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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  April 30, 2015 4:30pm-6:31pm EDT

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president lincoln's funeral. with over 1,000 re-enactors and a recreation of the 1865 eulogy, speeches and musical performances as well as historians and authors on the funeral journey and a tour of the newly recreated lincoln funeral car. also on c-span this weekend saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern the grand prize winners in our student cam documentary competition. and at 8:00 the festivities of the state visit of japanese prime minister shinzo abe, including his arrival at the white house and the toast at the dinner in his honor. and sunday morning at 10:30 the supreme court of the united states' oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage on whether the 14th amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. and on c-span 2's "book tv" this weekend, saturday night at 10:00 on "after words," author peter slevin looks at the life of our first lady michelle obama, from childhood through the white
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house. and sunday on in depth, our conversation with documentary film maker and writer jon ronson who's written many books including "so you've been publicly shame, "the men who stare at goats," and "the psychopath test: a journey through the madness industry." we'll be taking your phone calls, e-mail facebook comments and tweets. get the complete schedule at c-span.org. sunday night on c-span's "q & a, "washington post" national security reporter walter pinkus on the situation in the middle east and his opinion on the 2003 invasion of iraq. >> i think one of the things about the bush administration and paul wolfowitz, who never claimed to be an expert on the middle east or on iraq, and proved it, and history's proved it is that we look at things
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from our own point of view and get deceived by it. you can go back to vietnam is a great example of the first time we sort of did it openly, but we have a history of trying to think other people are like us or want our standards, and the world is different. and particularly in the middle east it's a totally different culture. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q & a." next a discussion on the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in libya. a panel looks at the refugee crisis stemming from the ongoing civil war and how this is impacting the plight of internally displaced persons and the economies and security of libya's neighbors. speakers include a representative with the office of the u.n. high commissioner for refugees and a minister with the tunisian embassy. this forum took place at the brookings institution in
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washington, d.c. >> my name is beth farris. um a senior fellow on foreign policy here and co-director of the brookings lsc project on internal displacement. for the past 22 years we've been working and doing research on internal displacement in a variety of contexts. i think this is the first time we've ever organized an event focusing specifically on libya. and certainly this research that was carried out and our concern with the issue predates the current attention being paid to lybia in the context of the migration crisis in europe although we will be focusing on that as well. we have a good panel for you today. we're going to begin with megan bradley sitting at my far left. megan teaches development studies and political science at mcgill university in montreal. she's done a lot of work on transitional justice displacement, reconciliation, and a variety of contexts. but from our perspective she's almost coming home. she worked with us for a couple of years as a fellow in the project on internal
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displacement. we still miss you a lot megan and it's really nice to see you here with us. >> thank you. >> so megan's going to talk about some of the research we carried out in collaboration with colleagues based in doha. and then we're going to turn to the charge d'affaires from the embassy of tunisia, who's a career diplomat, has worked in a variety of settings throughout the middle east, most recently london, tokyo before coming to london in 2012. the circumstances in tunisia and libya are something to be considered. we'll then turn to shelly pitterman who's the representative in washington, d.c. of the united nations high commissioner for refugees, has worked with unhcr for many years in very different settings from headquarters to the middle east and now in washington where he also focuses on some of the issues in the caribbean. but unhcr has been have visible in the past week or two with respect to what's happening in the mediterranean off the coast of libya. and i hope shelly, you can put
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this into the broader perspective. we often see that internal displacement within a country has consequences far beyond the borders of those countries. i think we'll be seeing that as we hear our panelists discuss today. each of them will talk for a short amount of time and then we'll open it up for questions. and i hope you are busily thinking about your questions, and we'll look forward to hearing from you. we'll begin with megan. megan, welcome. and tell us about your research. >> thank you so much. it's always nice to come home. especially when the weather here is much better than it is in montreal however cold a spring it might have been here. i'm particularly happy to have the chance to share with you today some of the results of a recent study on the displacement crisis within libya and across the libyan borders particularly into tunisia. this is a forthcoming report that i've been working on with two colleagues in ibrahim sharkiya who's with brookings' doha center. and a tunisian researcher and journalist. huda and ibrahim took the lead
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on the field work in tunisia and libya that informed this study. so i'd like to start out by acknowledging their key contributions to the project. the report is focused not just on the flow of migrants and asylum seekers across the mediterranean. rather, it's focused in particular on the displacement crises that have been affecting libyan citizens themselves. although these are clearly interrelated dynamics and i'm looking forward to speaking about those in the "q & a session. just to start with the numbers and an overview of some displacement dynamics that we look at in the report. the libyan population as i'm sure you know is 6.2 million. so a small country. after the fall of the gadhafi regime some 550,000 libyans were uprooted within the borders of libya itself and in addition an estimated 660,000 libyans sought shelter in neighboring countries, particularly tunisia
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and egypt. this is clearly a sizable proportion of the population of a relatively small country. the majority of idps who were uprooted in the context of the violence that accompanied the revolution were for the most part able to draw on their own resources to return to their homes relatively promptly after the violence concluded. there was, however, a smaller group of about 50,000 people who have ended up in a situation of so-called pro travthed dis edprotracted displacement. so these are individuals who still today have not been able to return to their homes. the greatest proportion of this population is a group of about 40,000 people from the town of misrata. perhaps some of you have followed the details of this case. but this is a situation in which the residents of this town who belong to a particular ethnic group were accused of loyalty to gadhafi and involvement in a series of war crimes that were committed against the residents of the city of misrata.
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in retaliation misratan militias attacked the town virtually destroyed it and arbitrarily displaced the entire population. the u.n. commissioner's inquiry has referred to this situation as a war crime in and of itself and as a crime against humanity. so the majority of these idps who are relatively cohesive and vocal group are living in idp camps, principally in tripoli and benghazi. with the upsurge of violence that we've seen since the summer of 2014, there's been in addition to this core group of protracted idps a whole new wave of people who've been forced from their homes. so the best estimates that we have is there are some 400,000 libyans who are now uprooted within the country. it's important to stress, though, that because the majority of international actors pulled out of libya in the summer of 2014 there have been really no regular updated
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assessments of the size and characteristics of this population. so 400,000 is very much a rough estimate. what we do know for sure is that many of those who are currently uprooted in libya have been subject to multiple displacements. so they've been forced from the communities in which they've sought shelter and still unable to return to their homes. and it's also clear that the almost complete lack of international assistance for idps in libya at the moment has pushed many of these people into situations of deep impoverishment and extreme vulnerability to the ongoing violence. in terms of those who sought shelter outside of libya we also saw relatively prompt return movements after the conclusion of the revolution in 2011. however, we do see and i think mr. draggi will speak to this, we did see a significant proportion of the population remain in exile primarily in
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tunisia. many of these individuals are assumed to have some degree of affiliation with or loyalty to the gadhafi regime. and this has made them unable to return to the country because of fears associated with retaliatory violence. so in thinking about this population, it's important to stress that the vast majority of these people have never been actively involved in any kind of violence or abuses associated with the gadhafi regime. instead this is more a case of guilt by association. people being labeled as loyalists by virtue of family associations or having that label applied to them in the context of local power struggles. so it's a very complicated case but it's important to recognize that this is not a group that is uniformly in any way responsible for violence or human rights violations. so in addition to this group which has stayed in exile for a longer period of time there has been again a major surge of
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movement into tunisia and also into egypt since the summer of 2014. we don't have good numbers on this population. in the summer the foreign minister of tunisia suggested that there are as many as 1.5 million libyans in tunisia. a smaller group are understood to have more or less established residency in tunisia. but again, it's very difficult to assess the scope of the population because libyans don't actually require a visa to enter tunisia. so tunisia has very generously kept their borders open throughout the duration of the crisis. so what we have is a situation of people using their own resources to travel into tunisia. and they have not for the most part actually registered as refugees. although a sizable proportion of the population would presumably qualify for refugee status. so in effect tunisia has really become a major host state in the region. although strikingly they receive very little
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international support. which is something that i hope we will discuss further. so if we think about the libyan crisis in relation to the displacement that's taking place across the middle east to north africa at the moment, it's striking how little attention the situation has received, particularly when we're thinking about the displacement of libyans themselves and not just the issue of migrants and asylum seekers trying to escape to europe from libyan shores. i think that this lack of attention to the libyan situation is significantly due to the fact that libya is a relatively well-resourced country and there's an assumption that libyans have their own resources to draw on in order to respond to their needs for housing, food et cetera. this has meant that until now there's been relatively low costs of the displacement crisis for european states and also for the u.s. but what i want to stress is that in the longer term this
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reliance on the displaced persons' own resources is just not tenable. what we saw in our research and interviews with affected populations is that yes, some people are receiving for example, regular pension payments, from the government despite the ongoing chaos, which is quite but many don't. so they're eating type their own resources, approaching situations of increasing impoverishment, and in addition to this many of the idps and exiles have protection concerns that money alone can't resolve. so this means that the kind of neglect that the situation has received is not i think something that can continue into the future. what we saw in our research is that many libyans in tunisia are effectively trying to live under the radar. sought the tunisian government has been remarkably generous in terms of keeping its borders open and enabling this kind of informal protection that libyans have accessed to date.
