The world is awash in refugees and internally displaced people. We see it everyday in the news whether it be in Syria, Somalia or Myanmar, people from all walks of life, religions and political beliefs are fleeing war, persecution and death. We hear about it, we understand that it is happening but what is being done to help these people and who is offering them assistance?
This week we talk to Sarnata Reynolds of Refugees International on her role within the organization and how they use the rule of law to effect change.
Sarnata Reynolds is the senior advisor on human rights at Refugees International. She serves as the principal liaison and focal point with United Nations agencies, the U.S. government, and focus countries on human rights issues. She has traveled to Bangladesh, Haiti, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, and South Sudan, among other countries, to document the situation of displaced populations and advocate for the protection of their human rights.
Sarnata has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she taught a seminar on statelessness and a human rights fact-finding course on the repatriation of people with mental disabilities. Sarnata has served as a member of the National Lawyers Committee for Human Rights’ Mexico Advisory Team, as the Vice-Chair of Refugee Council USA, and as Chair of the Iraqi Refugee Working Group during the height of displacement in that country.
Sarnata has appeared before Congress many times and represented the NGO community before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the anniversaries of the Refugee and Statelessness Conventions. Prior to joining RI, Sarnata worked as the Policy and Advocacy Director for Refugee and Migrants’ Rights at Amnesty International USA. In this position she promoted the enforcement of international human rights standards pertaining to refugees, asylum seekers, the stateless, migrants, and other uprooted people. Sarnata has also litigated asylum and deportation defense cases before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Courts, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. She has published multiple articles on international human rights and U.S. immigration issues, and she is currently writing a book on “theoretical” nationality. Sarnata completed her Women’s Studies degree magna cum laude at the University of Minnesota and the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She completed her law degree at the University of Minnesota, and studied European Union law at University College Dublin. Continue reading “Spotlight on Refugees International: A Powerful Voice for Lifesaving Action”