Presented by: Salva Lacruz, Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado (CEAR), Spain

CEAR (The Spanish Comission for Refugee Aid) is an organization that began in 1979 in order to defend and promote the rights of refugees, displaced people, and others in need of international protection.  They work in the following regions:  Canary Islands, Euskadi, Andalucia, Ceuta, Melilla, Extremadura, Valencia, and Madrid.  Their values are justice, solidarity, freedom, and equality and they work to defend these for all.  They intervene in the following areas:  asylum, migrant assistance, employment, job training, social intervention, and refugee centers.  The refugees are at risk of violence and other forms of persecution, such as, crimes against gender (i.e., sexual violence, FGM, forced marriages, etc.).  CEAR provides social care and law services (more than 150 lawyers), and launches campaigns to show their solidarity with all those affected by persecution of any kind (political, ethnic, religious, sexual, etc.), poverty, or any other human rights violation.  The following graphic shows the refugee situation at the end of 2007:

The US wars of aggression have created many refugees.  Many innocent Iraqi people have been forced to leave their homes due to the violence.  Similarly, in Afghanistan many have fled from the violence.  Furthermore, it is so disheartening that another war is underway in Libya–waged by western powers—which has already created many refugees seeking asylum in Europe.  We must oppose these wars of aggression that result in the slaughter and displacement of human beings.

We hear a lot about the casualties of war, but the mainstream media largely ignores the tragedy of war refugees.