February Digital News Recap

It’s March already so let’s take a look at the social media activity that garnered the most attention over the last month. January ended with some big news from the United States about refugees- and it was not good news. Many UN staffers on the UN Social 500 leaderboard reacted to the news that US President Donald Trump had signed an executive order temporarily suspending the entry of immigrants and fully-vetted refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations. The leaderboard continued to react and advocate on behalf of refugees throughout the month of February. Adrian Edwards, Head of News & Media at the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) shared a UNHCR factsheet about refugee resettlement including about the intense vetting process refuges must go through to be approved for settlement in the United States.

Melissa Fleming also shared the factsheet and in late January also noted that hundreds of refugees had been planning to make the United States their home the week that Trump’s ban was enacted.

In addition to UN staffers, the UNHCR also expressed concern and alarm about the ban and emphasized that “refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race”. Across the United States, protests erupted after the ban was enacted. Attorneys, including those employed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), filed legal challenges that resulted in a temporary stay of the executive order. Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, congratulated the ACLU for its court victory and support for refugees and immigrants.

Kent Page reminded his followers that children of migrants and refugees are children first, sharing the UNICEF hashtag #childrenuprooted.

UNICEF’s #childrenuprooted campaign focuses on the approximately 50 million children around the world who are on the move. They may be called “refugee”, “migrant” or “displaced” but whatever they’re called, their numbers have risen 77% in just five years.

The #childrenuprooted campaign page includes links to a special report, an in-depth look at the refugee crisis in the Lake Chad Basin and the dangerous journey of Central American children seeking to escape violence by traveling to the United States. It also includes videos telling the stories of children across the world, from Yemen to Honduras to Germany. UNICEF’s campaign underscores the ways in which policy decisions in a single country can have serious implications across the world, especially for children.

Join us next month as we explore the stories and campaigns that UN staffers shared in March that generated lots of public interest and engagement.