234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
June 13, 2013


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

2:00 p.m.

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 Nations 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

Yisser Bittar, Government Relations and Advocacy Associate, Coalition for a Democratic Syria




Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons


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Chairman Chris Smith speaks at the Commission hearing on Northern Ireland. (March 2015)