The New America Foundation released a new report titled “Bringing Americans Home: The First Non-Governmental Assessment of U.S. Hostage Policy and Family Engagement“. The premise of this study are interviews with 27 participants that are former American hostages, family members of current and former U.S. hostages, and others detained unlawfully or wrongfully by a foreign government.
From August 2014 to June 2015, six U.S. citizens were killed or had died after being taken hostage by terrorist groups. In light of these events, the Obama Administration created the Executive Order 13698 “Hostage Recovery Activities”. “Bringing Americans Home,” outlines how Executive Order 13698 has influenced the people affected by unlawfully or wrongfully detained by a foreign government.
The following are key findings and recommendations of the study:
- The reforms implemented in June 2015 have had significant success, but hostage cases demand continued U.S. leadership and prioritization.
- Clarifications in laws and policies must be communicated more effectively to families.
- Critical needs of hostages and their families remain unaddressed.
- Americans unlawfully or wrongfully detained by foreign governments and their families deserve more attention and information from the U.S.
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Author: Andrea Topete