Challenging U.S. Silence

Samuel Martínez

in International Migration and Human Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258211
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942578 | DOI:
Challenging U.S. Silence

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This chapter outlines humanitarian and human rights consequences of the United States's (U.S.) invasion and occupation of Iraq. It contextualizes the displacement crisis by tracing how U.S. foreign policy contributed to the humanitarian disaster. It examines the topic of advocacy for Iraqi refugees and highlights the efforts of international NGOs to compel the United States and the international community to comprehensively address the displacement crisis. This analysis is based on documentary evidence from nongovernmental and official sources and approximately thirty interviews with staff and officials from NGOs, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Congressional staff members working on immigrant and refugee policy. Research shows that while NGOs have been the most important actors calling for accountability for displaced Iraqis, they are constrained by the politics of humanitarian assistance in the United States and Middle East. It concludes by highlighting the Bush administration's failure to take responsibility for the human costs of the U.S. invasion and considers the effects of public apathy in the United States about the impact of the war on Iraqis.

Keywords: Iraqi refugee crisis; foreign policy; UNHCR; human rights; international community

Chapter.  8093 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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