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the government has pledged not to return libyans while the violence is ongoing and has enabled libyan children, for example, to go to school. some are able to access medical care as well. but what we see in countries around the world is this kind of hospitality does come at a cost when we're talking about displacement situations that are expected to be protracted and that's certainly the case here. so for example we see rents significantly increasing in many tunisian cities, which is leading to tensions between tunisians and the libyan exiles. many of the exiles we interviewed for this study reported that they live basically in perpetual fear of a policy change that would see them be forcibly returned to libya where they fear for their lives. i think this suggests that there's a need to consider how the international community including unhcr can better support tunisia to develop its policies and capacities as a host state and to provide secure
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and reliable protection to those within their borders. just to conclude, in terms of responding to and ultimately looking toward the resolution of this displacement situation, i think it's important to recognize the obvious. and this is that it's just impossible to talk about aiding idps and resolving a crisis in a sustainable manner without looking at the broader question of conflict resolution and peace building in libya. so increased security is obviously the essential precondition of stopping displacement and to resolving the predicament of those who'd been forced from their homes within libya and across borders. what we saw in our research is from the perspective of many uprooted libyans return is their preferred solution to displacement and this is presumably also the preference of the many states and international organizations who are involved. what we see in other cases though, is that as displacement
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becomes more protracted people's preferences and plans can change. and so as the situation continues, it will be important to continue to have open dialogue with the displaced about their preferences and to make sure that their opinions are closely taken into account. while returns aren't presently possible, i want to just close by highlighting three quick points that will need to be kept in mind moving forward and looking toward an eventual resolution of the situation. first it's absolutely imperative, it goes without saying, that returns must be voluntary and take place within conditions of safety and dignity as is required under international law. the flip side of this is that while returns can't be forced they also can't be banned. it's also important to think about how to overcome, for example, the obstacles that have prevented the people of tuerga from returning to their homes. second, we need to think about the relationship between transitional justice,
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reconciliation, and the ongoing displacement situation in libya. transitional justice processes in libya have been effectively suspended with violence but there are i think many lessons to be learned from the past failures of the processes that were initiated in 2011. so for example, the political isolation law that was instituted in libya was problematic particularly because of its highly punitive nature. this is an opportunity to try to take stock of some of those shortcomings and ideally have a clearer sense of the way to move forward in future. and last, it's essential to think about how immediate support can be delivered toichlt dps and also to exiles in which that eventually lay groundwork for durable solutions. even though return is not an immediate possibility there are ways in which the populations can be assisted now, in ways that will help people come out from the shadows and not experience a situation of entrenched marginalization, which is the risk that many people particularly exiles, face at the moment.
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so this entails, for example ensuring that libyan children take up the opportunity that's been presented to them to go to school. many are still not enrolled in schools. this is just one small step that i think is an important part of making sure that this population is not locked into a situation of protracted displacement in the longer term. so thank you very much. >> thank you megan. a complex picture of protracted displacements, new displacements within the country to surrounding countries and further abroad. we turn now to tunisia. talk about the experience of your country in dealing with libyan displacement and the crisis. >> thank you very much. we'd like to think of libya as an opportunity for tunisia. unfortunately, at the moment it is a problem for the whole region, but it is -- we consider it as a problem for tunisia because of the interconnection between the two countries, the two peoples and the very close relations, historical, cultural,
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and economic. after the revolution in tunisia and the revolution in the -- start of the revolution in libya, we have received over 1 million libyans in tunisia. most of them relied on their own means in cities but we have had around 90000 libyans who are in refugee camps in tunisia. and the success of the libyan solution was good news for tunisians because many people, particularly the refugees, went back home. and we all hoped with the stability and opportunity for everybody. unfortunately, things did not turn out to be very easy for everybody, for the tunisian process, which was quite long and painful. but for the libyans they are going through more conflicts and a more painful process. right now we have -- it's not easy to give figures precise
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figures, but we have an estimation of more than 1 million libyans living in tunisia. moffett of them most of them are middle-class tunisia. most of them we could call them refugees. most of them are relying on their own means, on their savings. and more or less, they are living in very good conditions. the tunisia law allows libyans free circulation to tunisia, freedom to establish business and to be in tunisia like any other citizen. so this is a quite positive picture. in terms of repercussions to tunisia, i would start with the good news, the positive. the libyans come with capital influx and help the economy, about 1 billion euro injected into the economy. but unfortunately this positive picture does not -- could not
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hide the negative impact so we have the pressure that we have on the tunisia economy in other aspects. you know, over 1 million -- that is more than 10% of the tunisian population -- and population increase 10% increase of the population with nonproductive citizens that would have inflationary pressure on the tunisian economy and tunisians are feeling that. obviously there are other concentrations but the blame is not to be put on this demographic but there are other consolations. it has contributed to, as megan has just said, to a strain on schools, transportation systems and most importantly -- and this is being fair to tunisia, is that they put more pressure on subsidy systems, food subsidies,
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energy subsidies. that is something that is being fed. other negative aspects are related to security. the proliferation of weapons and we have concerns about smuggling weapons and it's taking place in libyan. it creates some kind of precautions about the influx of libyans in tunisia. we have our home-grown security concerns and terrorists, too, and there is a connection between all terrorists regions throughout the region. so this situation is more complex because at the beginning of the libyan revolution when there was a surge of libyan refugees, the tunisian army did not have many assignment. whether it was security or in terms of organizing refugee camps. but now the tunisian army is
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quite small and it has so many missions and it is fighting against terrorism in tunisia. it has a task of protecting borders. it does not have the capacity to play the same role as in 2007. so these are some of the aspects we have. but apart from these money and the urbanite and middle class refugees in tunisia, we have a problem with third nationals. it started in 2011 and we have around 200,000 subsaharan africans who came for refugee and stayed in tunisia. most of them have run back home
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or have been adopted in other host countries in europe. some of them, but not many, are still in tunisia. the concern is that we hope the situation in libya will improve. the national dialect will come to a positive conclusion. but tunisia and the whole region has to prepare themselves for the worst. we hope that in august 2014, when the fighting intensified in egypt to after the killing of 21 egyptian cops, there was a surge of new refugees of a border crossing. that obviously alerted the tunisian authorities and signaled that we have to be prepared for any new surge. the tunisian economy is not in
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the same shape as 2011. the army is not at the same readiness as in 2011. and, to be honest, in tunisia, there's a sense of humanitarian fatigue. there was a huge stance of solidarity with the libyan people in 2011 and other refugees, there was a sense of willingness to contribute to help and to protect the generosity but even within tunisia itself, there were so many complainers of people moving to regions offering support, donations, now people with the economic situation are not in the same kind of attitude. so these are some of the challenges that we are facing
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and, as megan has said, that we are facing alone without any international support but i think the minimum is to try to work on emergency plans to provide not only support but support in terms of management and procedures to deal with an event that is possible with new refugees. so do i stop here and maybe we can deal with questions later on. >> thank you very much. and let's turn now to shelly pitterman. >> thank you very much, beth. it's really a pleasure to be here. my conversation will start with three perspectives, one with libya in specific and as we must, with any refugee situation, look at the neighborhood and then the region almost by definition. but in the case of libya, given the security situation and our
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presence in libya is naturally quite constrained, which gets to some of the points megan mentioned about the level of assistance that can be offered to the displaced persons and, in fact, to some 40,000 refugees as well who are, according to our last count, in libya. mostly in the tripoli area. we've had to withdraw our international staff. we've got about 30 to 40 national staff in both benghazi, principally in tripoli as well. concentrated in various neighborhoods because, as you said, they are very department on family connections and they have basically been obliged to go it alone in the libyan mess. we work through some international ngos, like international medical corps, the danish refugee council as well as the libyan red crescent and some few national ngos that are able to get things accomplished. so we continue to try to keep a
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presence to provide some minimum, you know, material support to work with the individuals and respond to individual protection needs but there's no illusion here that anything significant on our part is effectively changing their situation in a big way, which i dare say is very often the case with displaced populations because of the nature of the conflicts that they regrettably find themselves in. libya is a more extreme example of that. i guess in the current map of conflict and internal strife. so we watch carefully and optimistically the work of the special representative of the secretary general to find political solution. apparently, this is a slow and complicated process. it's happening in multiple countries, dealing with multiple
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actors and, there again, i think patience is the key. and in that rather sad landscape, tunisia is a pearl reception of asylum of understanding and so naturally all who care are very grateful for the excellent support that's been provided by tunisia. when you think of the tunisian case, i, in my background, think as well of lebanon and other countries that have been impacted by the surge of instability and insecurity in north africa as well as in the center of the middle east around the syrian refugee problem because there are relations -- there are relationships here. and there's been a lot of focus on how lebanon has been impacted by -- in particular, lebanon, by the incredible number of syrian refugees and i guess we also have to think about tunisia in a significant way. and we can provide, as an international community, direct support for relief to refugees but, you know, as you've said,
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they are a part of the community in many ways. they are being integrated through municipal services, health education, they are living in rented buildings and they are working on the savings that they've had, the resources that they were able to bring. but as far as this is a protracted displacement, those resources will run dry. and when that happens, we'll find ourselves in -- and it's happened sooner in lebanon because of the dramatic quality, the war in syria. when that happens, those people will suffer more -- more clearly and it will have a more dramatic impact on tunisia. so we have to, i think, already anticipate the problems that will come with exclusion, with poverty and with the fact that they are not tunisian and, as you said, tunisia already had quite an experience receiving tens of thousands of foreigners,
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including refugees on its territory and dealing with them in a most -- in a most hospitable way. so the high commissioner's been looking at this question and advocating for a more proactive approach to development. this is not a relief situation. tunisia is a middle income country just as egypt on the other side. therefore, not necessarily eligible for the types of grants that would normally come from development agencies and international financial institutions like the world bank. it doesn't -- it simply doesn't qualify.
