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Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2008


(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Co-Chairmen of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), made the following statement on the U.S. Commission for Refugees and Immigrants release of their 2008 World Refugee Survey:

“The refugee crisis has unfortunately continued to spiral out of control, where we are seeing the number of refugees worldwide reach over 14 million – the highest level since 2001. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportion. I commend the U.S. Commission for Refugees and Immigrants for releasing their 2008 World Refugee Survey. The survey uncovers some of the world’s worst violators of refugees’ rights, where refugees are raped, abused or even deported back to their persecuting countries – a fact that I find to be utterly deplorable, said Chairman Hastings.

“The United States has a moral obligation and a security interest in trying to alleviate the suffering of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons, particularly those who risked so much over the past few years to help our military and diplomatic efforts in their country,” said Senator Cardin. “The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants’ survey released today is truly eye-opening. It shows the United States still has far to go to support the rights of refugees worldwide.”

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the 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.
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The panel of the Commission hearing on Northern Ireland: Mrs. Geraldine Finucane (L), Professor Kieran McEvoy (C), and Anne Cadwallader (R). (March 2015)