Women's Refugee Commission

Research. Rethink. Resolve.

New York, NY   |  http://womensrefugeecommission.org/

Mission

Our mission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. We research their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice.

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

Dr. Sarah Costa

Main address

15 W 37th Street, 9th Floor

New York, NY 10018 USA

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EIN

46-3668128

NTEE code info

Immigrants' Rights (R21)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (P05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Around the world, migrant, stateless, and refugee women and children are disproportionately subject to exploitation, including legal and human rights violations. WRC works to hold governments accountable for upholding the rights of women and children, so they can find safety, access justice, and rebuild their lives successfully.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Rights and Justice

Migrant, stateless, and refugee women and children around the world routinely face legal and human rights violations. From the US border with Mexico, where asylum seekers are refused entry, to countries where women are denied the same nationality rights as men, the Women's Refugee Commission holds governments accountable to their obligation to respect women and children’s rights, so they can find safety, access justice, and rebuild their lives.

Our Rights and Justice work includes issues of asylum, immigration detention, and our partnership with the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

All displaced people are at risk of sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation. The risk is particularly high for women and girls. The Women’s Refugee Commission works to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence by helping to ensure access to critical services for refugees, such as education, work opportunities, and sexual and reproductive health care. We partner and collaborate with local organizations and the international humanitarian community to improve safety and services.

Our sexual and gender-based violence focus explores how to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, address sexual violence against refugees of all gender identities, and better understand the impact conflict and crises has on child marriage.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Women and girls

Sexual and reproductive health is an essential need and right for refugees. For refugee women and girls, access to sexual and reproductive health care and services is often limited, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy, complications of pregnancy, disease, disability, and death. The Women’s Refugee Commission is committed to protecting all refugees’ reproductive rights and to ensuring lifesaving health services are available from the onset of an emergency through recovery.

Our sexual and reproductive health work addresses global gaps in sexual and reproductive health services and explores how to build resilience. We house the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Women and girls

Most refugees deeply want to provide for themselves and their families—to work, to use their skills, and to make their own decisions about their finances, their lives, and their futures. The Women’s Refugee Commission works to ensure that humanitarian programs provide refugee women and youth access to cash assistance opportunities and to help them safely earn a living. This, in turn, increases refugees’ self-reliance and resilience.

Our economic empowerment and self-reliance work involves developing guidance on cash assistance and livelihoods opportunities for refugee women, as well as building refugees’ self-reliance and resilience.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Women and girls

Ensuring equal access and opportunity for all requires recognizing that some groups face additional obstacles and barriers. The Women’s Refugee Commission promotes the full inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups, such as refugee women, people with disabilities, the LGBTQI community, and adolescent girls, in identifying solutions and designing programs that meet their unique needs and build upon their capacities.

Our gender and social inclusion work includes learning directly from refugees from traditionally marginalized groups about their needs and working to advance gender equality.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

WRC’s vision is a world in which internally displaced and refugee women, children, and youth:
are safe, healthy, and self-reliant;
have their human rights respected and protected;
and inform and drive their solutions and development.

WRC drives change through targeted applied research, field assessments, pilot programs, and strategic advocacy to identify challenges, gaps, and opportunities within the humanitarian system. The organization identifies what needs to change and how to implement improved practices. WRC develops tools, guidance, trainings, and provides technical assistance to bring about needed improvements; and advocates with donors, policy makers and practitioners to ensure that recommendations are institutionalized and implemented across the globe.

WRC is recognized internationally for cutting-edge work on a wide range of issues—the U.S. State Department, donor governments and UN agencies turn to the WRC to inform their program and policy work on displaced and asylum-seeking women, children and youth. WRC is frequently invited to meet with officials, conduct high-level trainings, join coalitions, and provide input on legislation and policy. Fostering an environment for organizational learning is not only part of our internal culture, but also influences how we work with and communicate with our partners—including our local NGO implementing partners.

Our work begins in the community. We listen to displaced people and learn about their strengths and their unmet needs. Together with them and local partners we identify potential solutions to the challenges they face. We develop tools and provide technical assistance to practitioners to improve humanitarian response. We work with donors,
policymakers, and practitioners to ensure that our recommendations are institutionalized and implemented across the globe.

Economic Empowerment: We are advancing refugee women’s access to cash assistance and safe employment opportunities. This puts women more directly in charge of their finances, helping to increase their independence and reduce their risk of gender-based violence. WRC continues to update resources for practitioners, like our Toolkit for Optimizing Cash-based Interventions for Protection from Gender-based Violence.

Sexual and reproductive health: As the result of our advocacy and leadership, lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care is now a standard part of humanitarian response from the very onset of an emergency. WRC continues to undertake case studies to identify the SRH needs of women and girls in crisis, and we are currently working with partners to expand a community-based health program in Nigeria to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health and nutrition services in areas affected by conflict.
Disability inclusion: We undertook groundbreaking research on refugees with disabilities. We piloted strategies that strengthen their resilience, and formed partnerships with humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, and local organizations of women with disabilities to advocate for their inclusion and access at local and global levels.

Migrant rights and justice: We are recognized as a leader in defending the human rights of migrants, empowering migrant and refugee women, children, and families to seek protection and safety- including asylum- at international borders, and for holding the US government and other policymakers accountable when they violate those rights. WRC continues to monitor conditions of detention and access to asylum, attorneys, and due process – primarily in the United States, and documents our findings, makes recommendations for improvement, and advocates for change. We regularly provide education to the public and congress for government policies that uphold due process and human rights for migrants and families seeking protection.

Adolescent girls: Our research, resources, and trainings enable humanitarian practitioners to identify, engage, and support displaced adolescent girls, whose rights and needs are frequently overlooked. We are undertaking field assessments to understand how adolescent girls use technology to access sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Ending violence against women and girls: WRC is a leader in global efforts to prevent gender-based violence in emergencies, working with NGOs, UN agencies and donor governments to promote gender equality to mitigate risks of violence against displaced women and girls. WRC continues to support the GBV Call to Action to end gender-based violence in emergencies global initiative, in partnership with the Government of Canada.

Financials

Women's Refugee Commission
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Women's Refugee Commission

Board of directors
as of 02/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jocelyn Cunnigham


Board co-chair

Martha Gallo