Where are they from?

About Refugees in Houston

Around the world people are forced to flee their homes due to war, political violence, exclusion, and the competition for scarce resources in troubled states. Those who have sought refuge in another country are refugees, a status which entitles them to certain rights under international law. Houston is one of the busiest resettlement cities in the US, and the thousands of refugees welcomed to our city each year face a number of barriers. Many arrive with little to no English proficiency and minimal education. Some lived upwards of 18-20 years in refugee camps, with no legal right to employment, and often faced dismal health and housing options.

The Community Cloth currently serves refugee women artisans from Bhutan, Iraq, the Congo and Burma.

About the Bhutanese Nepali

In 1990, the government of Bhutan began an initiative to create a unified society, which restricted freedom of religion, cultural expression, and language, along with other measures. Attempts by the Southern Bhutanese to protest measures were answered with violence, rape, groundless arrests, and forced migration. By the end of 1992, more than 120,000 Bhutanese fled to refugee camps in Nepal, where they lived for many years.

About the Iraqi

The Iraq war has produced one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time. Several million Iraqis were uprooted by the war and live in fragile, dangerous circumstances.  Over 2 million Iraqis are considered “internally displaced persons”, “stateless persons” or “refugees and asylum seekers.”  Fleeing violence and persecution, they have scattered across Iraq, Syria, Jordan and other countries.  Tens of thousands are now in the US.

About the Karenni (Burmese tribe)

The Karenni are one of several ethnic minorities indigenous to Burma (Myanmar) who have been facing systematic persecution by the military junta for decades. The army has a long record of human rights abuses, including imprisoning, torturing and killing minority group members. More than 400,000 Burmese refugees have fled to camps in Thailand and have languished there for 15 years or more.

To learn more about the plight of refugees, please visit the following sites:

International Rescue Committee

United Nations High Commission on Refugees

U. S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

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