Furthering International Commitments to Protect Refugees

Furthering International Commitments to Protect Refugees

September 25, 2018
By: 
Lacy Broemel, Refugee and Immigration Policy Advisor, The Office of Government Relations

This week, the United Nations General Assembly will adopt the Global Compact on Refugees, which lays out a path for the international community to pursue solutions to further its protection of refugees. Since the adoption of the New York Declaration in 2016, which the Episcopal Church provided direct input on, member states have worked toward the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.

During the world’s worst displacement crisis in history, this Compact sets out ways countries will work to support other countries hosting large numbers of refugees, expand access to education for refugees, combat xenophobia, expand resettlement opportunities, address root causes, uplift the dignity of each refugee, and more.

While we should celebrate this momentous Compact, we know that it is only as strong as the follow up. The UN General Assembly adopted this Compact, but it is not legally binding so faith communities and civil society must commit to ensuring that countries live up to the values and goals espoused in this Compact.

Over the past two years, The Episcopal Church’s Refugee and Immigration Policy Advisor and the Episcopal Church’s Representative to the United Nations have taken an active part in the intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the Global Compact on Refugees, advocating for the Episcopal Church’s values and General Convention resolutions and policy on refugees and migrants.This advocacy culminated in being present at Monday’s high-level event at the UN on the Global Compact. We continue to share the Episcopal Church’s perspective on refugee protection.

This summer, the General Convention passed a resolution on the Christian Principles for Responding to Human Migration which guides our engagement with this work. There are currently 25.4 million refugees worldwide, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe each refugee deserves respect and tangible resources to thrive as a child of God. The Episcopal Church, and its Anglican Communion partners, is a global leader in uplifting refugees from offering direct support services to refugees seeking protection in Rome, to Episcopal Migration Ministries’ work resettling refugees in 14 communities across the U.S.

Express your support for refugees globally by urging the U.S. to uphold its commitments to refugee resettlement!