WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, introduced a resolution Monday recognizing June 20th as World Refugee Day and reaffirming the commitment of the United States Senate to protect and assist millions of refugees and other forcibly uprooted persons worldwide.
“The international community must get serious about protecting the most vulnerable refugees – women and children. Women are facing ferocious threats in conflicts across the globe where rape and sexual assault are being used as weapons of war, and as vulnerable refugees they continue to be targets of gender-based violence,” Senator Cardin said. “Moreover, children now make up half of all refugees worldwide. We must do more to protect them from becoming casualties or being maimed as a result of violence, from sexual exploitation and abuse, from recruitment as child soldiers, and from being forced into early marriage.”
The World Refugee Day resolution acknowledges the courage, strength, and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, and persecution. It notes that, today, there are more than 65.3 million displaced people, including 21.3 million refugees, of which more than half are children. Specifically, the resolution highlights the commitment of the United States to promote safety, health, and well-being of the millions of refugees, including the education of refugee children and displaced persons who flee war, persecution, and torture in search of peace, hope, and freedom.
Joining Senator Cardin as original co-sponsors are U.S. Senators Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).
The full text of the resolution can be found at this link.