Jump to Footer

Events to Examine Needs of Women and Children in Refugee Camps Worldwide

PLATTSBURGH, NY __Wendy Young, coordinator for external relations at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office for the Caribbean and the United States, will speak on women and children in refugee camps at several upcoming presentations at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.

Young's first presentation will be held during a Women's Studies Forum on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 12:30 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center. She will speak on the plight of women and children refugees worldwide, the aid work of The Women's Commission and her role at the United Nations working on behalf of women and children refugees.

Young will join Juan Osuna, acting chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals at the U.S. Department of Justice, for two presentations of "Protecting the Most Vulnerable: Women and Children Refugees and the Challenges of Refugee Protection in Today's World" on Thursday, Feb. 1.

The first presentation will be held at Clinton Community College (CCC), room 105M, beginning at 3:15 p.m. This lecture is sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Committee at CCC.

Young and Osuna will also lecture at SUNY Plattsburgh at 7 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center.

These lectures, which are free and open to the public, are part of a joint campus and community project that also features a cabaret benefit performance by Pendragon Theatre.

"Here's to the Ladies," will be performed on Friday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. in the Hartman Theatre, Myers Fine Arts Building. All proceeds from this highly charged cabaret will benefit The Women's Commission, a philanthropic organization that responds to the needs of women and children in refugee camps worldwide.

As the cabaret title suggests, all the production numbers were recorded, performed or written by women, including a variety of selections ranging from the Andrews Sisters to many of your favorite musical genres.

Tickets, which are $10 for general admission and $2 for SUNY Plattsburgh students, are available at the Angell College Center Information Desk, the Women's Studies Office (102 Hawkins Hall) or at the door. The Hartman Theatre Box Office opens at 7:15 p.m. on the night of the performance.  For more information, call 518-564-2283 or 518-564-2180.

These events are sponsored by Sigma Lambda Upsilon, the College Theatre Association, the Office of the President at SUNY Plattsburgh, College Auxiliary Services and the campus departments of women's studies, anthropology, sports and wellness, theatre and music.


Among her main responsibilities as coordinator for external relations, Wendy Young acts as the liaison with the executive and legislative branches of the United States Government and the non-governmental community to enhance political and financial support for the UNHCR humanitarian programs. She promotes the UNHCR's work on refugee protection, asylum and resettlement efforts with country offices of other United Nations agencies and key international and U.S. non-governmental organizations.

Young has been active in refugee and asylum issues for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining UNHCR, she served for more than 10 years with the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children. An acknowledged expert on refugee protection challenges, she has worked closely with the United States Congress, the U.S. Department of State, the media and other organizations. She has authored numerous reports on asylum issues to lead legislative reform efforts.

In recognition of her leadership on behalf of refugee women and children, Young has received the American Immigration Lawyers Association Human Rights Award, the American Bar Association Child Advocacy National Certificate of Recognition and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center's annual award. She holds a Juris Doctorate and a master's degree in international affairs from American University and a bachelor's from Williams College.


Juan Osuna was appointed as a member of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in August 2000 and began serving as its acting chairman on Oct. 2, 2006. The BIA is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. The Board's principal mission is to ensure that the immigration laws receive fair and uniform application.

The Board is composed of 11 members, including the chair and vice chair, who review case decisions of the immigration judges that have been appealed. The Board is divided into panels that review incoming cases and adjudicate the appeals as quickly as possible.

Osuna received a bachelor's degree in 1985 from George Washington University, a Juris Doctorate in 1988 from the Washington College of Law at the American University and a master's degree in law and international affairs from the American University's School of International Service.

Prior to this appointment to the BIA Board, Osuna served at West Group as senior principal attorney editor. He has also served as a consultant for Catholic Legal immigration Network, Inc., in Washington, D.C. Previously, he taught law at the Federal Judicial Center's Division of Court Education, also in Washington, D.C.


The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that advocates for policies and programs to ensure the rights and protection of refugee women, children and youth, including the provision of vital services such as health care, education and economic opportunity.

The commission serves as an expert resource, provides technical assistance and works to empower refugee women, adolescents and children to speak on their own behalf. It works to improve the lives and defend the rights of refugee and displaced women and children.

The Women's Commission was established in 1989 and is part of the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit organization.

-- 30 --

Back to top