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but we were trying to make the case and i guess this is a very effective platform for doing so as well, that it's in the collective interests of the global north and of the people of tunisia and of libyans as well who are impacted by this, that we should think about creative ways to help affected countries to engage in structural and bilateral and
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multilateral support, that we shouldn't have to wait until the crisis becomes -- well, until the problem becomes a crisis but engage more proactively from the get-go. tunisia is a case in point because of the economic hardships that you mentioned that are facing the country in terms of gdp and so on but there are other examples around the nigerian situation, cameroon, mali, lebanon and jordan are other important examples as well as turkey, to a lessor extent, where development institutions and development resources, that's the key, can be leveraged to provide more support not only to help countries of asylum but
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to give more space and helpfully address this problem which i think is more critical of hospitality fatigue, humanitarian fatigue, so there is a more concrete and short-term benefit beyond the cooking pots and the blankets and the very punctual support and we've been looking for creative ways to make that happen and there are some opportunities in the months to come through the g-7 conversations and the next annual meeting of the world bank with whom we've been working closely on this and we hope that there will be advocates in this room and elsewhere to help find the key to a more creative and flexible approach to
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concessional loans that recognize in the context like tunisia the openness that you've shown as a country and as a nation to refugees from libya and from elsewhere. the third piece that i'd like to very quickly mention, of course, is that the havoc in libya, the vacuum of authority, the insecurity and the instability creates a pathway, however risky it may be, for syrians and others to transit, to make their way to safer shores in the north, on the one hand, and then also for some of the 40,000 or so refugees themselves to exit. and so we have seen from libya over recent months and years an increase in the outflow of both people and also -- i call them both people, not to conjure of images of years ago and that's what they are. we've seen on the tragedy in the mediterranean last week that they run a terrific risk in doing what they do. it's not a choice. it's not a poll.
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they are not economic migrants, most of them. they are forced to flee because of the circumstances in their home countries. it's a tragedy within a tragedy, in effect, that they've had to leave syria or artria or other countries from which they have fled to seek asylum in libya or to transit through such an environment and be at the behest of traffickers that are able to flourish in such an environment in order to try to make their way to europe and elsewhere in order to find safety. so i hope we can talk more about that but i just want to abuse it with my open time to try to draw the length between libya, the neighborhood in north africa i didn't speak about in egypt but
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the same principles exist in general but tunisia's open border policy is clearly something that we're very appreciative of and also to make the link that it's the broader region and it has a global impact. thank you very much. >> thank you. and thanks to all of you. before we open it up for discussion, i thought we might just have a little conversation amongst ourselves and maybe start with you, megan. we know from experiences that the longer people are displaced, the more protracted the situation the less likely they are to go home. are there steps that might facilitate the return of libyans from tunisia and elsewhere? >> i think there are steps. one issue, for example, that certainly will need to be considered is an issue of restitution. this is going to be a very complex process.
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there always is when there have been large-scale when people have lost their homes. in libya it's going to be all the more complicated because the restitution claims are intertwined with the practices of the gadhafi regime over decades. the regime would use the allocation of land resources as a way of playing different groups off of one another and this, of course, results in very complex, overlapping claims to the same properties. so in terms of thinking into the future when we can hope to see this situation sorted out, the restitution piece is going to be a big part of that. i think that there's work that can be done in terms of forward planning for strategies to address that situation. that's just one example. i think that there are a range of ways in which there can be effective forward planning, you know, it might seem idealistic at this moment because the security concerns are obviously paramount but i think it behooves us to do what we can in the situation that we are in at
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the moment. >> i want to turn to this issue of hospitality or compassion fatigue. everybody i know in the humanitarian sector is exhausted. you know, running from one crisis to another and trying to raise money and -- i mean, it just -- in this situation, tunisia gets very little international attention and i'm struck by the fact that you've had this generous, hospitable reaction to refugees from a neighboring country for several years now. and -- i mean, is there anything that the international community could do to recognize the tremendous efforts that you've done to try to address that compassion fatigue? >> i mean, this discussion of compassion fatigue is occurring all over the world. really it's complicated further by a sense of disillusionment, with people who thought that overnight the situation would change, they would have economic opportunity, employment for everybody and very high standards of living overnight.
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of course, the economy was very slow and painful. there's a sense of disillusionment at least. there is now a sense of political pride and what tunisia has achieved and, to be honest, too, there is disillusionment about the international community and sometimes our neighbors. they thought that they were generous above their means and that they made sacrifices but the hospitality was not returned. when there were possibilities in these countries, tunisians were not occurred as -- were not considered immediately to have some job opportunities. so there is it a sense of general fatigue that is both because of the effort that is being made and the long time
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that this effort is being made but also because there's a sense of disillusionment. in terms of what can be done, the international community could help. the libyan authorities could also help because one of the issues that tunisian authorities have discussed before is that we have libyans that are here but they are benefiting from subsidies. we cannot limit subsidies to tunisians. they are welcome to our countries and we ask, in return, maybe some kind of financial aid, a subsidy, particularly in the energy sector. it did not work but now the situation is worse with infighting in libya itself.
