Beth Klein Boulder – How2Help Refugees

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

As America balances on the head of the pin of the future, two camps firmly believe in polar opposite scenarios. And each camp is entrenched in a siloed world view, and the silos must be broken. Over the past year nationalism has vilified terrified Syrians running for their lives and made them virtual human punching bags with a tiny chance of fleeing to the United States. So little truth is known, but red-Americans firmly believe that the United States’ interests are served by shutting out the terrified refugees. Helping refugees and ensuring education and safety is the better path. Beth Klein Boulder’s suggestions on how to get into action instead of just believing are at the bottom of this essay.

About 5 million Syrians have fled since the war began in 2011. The U.S., which took in only about 2,000 refugees in the first several years of the war, has increased the number to about 12,000 this year. The federal resettlement program is administered via nine agencies that depend on the work of volunteers.

More than 4.5 million refugees from Syria are in just five countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt:

Turkey hosts 2.5 million refugees from Syria, more than any other country worldwide

Lebanon hosts approximately 1.1 million refugees from Syria which amounts to around one in five people in the country

Jordan hosts approximately 635,324 refugees from Syria, which amounts to about 10% of the population

Iraq where 3.9 million people are already internally displaced hosts 245,022 refugees from Syria

Egypt hosts 117,658 refugees from Syria
The UN’s 2015 humanitarian appeal for Syrian refugees was just 61% funded by the end of the year. Funding shortages mean that the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon receive just $21.60 per person month or around US$0.70 cent a day for food assistance, well below the UN’s poverty line of $1.90. 86% of Syrian refugees in urban areas in Jordan are living below the local poverty line.

Selfish memes garner electronic blue thumbs up on Facebook. Then sorrowful memes of pictures of dead children – how did we stand by and watch this happen? Neither are useful to middle class people reduced to nothing and starving. Action matters.

How can we, the privileged and “exceptional”, be debating hope in the face of Aleppo and the Syrian diaspora. How can kind people become so fearful, that they turn away from kindness? When kindness turns away, a violence becomes a reality. Violence becomes the norm birthed from fear and horror.

Sunday, 47 children inside the orphanage near the front line in eastern Aleppo some in “critical condition from injuries and dehydration” were bused out of hell There are many other “vulnerable children” among untold thousands of people still inside eastern Aleppo, according to estimates from the U.N. and humanitarian agencies.

France’s U.N. ambassador , Francois Delattre, urged immediate deployment of U.N. monitors to former rebel-held eastern Aleppo to avoid new atrocities. The goal of the French-Russian compromise resolution adopted Monday is to avoid a repetition of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslims – “to avoid new mass atrocities by the forces on the ground and the militias in particular.”

On Monday buses drove residents toward the western countryside, where aid workers greeted them. Many were exhausted and distressed after a nightmarish journey from an area that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has described as a “synonym for hell. About 5,000 people have been bused out since midnight, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, bringing the total number of evacuees to 15,000. Buses are expected to run through the night.

Despite what is said by France, the Russian Federation denies and questions reports of “mass atrocities every day.” But today, solitary men on shoestring budgets can bring superpowers to the knee for a time – with violence and horror.

The UN human rights office said it had reliable evidence that up to 82 civilians were shot on the spot by government and allied forces who entered their homes, or at gunpoint in the streets, over the past few hours.

“The reports that civilians – including children – are being massacred in cold blood in their homes by Syrian government forces are deeply shocking but not unexpected given their conduct to date. Such extrajudicial executions would amount to war crimes,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut Regional office.

“Throughout the conflict Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, have repeatedly displayed a callous disregard for international humanitarian law and utter disdain for the fate of civilians. In fact, they have regularly targeted civilians as a strategy, both during military operations and through the mass-scale use of arbitrary detention, disappearances and torture and other ill-treatment. As government forces gain full control of eastern Aleppo the risk that they will commit further atrocities raises grave fears for thousands of civilians still trapped.

