US COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS (USCRI)
Last update of this source description: 31 July 2008. Please note USCRI last published a "World Refugee Survey" in June 2009 (as at 19 October 2011).
The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) seeks to “address the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide by advancing fair and humane public policy, facilitating and providing direct professional services, and promoting the full participation of migrants in community life” (USCRI Website, http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=1150, accessed on 20 May 2008).
USCRI “is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization that has served refugees and immigrants and defended the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons worldwide since 1911. USCRI's resettlement program and network of community-based partner agencies help thousands of refugees build new lives in the United States each year.” (USCRI press release, 26 September 2006, http://www.refugees.org/newsroomsub.aspx?id=1741, accessed on 31 July 2008)
USCRI’s headquarters are in Washington, DC.
“Policy makers, governments, UNHCR, international organizations, humanitarian actors, the media, and civil society.”(Austrian Red Cross/ ACCORD: Researching Country of Origin Information. A Training Manual, Annex, p. 34, April 2004, http://www.coi-training.net/content/doc/en-COI%20Manual%20Part%20I%20plus%20Annex%2020060426.pdf, accessed on 20 May 2008).
Advocacy for the rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration.
By publishing the annual World Refugee Survey (published since 1959), USCRI “reports on conditions for refugees around the world” and aims at “advocating for refugee rights” (USCRI Website, http://www.refugees.org/worldmap.aspx, accessed on 21 May 2008).
USCRI receives contributions from private firms, foundations, grants from US government agencies and UNHCR. For a list of donors see http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=1182 (accessed on 20 May 2008). See also the financial statement available at http://www.refugees.org/data/donate/pdf/990.pdf (accessed on 20 May 2008) (the statement deals with the financial year ending on 30 September 2006; this is the most recent statement available as of 31 July 2008).
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: All countries worldwide.
Thematic focus: Refugee protection, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, immigrants. Particular attention is paid to detention situations, health and mental health care, reception conditions and conditions of return, landmines, refugees in the media, asylum law, peacekeeping, religious persecution, women and children.
According to USCRI, the research on which the Country Updates, Statistical Tables and articles of the World Refugee Survey are based “include[s], when possible, site visits to the countries” in question. USCRI further states that in most of the countries it has “Research Partners - local human rights NGOs that interview officials, refugees, and representatives of local civil society and international agencies based on our standard questionnaire, draw upon their own experience and expertise, and report to us”.
As USCRI seeks to gather input from representatives of each government as well as national human rights commissions, copies of prior reports, the questions it seeks to address and the format used for analysing and grading performance are sent to them.
USCRI states that it receives extensive input from the field offices of UNHCR and UNRWA.
According to USCRI, all this information is then crosschecked “with secondary sources in the media, on the internet, and in major governmental and nongovernmental human rights reports.”
Information in the World Refugee Report is analysed “in a five-part format” based on “the rights of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees”: Evaluations are made of each country's performance on “Refoulement and Physical Protection, Detention and Access to Courts, Freedom of Movement, and Right to Earn a Livelihood” (USCRI: World Refugee Survey as an Authoritative Source. A partial compendium, January 2008, p. 2, http://www.refugees.org/uploadedFiles/WRS%20as%20Authoritative.pdf, accessed on 21 May 2008; see also World Refugee Surveys available at http://www.refugees.org/worldmap.aspx?subm=19&area=Investigate, accessed on 21 May 2008).
The sources used are not referenced.
The World Refugee Survey is published annually, in May/June.
The World Refugee Survey is published in English. Translations for a number of country updates in the World Refugee Survey are available in Arabic, French, Russian, Thai.
Navigation of website:
The most recent World Refugee Survey is accessible via “World Refugee Survey” on the left-hand menu bar on the USCRI homepage. All World Refugee Surveys published since 2003 (including the most recent one) can be accessed via “Publications and Archives” on the menu bar on the homepage. The bulletin “Refugee Report” is also available via “Publications and Archives”, from 1979 to 2006 (as of 31 July 2008).