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Refugees and The Right to Food

Over 3.5 million refugees have entered the US since 1975. In 2022, 25,465 refugees arrived in the US, a 123% increase from 2021. In New York city alone, it is estimated that more than 11,600 asylum seekers have gone through the intake process in the last few months and more than 8,500 asylum seekers, mostly families with children, are currently in the city’s shelter system. Many advocates claim these figures are vastly under-counted and point to the migrants regularly sleeping on sidewalks and sharing food with each other while they wait to get shelter in Midtown. Meanwhile, it can take asylum seekers almost two years to get a work permit, forcing many into the shadow economy in order to feed their families. Social services and legal aid in New York City say they are inundated with requests for help that they just can’t meet. Meanwhile, food pantries are seeing increasing numbers of refugee families who have few other places to turn for food and other basic needs.

Photini Kamvisseli Suarez

Photini Kamvisseli Suarez, a Miami Law Human Rights Clinic Fellow and 3rd year law student who has been supporting the National Right to Food Community of Practice for the past year, recently published an article focusing on refugees and the right to food in the International and Comparative Law Review of the University of Miami Law School. Photini argues that as right to food movements expand in the U.S. and globally, “it is important to ensure that refugees and other vulnerable populations are included in conversations and advocacy, and that the specific challenges to the right to food that refugees face be understood and addressed.” Read the full article below:

By: Photini Kamvisseli Suarez


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