Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

← News & Stories

UUSC’s Refugee Response

refugees walking in sunset

November 17, 2015

UUSC responds to the forced movement of refugees caused by humanitarian crises around the world. Our Rights at Risk Program addresses human rights violations against refugees and asylum seekers that are fueled by border restrictions, short-sighted immigration controls, and other nationalistic policies.

Our response to the Syrian refugee crisis examines critical areas along the Syrian refugee migration route where there is a lack of international protection, cooperation, burden sharing, and upholding the basic human rights of displaced people. So far, we have raised over $400,000 for the UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund.

Our support will go directly to partners in host and transit countries to do the following:

  • Immediate response: Provide effective protection for refugees and access to legal avenues for relief in Europe (Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, and Greece). UUSC funding goes to partners in host and transit countries providing direct legal, medical, and social services to incoming refugees. UUSC also supports organizations focused on advocacy to bolster the crumbling European asylum system, promote safe routes of passage, and promote decent reception conditions and effective protection for new arrivals.
  • Intermediate work: Support capacity building for overburdened nongovernmental organizations on the ground in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Turkey that are working with vulnerable groups such as women, children and stateless refugees.
    • Support advocacy for medium- to long-term relief needs: education access, asylum policy and procedure, and ensuring positive public reception to resettlement.
  • Ongoing: In the United States, we will ensure that the U.S. government lives up to its international obligations to protect those most vulnerable in situations of conflict.
    • UUSC plans to provide further funding to grassroots organizations in the United States working to safeguard the rights of incoming refugees and ensure their access to education, legal support, livelihood opportunities, and social services. UUSC will aim to partner with organizations in metropolitan areas where significant numbers of refugees are being resettled.

Take action

  • In light of the recent backlash against refugees and Muslims after the Paris attacks, we are asking our supporters to call Congress and urge them not to turn their backs on the millions of refugees seeking safe haven.
  • Use this UUSC-compiled list of talking points to inform your conversations with friends, family, and community members about the Syrian refugee crisis.


Read This Next