Consider:

Donate or Volunteer With the International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee works globally and has been providing critical humanitarian aid to Syrians since 2012. They provide services from cash vouchers for Syrians to purchase food, legal assistance, employment, and education.

The IRC will be providing $100 to 500 of the most vulnerable families fleeing the current situation in Aleppo. While supporting 12 health facilities in Idleb governorate and five schools providing an education for 4,000 children.

In the United States, you can sign up to volunteer at a local resettlement office.

The Empowerment Project

The Empowerment Project is and Emmy nominated film that documents the incredible journey of a crew of female filmmakers driving across America to encourage, empower, and inspire the next generation of strong women to go after their career ambitions.  Beth Klein Boulder Attorney was honored to be featured in this film.

Driving over 7,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York over the course of 30 days, the documentary spotlights 17 positive and powerful women leaders across a variety of lifestyles and industries.

In celebration of the all-female focus in front of and behind the camera, the filmmakers turned the cameras on themselves, capturing their transformational journey.  The film challenges the audience to ask themselves, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?”

The Empowerment Project has screened in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, organizations and corporations of all kinds with audiences as intimate as 10 and as grand as 1,000.

Take a look at how this documentary is impacting audiences around the United States by watching our tour video.

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By hosting a screening, you are empowering the future generation of strong women and men, and truly empowering the world.

Click here to learn about hosting the Empowerment Project Movie  

Click here for upcoming screenings

Beth Klein’s Speech – Erie Trustees

My name is Beth Klein.  I am a human rights attorney.  I was appointed by the Governor as a member of the Board of the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund – which was established to prevent the abuse and neglect of Colorado children before it occurs, and a former Trustee of Erie.  I have advised over 30 states and multiple nations on effective human trafficking law.  Today, I come before the Board in my individual capacity as a Mom, a resident of this Town and a co-founder of the Klein Frank Foundation.

We are here today because we want to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children known as C-SEC.
I became aware of serious child abuse cases in Erie that had the markers of CSEC.  I have brought with me, Amber McDonald.  Ms. McDonald is a director at Blue Sky Bridge, a facility which cares for children who have been victims.  She is a forensic interviewer who has in depth knowledge of the cases and the issue.  I have asked her to come and further inform you.  When I called the members of the Board upon learning of this issue from Ms. McDonald, I was very pleased at the swiftness of your response.
Human trafficking takes many forms.  One – is the prostitution of children by parents and care givers on line.  Ms. McDonald can provide detail on the population of Erie’s children and risk for this exploitation.

I can advise you that as of 2011, the rate of substantiated child abuse and neglect in Colorado is 8.6 kids per 1000.  This ranks Colorado 25 of 50 states.  In Colorado rural counties have had sustained high levels child abuse and neglect.  Five counties in the northeastern quadrant of the state, have had average rates of child abuse that are 2.5 to 3 times the state average since 2002.

We cannot continue business as usual.

If we are successful working together, we will not be able to see one child advertised on line, walking the street or waiting for a client in a hotel.   We will be able to keep our kids safe and out of the life .

We must collaborate more, communicate better, and use our resources wisely and effectively throughout this state – leaving no community out. We must connect Erie law enforcement to the Innocence Lost Task Force, a joint effort between the DPD and the FBI.  We need to ensure that all employees of this Town and school officials and teachers in this community are trained to recognize the signs and have the systems and the support to help these kids.

My Foundation is prepared to provide grants so that the trainings and the communication can begin.  We want Erie to succeed and be an example to other towns and cities.

But, we need the support of this leadership to get this done.

I request that the Board consider a resolution that will set a goal of training all of Erie’s employees by a date certain.  If the Town accomplishes this, it will be the first community in Colorado mobilize this way.

It’s no secret that we can’t continue business as usual.  Every day, we lose a child.  Every day more money fuels this crime.  We have to act, we have to act now, and we have to come together as the Colorado team.

And today, I hope that we will be able to come together to do exactly that.  I’d like to start right here and right now.

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