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the international community, i mean, we always hear about these complaints, italy with the number of refugees and economic migrants. but as you have just mentioned, it does not compare with what lebanon is doing without complaining with tunisia is doing. they receive 5,000 or something and all the press and all the country is about that country. they are receiving millions. over 10% of population are refugees. so in a sense, there should be more international responsibility, a sharing of costs, sharing of sacrifices. that has not taken place but i hope that things will prove that even in the interest of -- what
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you have with these countries, maybe the influx of migrants. >> just to jump in on this question of compassion fatigue, there was a really interesting piece of public opinion research that was done in march by a french and tunisian firm working in cooperation with the foundation and this research found interestingly that when tunisians were asked to identify their top two ways in which their government could help to respond to the libyan crisis, 72% of respondents picked refugees from libya as one of the two ways to respond. on the one hand, it's a great testimony to how people do continue to maintain a very generous spirit despite this kind of compassion fatigue and yet the population was split almost down the line on the question of whether libyan families should be able to integrate into tunisian society. there was a lot more resistance to the notion of hospitality going further than just keeping the border open, which i think comes back to this question of hospitality fatigue and how hard
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it is to sustain these kinds of open policies in the long term. >> and if i may? >> yes, please. >> and regrettably, if you look at the world map today, the situation's only going to get worse. and so i think that, you know, the conflicts are proliferating. there are more conflicts. every month there's a new emergency. we've just declared moving away from this particular region. we've just declared a level one emergency in rwanda. who would have thought after we engaged in a repatriation program. only to suggest that the nature -- the nature of things these times reflects increased conflict, more violent conflict. you spoke of the beheading of the -- just more
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unpredictability, more impunity and less management of existing conflicts. they've become more protracted. so we have protracted emergencies in ways that we didn't have before. and beth, you know from your long experience in refugees that an emergency lasted six months, not five years like in the middle east now. and so that's why we think that it's really important to think in bigger terms because the humanitarian financial system is broken. it cannot be -- it cannot sustain this kind of commitment and already we are satisfied with a -- you know, with what we can do when we're 50% funded and we have had to make some very serious choices. but when it gets to structural support and issues relating to services and host countries, we can't wait to engage the
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international community in that reflection and it's not just a question of being nice or couple passionate. there are security issues for states that are -- that are next to some of these failed states where if there's a risk, it needs to be addressed in a he have proactive way, in a very big way and that requires more than just a few projects. it requires a more systemic and sustained structural approach. >> this idea of support, i don't like to be selective and accept the first part and reject the second but if you asked me the same question, i would respond the same way. we think that the idea of integration is not good but it's not because of rejection. i think it's rational kind of behavior. because if you say we would like to have them integrated, there's an inclination of failure. i think it is more rational in the sense that we wish them success and they are working here and we hope that they will
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have a positive solution in the near future. i personally would think this way if asked this question, rather than rejection of integration. but even before the revolution, i mean, now we have, let's say we have 1 million refugees but even before the revolution at all time, we have always found 1 million libyans in tunisia, coming for two years for medical care. so they are part of society. it's always there. and better conditions for good purposes and for good reasons but in this case now it's not a matter of choice. >> and one question more and then we'll open it up for discussion to you, shelly. are european governments doing enough in responding to the exodus from libya. many of us thought a wonderful italian initiative ended. is something like that needed?
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>> the -- >> not to put you on the spot. >> that's why i'm -- it was perceived by europe to be a pull factor and without too much controversy, it's pretty clear now that in the year that's followed, the numbers have increased, the numbers of deaths have increased on the high sea and so it was a good initiative from italy and should have gotten more support from europe generally. but that's that. it is what it is, one could say, and now there's the tritan alternative approach which is focus more on border control, border management. yesterday the european council decided to triple the investment in the tritan operation, which is -- i guess it's a fair reaction to what has been happening in the month of april,
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especially with the last tragedy. most of you should know by now that 900 people or more died in one single accident. 1200 people have died already on the high seas since 1276, since the beginning of this year. it's not a problem that is going to go away and now certainly with the seasonal -- with the season being as it is, there will be more boat traffic and hopefully there will be more rescue but, it can be said that germany and sweden in particular have been remarkably generous in their approach in particular for syrian refugees coming to sweden and to germany as asylum seekers directly or through programs of resettlement and visa and family reunification that would allow for more access legal, safe, secure access to refugees and particularly to european states on a more generalized and equitable basis. that, unfortunately, did not come out of the european council
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decision yesterday, although there is more -- there is movement in that direction but no firm decision in that respect. there's still, for very good reason, a focus on trafficking and on smuggling and there's important in and of itself because it represents risks, of course, to migrants and refugees. but it doesn't provide a safe
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alternative to those people who are forced to flee to find security and safety. >> open it up for questions and maybe take several at a time. if you could introduce yourself and we'll start over here, please. >> i'd like to -- bill loress. i'd like to press further on that point and on the economic piece of this, i agree, conflict is the main problem, not just regular, old economic deprivation. we have a lot of informal economic activity here.
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my question is when the u.n. looks at livelihoods, crises, how to deal with refugees, how do they deal with the informal economic sector piece and constructing economies that work. and for megan, a quicker question. you alluded to the tunisia figures and the egyptians often say they have more libyans and you pointed out it is tied to the gadhafi, those tied to the regime. my question for you is what precedent is there, what models are there for external reconciliation? there are a lot of libyans that aren't going to go back until they feel there's safety in going back, so how do we deal with international dialogue with
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exiled population that fears to return. it is like the problem inside, but what are the models. they won't come back until there's some -- >> take a couple more, if you can stand up, helps to hear better. this gentleman here. >> thank you. michael boyce. thank you for your presentations. a question regarding idp response. we see in other settings where idp populations are less accessible, like somalia, syria, that humanitarian organizations often use remote control mechanisms working from a neighboring country and using particularly local actors, civil society, local ngos to distribute the aid within the country. of course, it is never a perfect solution, especially when it
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comes to ensuring proper protection for idps, but i wonder if you could talk about the extent to which this is being used or considered for the libyan context. >> the gentleman in the very back there. >> independent consultant on humanitarian issues. a comment and question. first, as someone who has often pointed to flaws, it is only fair to give them credit for the reporting you have done. in the annual reports over the last several years. unhcr has consistently reported on the number of deaths at sea of people trying to flee of horn of africa and northern africa to europe and other parts of the middle east, and on an annual basis estimates are in the two or three thousand a year perish at sea. so this is not new.
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the only difference this last week is they were all on one ship. if the 900 people were on four different ships and died 200 a piece, it wouldn't have been in the media and we would not be hearing about it. this is not new. and they had this in the reporting several years, which leads me to my question, primarily to shelly but the other members as well. this fleeing by boat, in libya does unhcr and implementing partners have any leverage to influence the most dangerous and abusive practices of traffickers. similarly, have you had any success in raising awareness among would be asylum seekers and migrants before they depart libya about safer alternatives to reach their destination. thank you. >> we have complex questions. invite anybody to jump in and
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answer. question on the relationship of informal migrants fits in with asylum seekers, external reconciliation, question of unhcr and others doing remote management to work inside libya and does unhcr have any trafficking within -- >> give some of it a go. perhaps in direct response to the question about the labor sector, it is not so much in countries of origin, so to speak, that we would engage. certainly in countries of asylum, we are trying to get more involved and hear the buzz word, the keyword, the official word is resilience. so for example, in the context of syrian refugee response for the first time and in a very collaborative way, hopefully it will be effective in terms of generating new resources.
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we have talked not only about responding to the refugee piece of our work in the countries of asylum but also resilience for the host community and putting into place certain activities through undp, through other development oriented organizations to respond to the impact of large numbers of refugees on the services in the host countries. and livelihoods and helping refugees and people in the host community to keep up income generation. what we are already seeing quickly though, this gets back to the earlier point i made, these are inadequate responses because of just the availability of funds. even if we begin to tap into the development pool of funding,
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there are inadequate responses to the kinds of issues mentioned with respect to tunisia and lebanon where you have real structural challenges in a big way that impact on national security in the short or medium term and in these areas what we're going for is important, it's essential, but insufficient in terms of really keeping asylum space preserved and also keeping countries that do provide asylum secure. so that's i think the first piece. the second quickly i mention, we never denied that the movements by sea are mixed, whether in the caribbean or red sea or east pacific. the mechanisms which are lacking in all four examples for identifying people in need of international protection. and dealing with that according
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to international and national law on the one hand and those who are migrants addressing their concerns however that's done by iom and by host countries and if it is according to law, returning them safely to their point of departure or to their country of origin. those mechanisms are just not in place anywhere frankly in a systemic, coherent, predictable way, so that's why the high commissioner took the initiative last december to have a dialogue, an international dialogue on protection at sea, which was well timed to begin to have all states think about well, what are the mechanisms that need to be introduced in order to provide those protections on the one hand and protect state interests on the other. not that they're mutually exclusive by any means. just quick reply on the remote management for idps, it is a very modest as i indicated, megan may have more to say about this. like i said, we have our international presence out of
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tunis. we have national staff in tripoli, in benghazi, we work with ngos, national and international, to do what we can. the program is underfunded, access is very limited, and so there's no pretense that what we are doing is anything on the order of the cross line operations or for that matter cross border operations as well in the syrian context where other idp emergency situations. and with respect to jeff, thank you very much for your observation. in fact, we have always together with iom spoken about that to the extent that we can count them, we get this information from coast guards, so they're not our numbers but we publish them because they're part of the
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movements of people of concern or potentially of concern. i misquoted the number of deaths on the mediterranean. since january of 1776, so that's a number that i should have more easily remembered. 1296 in april, but the numbers aren't as precise as we pretend. several dozen in the caribbean this year that we get from the u.s. coast guard, from bahamas, turks and caicos coast guard as well. my short answer to your question is i don't know but i don't think so. i don't imagine that we have relationships as such with traffickers in order to be able to give them some guidance or training on best practice. i don't think that's likely.
