A devastating fire on March 22 in Rohingya refugee camps left thousands displaced and hundreds injured. Displaced families have established makeshift shelters in the midst of the charred rubble.

Mutasim Billah / Oxfam

Refugee and immigrant rights

More people are fleeing their homes than ever before. We must open our hearts, minds, and communities to those seeking safety and dignity.

Every single day, families around the world are forced to leave their homes. Some become refugees in a different country, some migrate to escape back-breaking poverty, while still others search for safety and a better life without crossing a border.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 1 in every 74 people across the globe has been forced to flee–and to confront unequal treatment and opportunities. Many people leave with nothing but the clothes on their backs. But far too often, people who seek refuge elsewhere are met with public policies that put their families in harm’s way.

With the help of people like you, Oxfam has fought to defend the equal rights of millions of refugees and other displaced people across the globe. The US has a responsibility to respond to this growing displacement crisis on all fronts–by funding programs that provide lifesaving assistance to displaced people worldwide, rebuilding its broken asylum system, offering resettlement in the US to the most vulnerable, and increasing diplomatic efforts to prevent the conflicts and human rights abuses that force people to flee in the first place.

Refugees Welcome

Stand with refugees

Refugees have a right to safety and deserve to be treated with dignity. Join Oxfam and take a stand today with refugees by urging your member of Congress to set a goal of admitting no less than 125,000 refugees annually into the US.

Take action

The global displacement crisis

While displacement is not a new phenomenon, its global scale has worsened over time. At the end of 2022, more than 108 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced because of "persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order." Among them are nearly 35 million refugees, around 40 percent of whom are children under the age of 18. The 19 million additional people displaced from 2021 to 2022 is the largest ever single year increase in forced displacement according to the UN.

Refugees and migrants are ordinary people who have been forced to cross boundaries and borders. Included in the world’s growing displaced population are people who sought refuge from conflicts that show no signs of abating, such as in Ukraine and Somalia. Meanwhile asylum seekers are fleeing Central America and seeking protection at the US southern border due to gang-related and gender-based violence, impunity and corruption, and food insecurity exacerbated by climate change.

Oxfam's response to support refugees and other displaced people

Around the world, Oxfam partners with local organizations to help refugees and other displaced people with their immediate basic needs for clean water, shelter, food, and work as well as advocate for their long-term wellbeing—both in their own nations, and in the countries that host them. We engage with allies and government officials at all levels to focus on peace and find sustainable solutions to the conflict and violence that ruin so many lives. We push for wealthy countries to welcome refugees and boldly attend to their needs. And we advocate for public policies that protect the rights of displaced families as they strive to rebuild their lives and fight to provide for their children a more equal future—in their own countries or the ones in which they settle.

Oxfam’s local partner Coast Trust helps pack and unload food kits for Rohingya refugees at Oxfam’s warehouse in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Food distribution is one way Oxfam supports refugees in countries around the world. Photo: Tommy Trenchard/Oxfam

Providing humanitarian aid and tackling drivers of displacement

Oxfam partners with local organizations to address the reasons people are forced to leave their homes. These community-based solutions and campaigns tackle sexual and gender-based violence, invest in sustainable development, fight corruption and impunity, increase access to justice, and call for peace. When we are successful, families are able to stay in their homes and communities.

Abdulhadi and Reem Hamandy proudly present their 10-day-old daughter Nur. They moved to Türkiye to escape conflict in Syria but lost their home in the February earthquakes. Photo: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam

Aid and comfort for refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons

Millions of people on the move struggle to find clean water, shelter, food, and work. Because of the war in Ukraine, the recent earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, and food crises in East Africa, we are seeing more people on the move than ever before. Oxfam works within refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) communities, often hand-in-hand with refugee-led organizations, to provide aid in emergencies such as these to help people regain security.

In Central America, as families flee to the US in search of safety, we have provided lifesaving assistance at camps and shelters along their journey and supported employment opportunities. When necessary, we have responded along the migrant caravan routes in Guatemala and Mexico with humanitarian aid, including distribution of hygiene kits, food packages, and water, and installation of portable toilets, showers, and drinking water points for thousands in need.

Illustration: Sandy Stowe/Oxfam

Advocacy & campaigning to protect the right to asylum

Oxfam advocates for policies that protect the world’s most vulnerable. We have gone to court to defend the right of people to claim asylum at the US-Mexico border–suing the Trump and Biden administrations for their expulsions of unaccompanied children and families seeking refuge in the US under Title 42 for example–and are demanding the US put an end to other anti-refugee and anti-immigrant policies, including asylum bans.

Marta Sanchez, from Las Gardenias Women Association, shares with Sisters about her work Shaira Alí Center in Ahuachapán, El Salvador to create safe spaces for young girls, boys, and adolescents to prevent gender-based violence and defend women's rights. Photo: Oxfam America/Óscar Levia Marinero

Programming to combat violence and fight inequality

Oxfam has been working in Central America for more than three decades to combat violence and fight inequality–the real reasons people flee their homes in the first place. We support those struggling with economic hardship, we provide women with the skills to break out of domestic violence situations, we support farmers to combat food insecurity, and we advocate for governments (including the US) to implement just fiscal policies.

In the US, we have established grants and partnerships with worker organizations that directly represent migrants. These partnerships seek to empower those impacted workers, build their capacity to self-organize, and use our networks to amplify their voice.

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