All Content: humanitarian issues

WOLA's 2014 Human Rights Awards

Video
On November 12, WOLA honored Dr. Claudia Paz y Paz, former Attorney General of Guatemala, and Congressman George Miller with its 2014 Human Rights Award. Click here to watch video of their acceptance speeches.

WOLA’s 2014 Human Rights Awards

WOLA honored Claudia Paz y Paz, former Attorney General of Guatemala and U.S. Congressman George Miller
News
On November 12, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) presented its prestigious Human Rights Awards by honoring two distinguished leaders who have shown a dedication to advancing human rights in the Americas: Claudia Paz y Paz, former Attorney General of Guatemala and U.S. Congressman George Miller.

Murder of Indigenous Leaders by FARC Highlights Need for Better Protection

WOLA condemns violence, calls for respect for indigenous territorial autonomy
Analysis & Commentary
A recent attack by the FARC underlines the need for the guerrilla group to respect international law as the peace process progresses.

Creating Peace on the Ground in Two of Colombia’s Conflict Hot Spots: Chocó and Buenaventura

Video
In this taped event on human rights in Colombia, leading human rights defenders share on-the-ground information on the Colombian conflict and identify ways the international community can support peace.

The Prisoners of Guantanamo: Politicized Human Rights

Analysis & Commentary
The proposal to receive various Guantanamo detainees who have been cleared for release has become the central issue in Uruguay’s electoral race, politicizing an issue that deserves to be treated as a humanitarian crisis.

Secretary General of the OAS José Miguel Insulza Urges Latin American Countries to Receive Guantanamo Prisoners

News
WOLA Executive Director Joy Olson reacts to the press release from the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), which urges Latin American countries to receive those Guantanamo prisoners who have been cleared for release.

Children, Families, and Danger at the Texas-Mexico Border

Report back on an August 3-4 visit to McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico
Publication
With numerous audio samples, Adam reports back on an August 3-4 visit to McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico. Listen to on-the-scene updates about unaccompanied minors, the dangers of the journey, deportations, and the humanitarian response.

Statements by Religious Communities on the Unaccompanied Children at the Border

Analysis & Commentary
In recent months, unaccompanied Central American children have arrived at the U.S. border seeking refuge from violence in their home countries. Here are a few statements that have been issued by religious communities in the U.S.

WOLA's Adriana Beltrán's Testimony Before the Congressional Progressive Caucus

Analysis & Commentary
What drives a child or teenager to leave his or her home community in San Salvador or San Pedro Sula, and risk everything to make the extremely dangerous journey north? For many of these children, it is knowing how terrifying and potentially life threatening not going could be.

What the U.S. Government Can Do in Response to the Increase in Migration from Central America

Smart responses to increased migration from Central America
Analysis & Commentary
In a series of recommendations, WOLA, LAWG, the Women's Refugee Commission, JRS, the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, and the U.S. Jesuit Conference outline intelligent ways in which the U.S. government could respond to the increase in migration from Central America.

WOLA's Advocacy on the Crisis of Migrant Children

Analysis & Commentary

The Other Crisis: Abuses Against Children and Other Migrants Traveling through Mexico

Analysis & Commentary
The surge of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border has sparked widespread discussion about the causes behind this dramatic increase, but less attention has been paid to the dangers migrants face during their journey through Mexico to the United States.

The Plight of Migrant Children at the Border Highlights Need to Invest in Central America

Analysis & Commentary
WOLA Program Director Geoff Thale discusses the "push" factors that are driving an unprecedented number of unaccompanied Central American youth to migrate to the U.S., and what can be done to mitigate these factors.

New WOLA report on Mexico's Southern Border

Mexico's Other Border: Security, Migration, and the Humanitarian Crisis at the line with Central America
Publication
In February 2014, WOLA investigators paid a 12-day visit to several points along Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. Their new report examines border security conditions, migration trends, and the push factors that force Central American migrants to abandon their countries of origin.

New WOLA report: Mexico's Other Border

Security, Migration, and the Humanitarian Crisis at the line with Central America
News
WOLA associates Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer examine migration patterns, human trafficking and smuggling, security, and U.S. and Mexican policy at Mexico's southern border.

The Crisis of Unaccompanied Migrant Children

Why are so many Central American adults and children suddenly trying to migrate? WOLA staff recall that the humanitarian crisis starts far south of the U.S. border.
Publication
Since October, authorities have captured more than 46,000 unaccompanied children, most of them from Central America, on the U.S. side of the border. Adam talks with WOLA's Geoff Thale, Maureen Meyer, and Marc Hanson about causes and implications.

Executive Summary: Mexico's Other Border

New WOLA Report on Security and the Crisis in Central American Migration Between Mexico and Guatemala
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA's new report not only explains what Mexico’s “other border” looks like, it shows very clearly that the real humanitarian emergency is not just in shelters and detention facilities in south Texas—it runs along the entire migration route to the United States.

May Afro-Colombian Update

In Letter to Policymakers, WOLA Highlights Continued Abuses
Analysis & Commentary
Despite the promise of a peace accord, the current situation for Afro-Colombians remains dire, as WOLA outlines in a May 2014 letter to policymakers.

Presentation on Land Restitution, Displacement, and WOLA's Visit to the Choco

Analysis & Commentary
WOLA Senior Associate offers a panorama of the dire situation facing Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities along Colombia's Pacific Coast.

WOLA Experts Visited Chocó, Colombia: Blogs from the Field

Adam Isacson's posts about conflict, displacement, illegal mining, U.S. policy - and the region's vibrant civil society
Analysis & Commentary
WOLA Senior Associate Adam Isacson's posts and photos from the road during a March 2014 trip to Chocó, in northwestern Colombia. Topics include the conflict's impact on Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, forced displacement, illegal mining, U.S. policy – and the need to defend and work with the region's vibrant civil society.