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similarly, the whole nature of this being as secretive. it is very hard for us to give good advice to refugees or asylum seekers about the best way to manage this travel. that's why and then i'll stop, we focused on the need for states to introduce structures. transparent, predictable structures that address the needs of asylum seekers and to give them legal alternatives through creative and flexible visa arrangements, settlement programs, humanitarian admission programs in order to be able, or safe points of departure in order to be able to address their protection needs. >> megan, external reconciliation? >> thank you for a really interesting question. you know, it is certainly true that historically reconciliation process, transitional processes are nationally bound, so haven't taken into account the regional,
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cross border dynamics of refugee flows and the ways in which refugees can be as we say in political science spoilers in the context of peace processes, which is to say if their needs are not met, they can potentially undercut those processes and jeopardize their success. that said, there have been interesting developments on this front. one of the report co-authors has done extensive research on reconciliation and dialogue processes in the arab spring countries which in some cases have had an international dimension to them. in libya in that case particularly there have been individually driven efforts to
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try to have reconciliation and dialogue with libyans. these processes have often really been severely criticized by people within libya who are opposed to the notion of reconciliation. there's still as we saw in the research strong relevance of this divide between perceived loyalists and revolutionaries. some suggest since the upsurge in violence since 2014, we have seen that's not so much the case, not surprising, the regime was long-standing and the kinds of divides are going to run deep. the other thing i would say on this question of external reconciliation pro setsz, we often focus on reconciliation in
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terms of formal dialogue, having people sit around a table in a political process. what i have seen in some of my research is that reconciliation can often be significantly promoted in more informal ways, particularly through reestablishing economic ties, for example, supporting families to reconnect across borders, communities to reconnect across borders, and these kinds of economically rooted and informal processes can be just as significant if not more significant than the formal political processes. just on the question of remote border, remote management and cross border operations, i think it is just important to recognize that libyan red cross has been carrying weight in terms of response that is happening to the idp situation and that moving forward perhaps it will be important to think more seriously about the role of
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cross border relief, thinking about the experiences that have taken place in syria, troubled as they have been, but could perhaps have important insights for the libyan case. >> thank you very much. >> on the area of remote border management, it reminds me that we have another category of refugees in tunisia, diplomatic refugees, the u.s. embassy, canadian embassies. thank you for the attention. but to move to more serious issue, difference between asylum seekers. the major flaw, the major problem we see now is this concentration on push factors. the push factor is catastrophe out of proportion, is something we have not seen for so many years.
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we are speaking about 14 to 15 million idps in the region. you take this opportunity to try to smuggle themselves into this wave into europe as asylum seekers. if we deal with the catastrophe, try to find solutions, security solutions and other possibilities to offer asylum, then we can really separate between the genuine asylum seekers but let's concentrate before looking into the factors or some people who would be opportunistic. take this opportunity to travel illegally to europe or somewhere else. yesterday i was listening to npr to the special united nations general and talked about in
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the '70s, countries like canada, the u.s., formally welcome thousands from many countries in the asia region, and was successful model. they're now good citizens of the country, have their children in universities and are totally integrated and contributed to the economies of these countries. >> let's open it up for another round of questions. if you could introduce yourself. >> hello, kirsten from world bank. thank you for this interesting discussion and taking up the topic because we have also been
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feeling that tunisia and libyan context have been overshadowed by other developments. i was having two questions. first question, we are reading very different numbers in the news on the number of people waiting in libya to cross the mediterranean. we know there are migrants there that were -- most were working in libya had already fled in 2011 but i guess some returned and some are still there. then there are some asylum seekers there, recognized refugees unhcr mentioned. i was wondering if anybody had a clear picture of what's happening there because we read a lot of anecdotal evidence about what's happening in detention centers, what's happening in smuggler's houses. do we know because i heard
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numbers from 1.5 to 2 million waiting, 500,000 waiting to cross, and what is their situation. the other question i would have, we heard a little about libyan refugees in tunisia and i was wondering if we have a little bit more information about different groups that are there, what their economic status is like. my guess this information would be important for tunisia authorities to have, to then have targeted approach to how to react to the refugees and how to react in the state of the tunisian economy. thank you. >> good questions. the gentleman back there. >> hello. matt wilts from u.s. conference of catholic bishops. my question is about durable solutions in this situation and especially in libya and in tunisia for the refugees and idps in those situations and you mentioned the great hope for the majority, vast majority is to return when there's peace. and certainly tunisia is overloaded in terms of integration for people, local integration, so my question is about resettlement and what role
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you think it has in this situation. and both in terms of protecting people and also giving alternatives to that dangerous flight. >> hi. national endowment for democracy. thank you very much. this is a highly timely panel. maybe even overdue. i have two questions. first, understanding the constraints and limitations of working with idps inside libya, specifically out of benghazi which has been under heavy bombardment for almost the past year. what kind of services are being provided to the idps, be it shouldered by libyan red crescent or other organizations. secondly, a lot of discussion about tunisia and that's great. what about the situation of libya and outflow, you know, refugees that are in egypt,
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turkey, jordan, other host countries. if you have a little more context, that would be good as well. thank you. >> one last question in the back. >> i have posted before to libya from 2009 to 2012 and have participated in evacuation of hundreds and thousands from refugees in south of tunisia from egyptians and certain nationalities. i don't have a question, i have a comment to shed light on the situation in egypt about the libyans. the number of libyans who are there are not libyan egyptians, you're talking about 700,000 libyans only. before the revolution, we used to have half million living in egypt. now, there are no campus in egypt for refugees. all of these people are living, they have houses and they have services for their son and universities and schools,
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there's not any problem for them and they are used to people like egyptians and some situations and services that have similar programs. we couldn't limit to only egyptians, and at the same time egypt used to receive numbers of arab refugees from other countries, not only libya, we received after the war in iraq quarter million iraqis living in egypt, and now we have 350,000 syrian and with the number of libyans we have one million sudanese. all as egypt is suffering internally from economic problems and still suffering with increasing intensity of the problem of the refugees from arab countries like tunisia actually little bit similar situation. but problem for us actually we have humanitarian and economic problem and as mentioned it is
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important for us, the security. after the revolution, again, many libyans, some supporters of gadhafi and some supporters of revolution against gadhafi came to egypt and they have sometimes represented like security threat in egypt because they're used to fighting and shopping malls, sometimes in the streets, using armies. not only very big number of smuggled from egypt. and don't forget very big number of extremist groups in eastern part of libya. also very big challenging for egypt. maybe you hear about incidents that happened last year egyptian border guards when group of them were assassinated by terrorist groups coming from libya. those are complicated, highly complicated for us, not only in
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egypt, not only humanitarian and economy, the security and terrorism as i mention is important for us. that's all. i tried only to shed light on the situation in egypt. thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much. it illustrates how complex the patterns of displacement are over time with different groups and different countries, economic insecurity and humanitarian concerns, certainly not an easy issue. for the panelists, we have difficult questions. how many are waiting to cross? different groups of libyan refugees, where are we with durable solution, resettlement, integration and so forth. what kind of services are provided to idps in benghazi and elsewhere. i think we just had some response on the egypt question. first person who answers gets to choose which questions. >> tried to answer the first question about different groups and categories.
