise for both Tennesseans and Washingtonians.

Suzanne Jabbour

Suzanne Jabbour, executive director of PATH partner Restart Center in Tripoli, Lebanon, gave the keynote address at a special event on December 10 in Washington, D.C. We have shared her comments from the event on our blog.

Annie Sovcik, Esq.

Annie Sovcik, director of CVT's Washington, D.C. office, describes what life is like for refugee survivors who have been forced to flee their homes as the result of torture or war.

Many may not be ready to tell their story in front of a truth commission or international tribunal—some may never be ready. They may not even be ready to tell their story confidentially to a clinician to begin the process of healing. But if and when they are ready, the choice should be their own. The international community, governments and non-governmental organizations alike, should be there to offer support and expertise. The truth that must emerge must be the survivor’s own.

Annie Sovcik

Since 2011, an estimated 200,000 Syrians have been killed and over 11 million have been displaced. As CVT supports the #WithSyria campaign to turn the lights back on for Syria, we also support efforts to shine a greater light on the abuses and atrocities that have been committed by all sides of the conflict, including the Assad regime, and bring perpetrators to justice.

The Government of Germany recently hosted an international conference in Berlin on the “Syrian Refugee Situation – Supporting Stability in the Region.”

Marie Soueid is a Legal Fellow in CVT’s Washington, DC office. She graduated from the American University Washington College of Law and was a recipient of its 2014 Human Rights Brief Award.

On September 30, 2014, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum authorizing the admission of 70,000 refugees to the United States.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently issued a report on the plight of Syrian refugee women. Woman Alone: The Fight for Survival by Syria's Refugee Women shows that more than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan – one in four of all households – are headed solely by women. According to UNHCR, the report uncovers that “Many [women] live under the threat of violence or exploitation, and their children face mounting trauma and distress.”

In early July, the UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict released the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. The report, which covers January to December 2013, found that children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world last year.

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