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

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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.

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 UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today announced that – for the first time – Syrians are now the largest refugee population under its mandate. This finding is part of UNHCR’s Mid-Year Trends 2014 report.This report shows that 5.5 million people – due to war and conflict – became newly displaced during the first six months of 2014. Taking into account several factors, UNHCR says the number of people it helps stood at 46.3 million as of mid-2014. This number is 3.4 million more than at the end of 2013 and is a record high.

UNHCR Executive Committee calls on African States and the international community to address the refugee situation in Africa.

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.”

My fellow Muslims, people who spoke the same language, had the same r

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing today on "Syria After Geneva: Next Steps for U.S. Policy." CVT submitted written testimony to the committee with recommendations for Congress to pass the Syrian humanitarian resolution of 2014, to increase U.S. contributions to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, and to provide funding for mental health and psychosocial support through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.

With the Syrian refugee crisis expected to reach 4 million by the end of this year, the Center for Victims of Torture joined other groups urging the Senate to pass a resolution to increase support, including mental health counseling, to Syrian civilians and victims of the conflict, particularly children.

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