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i think we cannot come really with precise number first. from one million to one million 800,000, margin is very wide. we don't have precise figures and no clear answers. and since you are from lower bank, this is one they discuss recently and going to undertake comprehensive study about the impact on the economy of the libyans in tunisia. let me try to say something about these groups. i think most of them, most libyans are from the middle class, do not for the moment have financial problems. there's some gap in wealth, but you could maybe detect by the town of residence of libyans. the more you move north, the richer you are. those who are north will stay near the borders. little more rich, i would go to
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gavis or tunis. but that does not mean there are some who have financial and have problems of schooling, problems of getting to access to the health system. the other thing about political affiliation if you like, no money that you see the people of tunisia, we have seen minor tension between different libyans in tunisia. fortunately it was contained, but maybe most of them are pro-gadhafi cities, but we don't have any idea about that. we have seen some kind of tension that was contained and maybe that gives ideas to possibilities of external reconciliation. we manage to contain tension between libyans and they don't
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think there are any problems. sometimes very minor incidents, but totally under control. thanks to libyans themselves. they're behaving good. >> my answers here will be short, i don't know. i don't know the answer. maybe somebody else does in the room about how many potential folks there are that will leave by boat. i just don't know. there may be some estimates out there, but i don't happen to know them. as far as the level of assistance, i think i intimated that it is inadequate. it is focused on some nonfood items to those who can get access. we always try to provide protection support for children
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who are impacted, women, specific groups that might have their stories and need counseling but, you know, i can't pretend it is more than it is. partly that's a function of access. partly it's a function of resources. it's certainly not a function of will and i intimated before that we rely on national ngos as well and that's first and foremost the libyan red crescent. we also have support for folks who have been returned or intercepted by the libyan coast guard or navy and brought back who are then brought to detention centers where the conditions are not good and we've provided by some individual support to them. in collaboration with the international medical corps. so these are, you know what we can do. and i think the bottom line is that, in fact, it's true that
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this situation has not benefited from the level of media public and donor attention as much as it should which relates to my point about just bandwidth and financial discourses. to the extent that the world bank and tunisia are in communication, you may want to think about what flexible and creative options there might be. i draw attention here as well to the fact that when we did go from the syrian refugee i mentioned that we had in our refugee response plan an element on resilience to support the host community and there were chapters in that appeal that were crafted by both jordan and lebanon to speak to their needs as far as services and infrastructure support in a
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bigger way. and that might be a useful reference as well for tunisia. matt's question, with respect to resettlement, i think it's quite timely. and frankly here, too, i must admit that i don't know the answer. i don't know what the realistic prospects are would be for processing out but it would fall within the framework of giving especially through europe an organized legal alternative to receive refugees who are now in trouble in libya. and we have nationalities, we have syrian refugees, of course, they're about half as far as we would -- as we're able to estimate and be in contact with them of the 40,000 or so refugees but there are also as i mentioned eritrean refugees. let me just mention some of the other nationalities that we've got. there are palestine --
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palestinian refugees from eritrea, iraq, somalia, and sudan among other nationalities. >> anything else on solutions megan? >> well on the question of resettlement, i think when we reflect on the relevance of this opportunity for libyans we have to recognize that -- well, globally 1% of refugees access for settlement so the numbers are already very low. the vast majority of exiled libyans are not registered as refugees so for them to even begin to contemplate access to resettlement there would have been to be a real shift in the approach to start with a much more comprehensive registration process that could identify who is most in need of resettlement given that it's now widely understood that resettlement opportunities should be provided by as a protection tool. it's also important to recognize that the settlement would be a very limited -- it would be very
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limited access, if any, to idps. so sometimes we tend to focus on resettlement and it can detract attention from the largeer numbers of people trapped within their own countries and who will never have an opportunity to participate in that process. on the solutions question, i would also just stress that it's important to recognize in a case like this that so-called durable solutions are not going to mean an end to mobility. so as the participant from the egyptian embassy pointed out and also mr. de vrkavashi indicated in his comments, there are long standing libyan communities in india and tunisia. people have historically moved freely and fluidly across those borders and that kind of movement will be a part of what a durable solution to this situation looks like. so we shouldn't expect that all of a sudden we'll have a more sudden tear dynamic in the
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region. people will continue to engage in mobility as part of their livelihood strategies and their way of life. in terms of the question on the economic status and well-being of libyans in tunisia, it's great to hear that a study is being contemplated that would look at those issues from a quantitative perspective. the qualitative research that we did for this study certainly can't be generalized to the whole population but did underline that while the majority of exiled libyans are, indeed middle-class, there are people who are facing real impoverishment. and who are being pushed to engage in what we might euphemistically call negative coping strategies to deal with that reality. so it's important we not lose sight of that population and the particular protection concerns that they have. >> i want to thank all the panelists, these are complex issues. and, you know p beyond the statistics and the descriptions
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and the terminology are real live human beings caught up in conflict who are fleeing for their lives who are scared who are poor and i think these discussions have to remember that these are people that we're talking about and that they have serious needs. thanks to our panelists megan bradley, shelley and join me in thanking them. [ applause ] 150 years ago this weekend a grieving nation gathered along the route of abraham lincoln's funeral train as it made its way from washington, d.c. to his final resting place in springfield, illinois. this sunday afternoon at 2:30 on american history tv on c-span 3, we're live from oak ridge cemetery in springfield to commemorate the anniversary of president lincoln's funeral.
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with over 1,000 reenactors and a recreation of the 1865 eulogy, speeches and musical performances as well as historians and authors of the funeral journey and a tour of the newly recreated lincoln funeral car. also on c-span, saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern grand prize winners in our student cam documentary competition. and at 8:00, the festivities of the state visit of japanese prime minister shinzo abe, including his arrival at the white house and the toast at the dinner his honor. and sunday morning at 10:30, the supreme court of the united states oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage, on whether the 14th amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. and on c-span 2's book tv this weekend, saturday night at 10:00 on "after wards" author peter slevin looks at the life of our first lady michelle obama. from childhood through the white house. and sunday at noon on "in-depth," our live three-hour conversation with documentary
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filmmaker and author john ronson who's written many books including "so you've been publicly shamed "the men who stare at goats" and "the psychopath test, a journey through the madness industry." he'll be taking your phone calls, e-mail, facebook comments and tweets. get the complete schedule at cspan.org. here are a few of the book festival this is spring on c-span 2's book tv. in the middle of may we'll visit maryland for live coverage of the gaithersburg book festival with former congressman ron davis and as well as former senior advisor to president barack obama david the axelrod. then we'll close out book expo america in new york city. then the first week in june we're live for the "chicago tribune" printer's row lit fest, including our three-hour live in-depth program with pulitzer prize winning author lawrence wright and your phone calls.
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that's this spring on c-span 2's book tv. on tuesday, a senate subcommittee on aviation operations held a hearing on aviation safety, part of the reauthorizing of the federal aviation administration. witnesses include a safety official from the faa, the chairman of the national transportation safety board and retired airline captain chesley sullenberger. senator kelly ayotte chaired this two hour hearing. >> good afternoon and welcome. thank you all for being here. today's hearing is one in a series we're holding in preparation for this year's federal aviation administration's reauthorization effort and last week we heard from experts and stakeholders on the certification process and airport infrastructure financing. today we have the opportunity to discuss the single-most important underlying issue for any reauthorization effort and that's safety. the safety of our national airspace system and the safety
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of the flying public. with that i want to take a moment to recognize the family members of the victims of colgan flight 3407, which crashed near buffalo in 2009 who i understand are here in the audience today. your sustained efforts to improve safety of our skies are admirable and we appreciate you coming to this hearing today. safety is and must remain our top priority. the united states's national airspace system remains one of the safe nest the world even while being one of the most complex systems in the world. the safety record we enjoy is a product of hard work of both government and industry alike but it requires vigilant and dedication to ongoing improvement and assessment. today's hearing covers a broader way of important issues and i appreciate all of our witnesses for being here today. in 2010 congress enacted the airline safety and federal aviation administration extension act. in 2012 congress enacted the faa
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monitorization and reform act, today i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about the safety improvements that have been implemented since these laws were enacted and what still remains to be done. the faa has made significant progress in implementing reforms mandated by the airline safety act yet some initiatives are left undone. in particular i'd like to focus on the agency's progress in implementing the pilot records database. this is an important tool to make sure airlines have all the information needed to assess pilots applying for positions in the cockpit and i urge the faa to move quickly in implementing this reform. more recently some have noted a concern about the supply of pilots, acknowledging there's some pointed disagreement here, particularly with regard to the root cause of any real or perceived shortage. i hope to hear from each witness today on this issue so we can properly assess and understand the situation as we review the issue, i'm confident no one on this committee including me
