Media Contact: Shelly Han
U.S. Helsinki Commission to hold Hearing on Syrian Refugees
WASHINGTON - Today the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced the following hearing:
Fleeing to Live: Syrian Refugees in the OSCE Region
Thursday, June 13, 2013
562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Please click here at the start of the hearing to view the webcast.
This hearing will focus on the more than 1.6 million Syrian civilians who have fled the ongoing violence in their country, their impact on the countries that are hosting them, and international efforts to support these refugees as well as the more than 5 million Syrians who are displaced in their own country. The countries that have opened their borders, and in many cases their homes, to the Syrian refugees include Turkey, an OSCE participating State, Jordan an OSCE Mediterranean Partner Country, and Lebanon, a country that has been historically engaged in the OSCE process. OSCE Partner, Egypt, and Iraq have been impacted by this crisis as well.
The United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that by the end of 2013 there will be one million refugees each in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. After more than two years, a resolution to the conflict remains elusive and the suffering of the Syrian people continues unabated. The hearing will examine the U.S. and international response to this unprecedented and expanding humanitarian crisis that threatens to destabilize the entire region.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
Anne C. Richard, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State
Michel Gabaudan, President, Refugees International
Jana Mason, Senior Advisor for Government Relations, UNHCR Washington Regional Office
Yassar Bittar, Government Relations and Advocacy Associate, Coalition for a Democratic Syria
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.