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Human Rights Watch extends its deepest sympathies to the victims of
Hurricane Katrina, particularly to those who have been rendered homeless and who have lost family members and friends.

Many survivors now endure a desperate lack of food, water, essential medical services, sanitation, and shelter. Given the tremendous resources of the United States, we expect the government to undertake an effective and comprehensive effort to bring aid to all who need it. We are also gravely concerned about reports of chaos, violence, and rape in the wake of this tragedy. We demand that the government adhere to international human rights standards in its response. In particular, we highlight the need to:

  • protect women and children from sexual and other forms of violence;
  • respect principles of non-discrimination in the distribution of
    humanitarian assistance;
  • ensure that persons are protected from discrimination based on
    their status as displaced persons;
  • protect the rights of all persons to freedom of movement, family
    unity, and freedom from arbitrary detention; and
  • address lawlessness through appropriate law enforcement
    measures, including when such measures are carried out by military

We add our voice to the many urgent pleas for speedy and generous contributions to help those in need. Those who wish to contribute to the relief effort may contribute to the following groups. This is a partial list. Human Rights Watch does not necessarily endorse these groups above others:

Charity Navigator:

  • Information on various charities and ways to donate to the relief effort.

American Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW or


America's Second Harvest: 1-800-344-8070 or

Baton Rouge Area Foundation(BRAF): 877.387.6126 or

Catholic Charities: 1-800-919-9338 or

Christian Disaster Response: 1-941-956-5183 or 1-941-551-9554 or

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: 1-800-848-5818 or

Church World Service: 1-800-297-1516 or

Convoy of Hope: 1-417-823-8998 or

Episcopal Relief & Development: 1-800-334-7626 or

FEMA Charity tips:

Islamic Relief:

Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

Lutheran Disaster Response: 1-800-638-3522 or

Mennonite Disaster Service: 1-717-859-2210 or

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:

NAACP Disaster Relief Fund:

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: 1-800-872-3283 or

Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or

Southern Baptist Convention - Disaster Relief: 1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440 or

United Jewish Communities Federation of North America:

United Methodist Committee on Relief: 1-800-554-8583 or

Your tax deductible gift can help stop human rights violations and save lives around the world.