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wants to compromise passenger safety. we want to make sure that we have obviously well-qualified pilots to serve in our air system. i also look forward to testimony on the mental and physical fitness of airline pilots. tragically the recentkrentrecent germanwings crash has brought the aviation community's attention to the mental health of pilots as well as safety measures with access to the flight deck. we must learn from this incident and certainly any thoughts you have today for us to understand we'd appreciate. we will also have an opportunity to discuss safety management systems, pilot commuting, commercial aircraft tracking, flight data, recorder requirement modification and airport surface movement safety. we all know the airports and runways are complex areas with many moving parts. again vigilance is required and i look forward to hearing about the agency's on going efforts here to ensure the safety of our runways. we will also examine issues
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affecting the general aviation community. general aviation is an important part of our civil aviation system and encompasses aviation enthusiasts recreational fliers, but for a lot of communities it serves as a key link for businesses and first responders, especially in rural communities and also i know for some of my colleagues, for example, in alaska and hawaii this is a very important issue. there are several pilots in my family and i can attest to the enthusiasm for flying and dedication to safety shown by the general aviation community. a recent government accountability office report indicated that total general aviation operations and annual hours flown by general aviation decreased between 2000 and 2010. today i want to better understand the reasons for these declines and what is happening in the general aviation industry
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as well today we will hear from five witnesses. miss margaret gilligan, associate minute administrator for the aviation safety -- for aviation safety at the faa. the honorable christopher hart, chairman of the national transportation safety board p captain chesley sullenberger retired pilot and safety consultant and i think well known to many of us as to his accomplishments and background. we're honored to have you here captain. ms. faye malarkey black president at the airline association and mr. mark baker president and ceo of the aircraft owners and pilots' association. thank you for being here, i look forward to your testimony. and with that i would like to turn it over to my ranking member senator cantwell. >> thank you, chairman ayotte and the witnesses for being here today. i look forward to hearing your testimony. i would especially like to acknowledge the families and the
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victims of the colgan air flight 3407 who are with us here today. thank you for your consistent advocacy and tireless work on behalf of a safer aviation system. the faa has implemented a number of safety improvements in the last five years including pilot training, safety management systems, flight and duty time requirements and pilot professionalism initiatives. we have moved the ball forward on aviation safety but we can not be complaisant with the progress we've made. we've built on efforts from the past, leveraged science and data and technology to make aviation safer but we have more work to do. one area of work remains is in the development of a comprehensive pilot records database which was mandated by the 2010 airline safety faa reauthorization. this is an important component of data-driven safety regime to help prevent future tragedies and i hope the faa can move the development of these key safety cools forward more quickly. the faa's mission is to provide the safest most efficient
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airspace system in the world. as we engage with aviation stakeholders, on the faa reauthorization bill and discuss how to rheal a kate limited resource, we must prioritize safety before all else. there will always be competing priorities for aviation and business and government's responsibility is to maintain the highest stan cards to protect passengers pilots and the public. this is important and necessary. we can see from issues like the pilot fatigue rule which is will be discussed today and unfortunately in seattle last week we had a maintenance crew member fall asleep in the cargo hold of an airplane that also caused somebody to rereturn. these rules on fatigue and the latest research on sleep science and how various work and rest scheduled impact performance are very important. we've had hearings on this in the past madam chair. we want our pilots to benefit from this research and
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unfortunately the final regulations carved out cargo pilots. in the last two congresses, i've worked with many others here to correct this divide between pilots, whether they're flying passenger or cargo planes and i hope this year we can bring this to safety in our skies as is we move forward on the faa bill. as we think about the national airspace's interconnected system we also need to look at general aviation and how to make aviation safer next jen will provide us with good data, weather, traffic, but we also have to look for opportunities in other ways for safety. one area we hope to see progress for general aviation is improved certification of safety related equipment and technology. if we're able to accelerate the certification timeline and reduced cost to operators we can help enable operators to equip the aging general aviation fleet with cutting edge safety technology and state-of-the-art components. at our manufacturing and air certification hearing last tuesday, we discussed the rewriting of the certification
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purposes for general aviation aircraft part 23 and i want to underscore these potential safety benefits of this action for general aviation in addition to the economic and logistical benefits. as the faa develops new general aviation sirtefication rules we should consider other areas to improve existing regulations. the faa's reauthorization provides an opportunity to identify areas where we can enhance and streamline and refocus regulations into safety. the national transportation safety board has studied the issues of medical requirements and i'm sure we're going to hear about that today as well and recommendations to strengthen. this changes medical standards and we should consider ways to strengthen and improve those requirements as well. the faa continues to study ways to improve this safety through its research program.
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i know that they're studying everything from product on the plane as well like lithium ion batteries, airline,s air manufactures, administration have expressed concern over incendiary properties of lithium batteries and despite leading in the global community in research into hazardous fire proposed by bulk shipments of batteries u.s. regulation has lagged behind so fortunately the international civil aviation has provided by some base a guidelines in this area another field where an international community is directing significant attention is flight tracking and data recorders. the disappearance of malaysia flight 370 underscored the gaps in the flight tracking system as well as challenges posed in trying to locate a flight data recorder. without understanding what happened, we are disadvantaged to try to prevent another situation. the ntsb has also studied this area so i look forward to hearing chairman hart's testimony on that this security of our system is integral to the
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backbone of aviation hopefully we can move forward with more implementation of next jen and make sure we have the trained pilots. pilots. >> thank you so much. we're fortunate to have the overall rank ss senator nelson. >> i'll enter a statement in the record. i'm very proud of the work of this subcommittee. it's doing important stuff and the subject matter of this hearing underskeerzcores the importance of the work of this subcommittee. >> well, thank you so much senator nelson. with that i would like to call on our witnesses and our first witness is ms. margaret gilligan.
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ms. gilligan is the associate minute administrator for aviation safety at the federal aviation administration. ms. gilligan. >> thank you, senator ayotte. senator cant well and members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing and focusing on an issue of national importance. your guidance has had a tangible result. the united states of america enjoys the world's safest and most efficient aviation safety system. we've been working for years to build on the trust that you've exhibited in our efforts. indeed, the united states is doing much more than just holding steady at historically low accident rates. aviation safety cannot rest on the status quo regardless of how well things are going. by establishing strong safety partnerships we're accelerating the state of aviation safety at a pace that is perhaps unrivalled in any industry. the airline safety extension act of 2010 has contributed to our progress with the support of the colgan families and at your
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direction we issued a final rule to prevent pilot fatigue which became effective more than a year ago. this sent a clear message that every airline must provide pilots sufficient time to get the rest needed for safe flight and it underscored the point that every pilot has a personal responsibility to arrive at work fit for duty. the act triggered other rules as well with very limited exceptions we required airline pilots to have 1500 hours of flight time experience. we strengthened the requirements for taking the airline transport pilot test requiring applicants to have completed additional training and high altitude operations and adverse weather. we published a final rule that advances the way pilots are trained and added a requirement for training from full stalls and upset conditions. that rule also made air carriers put remedial programs in place to track pilots with performance deficiencies. in a system as safe as ours with an industry as safety conscious
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as ours is, it's an extraordinary challenge to find a game changer and an approach that has the potential to raise the safety bar even further. the requirement in the 2010 act to publish a rule requiring safety management systems did just that. safety management systems are the next great frontier for aviation safety. until now technology has driven safety improvements from radar to jet engines to collision avoidance and now satellite navigation. but sms changes that landscape. it's a comprehensive approach to managing safety throughout an organization. it requires an organization-wide safety policy. it has formal methods for identifying hazards, mitigating and controlling risks and continually assessing safety performance. sms stresses not only compliance with technical standards, it puts increased emphasis on the overall safety performance of the organization. sms is not a slogan. it requires establishing a
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safety culture, a culture that assures hazards are identified, actions are taken and results are measures then it repeats the process again. in the business of aviation safety, in the business of aviation, safety cannot be an add-on. it must be built in through sms. the airlines have learned that and we thank this committee for its support. safety management systems have become the foundation for risk-based decision making. our resources will always be finite. faa must put those resources where they're needed most. risk-based decision making allows us to make aviation safer and smarter. because commercial accidents are so rare, we're focusing on mitigating risk that could lead to an accident. risk-based decision making lets us tackle the highest risk first using our resources to improve safety where they will be the most effective. the linchpin for risk-based decision making is the safety data shared throughout the industry. safety data can come from the
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dozens of public and proprietary databases such as the air traffic control system the airplane itself or the people who are involved in the operation. these data are fed into the aviation safety information analysis and sharing system and it works. safety professionals recognize there can be no secrets. this is a voluntary effort and we in industry are working with data that now represents 99% of u.s. air carrier commercial operations. before cloezing, i want to acknowledge our outstanding safety partnership with the general aviation community. ga pilots are known for their love of aviation but they are equally committed to advancing safety. their participation in the general aviation joint steering committee is of particular note. the steering committee meets quarterly to review accident trends, establish areas of special emphasis, and share information in the past year alone, this group developed 29 separate safety enhancements to address loss of control accidents which is the most prevalent category of accidents
