US TV to Broadcast Refugee Resettlement into America

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WEDNESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2011

CBS, a major US commercial broadcasting TV network, is to launch a 30-minute programme about refugee resettlement into the US on 25 September 2011.

In a statement released yesterday, CBS said many out of about 70,000 refugees admitted in the US in 2010 are assisted in their settlement by national faith-based humanitarian agencies such as the Church World Service (CWS).

The programme, entitled ‘Refugee Resettlement: Faith Communities Making a Difference’, will feature profiles of people including a young Chin woman, Hlawn Kip Tlem, from Chin State, Burma – a Southeast Asian country ruled by the military regime for decades.

Fleeing to Malaysia, Ms. Hlawn Kip Tlem along with her family came to settle in Indianapolis, USA four years ago, with little knowledge of English.

“She recently graduated from Southport High School and won a fully paid four-year scholarship to the University of Evansville. She talks about her experience adjusting to a new life in a new land,” added the statement.

The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) that has been actively involved in raising awareness of Chin refugees for years, and has liaison with CBS Religion Unit on the project welcomes the upcoming TV programme.

Salai Bawi Lian Mang, CHRO Executive Director, said: “We are very happy about the ‘Refugee Resettlement’ programme of CBS News. We believe that it will enormously make the Chin people from Burma and their situation known to the American public.”

The Church World Service (CWS), which has assistedd in the resettlement of 500,000 refugees across the US since 1946, recently celebrated its 65th anniversary at the City Museum of New York.

Erol Kekic, Director of Immigration and Refugee Program for CWS said resettlement alone is not enough for solving problems facing refugees but it is a part of the solution.

Last year, the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), one of the CWS affiliates, organised a program which pairs Christian and Muslim volunteers to co-sponsor a new refugee who has no ties to friends or family in the US, according to the CBS statement.

The program also include interviews with Erol Kekic, Director of Immigration and Refugee Program for CWS, as well as Vincent Cochetel, Regional Representative for The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who speaks about the issue.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that in 2010 more than 43 million people were forcibly displaced by conflicts.

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