Healing and Human Rights: A Blog by the Center for Victims of Torture

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Marie Soueid is a Legal Fellow in CVT’s Washington, DC office. She graduated from the American University Washington College of Law and was a recipient of its 2014 Human Rights Brief Award.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently issued a report on the plight of Syrian refugee women. Woman Alone: The Fight for Survival by Syria's Refugee Women shows that more than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan – one in four of all households – are headed solely by women. According to UNHCR, the report uncovers that “Many [women] live under the threat of violence or exploitation, and their children face mounting trauma and distress.”

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing today on "Syria After Geneva: Next Steps for U.S. Policy." CVT submitted written testimony to the committee with recommendations for Congress to pass the Syrian humanitarian resolution of 2014, to increase U.S. contributions to the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, and to provide funding for mental health and psychosocial support through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.

With the Syrian refugee crisis expected to reach 4 million by the end of this year, the Center for Victims of Torture joined other groups urging the Senate to pass a resolution to increase support, including mental health counseling, to Syrian civilians and victims of the conflict, particularly children.

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