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facing this community. based on their recommendations faa has made it easier to allow pilots to better monitor stall margins. in short, they actively pursue ways to enhance safety and that's what this partnership is all about. this committee has given the faa the authority to provide the level of safety we enjoy today we look forward to working with you on the upcoming reauthorization to build on america's enviable aviation safety record. i'd be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. i would like to call on the honorable christopher hart, the chairman of the national transportation safety board. chairman hart? >> thank you. good afternoon, chairman ayotte, ranking member cantwell and members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting the ntsb to testify this afternoon on the important topic of faa reauthorization. at the same time that we are enjoying an exemplary and improving safety record for commercial aviation, as you've heard from ms. gilligan general
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aviation has not experienced the same improvements. through 2012 ntsb investigators gathered facts and issued probable cause determinations in about 1500 general ay united nations accidents each year. the good news is that in 2013 the number was reduced to 1224 crashes, but 221 of them were fatal and killed 387 people. each of these accidents is tragic and we have a duty to learn from them to help prevent other families from experiencing this loss. our 2015 most-wanted list includes several important priorities reltsating to aviation safety -- us traction, public helicopter operations, loss of control in general aviation procedural compliance, medical fitness for duty and ending substance impairment in transportation. each of these topics is discussed in more detail in my written statement. totally focus first on the importance of medical fitness for duty. we have investigated accidents in every mode of transportation
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that resulted from medical disorders. some medical conditions may result in denial of an airman medical condition but many others can be treat so pilots can continue to fly. in order to help ensure that disabling medical conditions can be distinguished more reliably from those that are not, we have issued recommendations asking for more a more comprehensive medical certification system in aviation and other modes of transportation. in aviation, this review is conducted in the first instance by a physician who is certified by the faa to be an aviation medical examiner, or ame. for example, we recommend pilot screening for obstructive sleep apnea. experience demonstrated that pilots diagnosed with osa but receiving treatment can operate safely. fatigue is a medicalish shoo that can be caused by osa or other factors. the faa has taken strong steps to institute hours of service for commercial passenger pilots but not cargo pilots. fatigue can affect everyone and all air operations should be
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treated the same whether carry carrying passengers or pallets. another issue is updating airplane recorder technology. recorders significantly enhance our ability to determine what happened and give recommendations to prevent recurrences. we have recommended that recorders be more robust because of the lessons learned in safety investigations and today more than 40 years later we are again asking for more improvements to recorder technology. in january, we asked the faa to require commercial aircraft operating more than 50 nautical miles from shore be equipped to transmit their location within six nautical miles in the event of a crash and to require these aircraft be equipped with a low-frequency location device that will transmit their underwater location for at least 90 days. we also recommended a way to recover data without requiring underwater retrieval and that all these new requirements should be harmonized
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internationally. also accidents such as silk air in 1997, egypt air in 1999 and air transin twooun remind us seeing what is happening in the cockpit would help us know more about what caused an accident. so the ntsb also recommended that cockpits have image recorders to capture that information for at least two hours. the concern that image recordings may be abused is a reminder of the unease from years ago that cockpit voice recordings would be abused. but the industry has abundantly demonstrated its willingness and ability to use these recordings to improve safety rather than punish. there has been some discussion about the ntsb appeals process. we are committed to providing fair and speedy hearings for individuals and entities facing faa enforcement actions. we have implemented the changes to our system passed by congress in the 2012 pilots' bill of rights. among the changes are the removal of deference to the faa and the adherence by our law judges to the federal rules of evidence and federal rules of
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civil proceed your the extend practical. the safety of our airspace system depends on a thoughtful, experienced and timely review of the cases brought before us and i pledge to you that the ntsb will continue to provide all of these. this concludes my statement, i'll be very happy to respond to your questions. >> thank you very much chairman hart. now i would like to call on captain chesley sullenberger. he is an aviation safety expert and was captain of flight 1549 who was able to land on the hudson. we're happy to have you here, captain. >> chairman ayotte, ranking member cantwell, other members of the committee, it's my great honor to appear before this subcommittee. as the airline pilot as the professional pilot here i'm
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someone who has had 20000 hours of flying time much of that as a part 121 jet captain time. along with my first officer jeff skiles who is also here. i was in the cockpit of an airliner when we faced suddenly an ultimate challenge. i'm uniquely qualified to tell you exactly how important pilot experience is and why we must not compromise it. i deeply understand what's at stake. as you consider this faa reauthorization bill i want to say it's critical that you maintain the requirements and that you not weaken them, that you not give further credits for beyond what's already been allowed. you see, i've seen firsthand the real cost, the human costs of not having adequate levels of safety. no one knows better than that than the families of the victims of continental colgan air flight new york on february 12, 2009, killing
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off 49 people aboard and one person on the ground. it was a terrible tragedy that resulted from the performance of the crew and safety deficiency but even more concerning, the national transportation safety board investigation into this crash revealed these deficiencies reflected a systemic problem among regional carriers. it confirmed the airline industry has a two-class system where major airlines reflect the gold standard while some regional airlines take short cuts to save money wherever they can even even a potentially negatively impacting safety in their seemingly endless race to the bottom. in the 100 congress in the passage of the airline administration act of 2010, congress got it right one of the most important elements of the act was the establishment of the atp 1500 hour standard for airline pilots and yet just two
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years since the safety standard went into effect airline lobbyists are trying to weaken the provision because they consider it to be inconvenient. let me correct some of the misstatements that have recently been made. it's only been in recent years that we have done something different in the airline industry or parts of it than we have done for the half century prior to that. for much of the history of commercial aviation pilot applicants often had several thousand hours of flying time before being considered to be a pilot. it's only been more recently that airlines in their race to the bottom have begun to recruit pilots with near the minimum experience. it's also important to note that there isn't a pilot shortage. let me say that again. there is no pilot shortage in this country. what there is is a shortage of sufficient working conditions and wages at certain carriers to attract the most qualified
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applicants in the large numbers they sometimes need. we have heard some of the others on the other side talk about how the pilot licensing statistics have changed. what we are seeing is statistics uncorrelated in the basis of fact. what we're seeing is people talking about changes in pilot applications and not making a differentiation between recreational pilots and professional pilots. we also hear people talking about loss of air service to certain areas of the country. again, let me give those here a history lesson on the history of the airline industry. over the years, public companies for a variety of business reasons totally unrelated to pilot supply have changed levels of service around the country. let me give you just a few examples from my own personal experience. american airlines has reduced service to raleigh durham to
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nashville, northwest reduced service to memphis deal reduced service to cincinnati united reduced service to cleveland. all these business decisions had nothing to do with pilot supply and even if there are some carriers who are having a hard sometime time recruiting the sufficient number of pilots they need, let me give you an analogy. if for example in parts of the country we were having a hard time recruiting enough physicians to serve rural areas, would we then advocate having a one-year or two-year medical degree? of course we would not. those who say we must have quality or quantity are posing a false dichotomy. of course we must, we can, we need to have both every pilot who sits in a pilot's seat needs to be a fully qualified pilot not an apprentice not someone
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undergoing on-the-job training. they must be capable at a moment's notice of being the absolute master of every part of the airplane in every possible situation. so i ask you please do not allow those calling for concessions to enable them to continue to try to use an obviously broken economic model. hold fast. there are no short cuts to pilot experience. there are no short cuts to safety. the flying public demands nothing less. thank you. >> thank you captain and i would now like to call on ms. faye malarkey black. ms. black is the interim president of the regional airline association. ms. black? >> thank you chair ayotte, ranking member cantwell and members of the subcommittee.
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regional airline safety carried about 157 million passengers last year operating just under half the nation's passenger flights. we swerved 623 airports and at 394 of those we provide the only source of scheduled air service. regional airlines have made continuing voluntary advancements in safety and have implemented or enhanced important safety programs that, in fact, are now universal across the major regional airline sector. these include gold standard safety standards like the aviation safety active program and aqp to name a few. in fact, the most wholistic safety innovation has been the on going implementation of sms which as ms. gilligan reflects focuses an organization's entire culture around safety. this defines modern regional airlines. as this committee knows well
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federal regulations enacted in the past six years have brought about additional improvements, among these is the first officer qualification rule requiring airline first officers to hold an atp. to be clear, this rule has provided by a framework to introduced enhanced training and knowledge for pilots. this carried many safety benefits. however we continue to express concern over the narrow provision requiring airline first officers to amass 1500 hours in flight before flying in part 121. historically regional airlines hired qualified pilots upon completion of an academic aviation program or shortly thereafter. now there is a gap in the path of pilot development with pilots forced to suspend their training at a critical juncture to spend time building hours. most pilots build this time in unstructured environments. this is generally not time spent
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flying under instrument flight rules. this is not time spent in inclement weather conditions it's not time spent managing complex avionics or learning to work as part of a team of professional crew members. in fact, airlines are discovering that pilots with these backgrounds face great difficulty adapting to structured airline operations. since the rule was implemented, airlines have needed to screen far more applicants just to find pilots who meet their own strict internal criteria. one of our airlines, for example, seeking to hire 800 pilots successfully attracted 2700 applicants. of those, just 400 met the airlines' own internal criteria. overall, carriers reported diminishing quality of applicants given the forced time-building culture with skills deteriorating over

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