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CVT Asks Kids “Should we help asylum seekers?” In New Digital Ad

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ST. PAUL, Minn.— A new digital ad from the Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) strips away the rhetoric surrounding asylum and features children answering a simple but powerful question: Should we help asylum seekers?

Created and written by CVT and produced by Emergence Pictures, Inc., the ad is running until June on Facebook and will also be posted to CVT’s Twitter and Instagram platforms. The children in the ad are not actors, had no prior knowledge of what they would be asked and did not work from a script. The ad captures their genuine responses to a question many adults struggle to answer in this day and age. CVT’s ad is intended to challenge viewers to rethink preconceived notions about asylum seekers.

“The right to seek asylum is not complicated, but the politics surrounding it can be, as we’re reminded with each new attempt by this administration to weaken or shut down the U.S. asylum system,” said Curt Goering, CVT’s executive director. “Our new ad was created to get to the heart of why people seek asylum: safety. We know that as many as 44 percent of refugees, asylees and asylum-seekers living in the United States are torture survivors, and safety is paramount to healing. The straightforward, unbiased and un-coached responses from the children in our ad represent the very essence of our message: Asylum seekers need our help. We should help them. Period.

“For more than 33 years, CVT has rebuilt the lives and restored the hope of tens of thousands of refugee and asylum-seeking torture survivors and their families, and we have had the honor to witness remarkable healing among our clients when access to safety and rehabilitative care is available. We have also seen the heartbreaking results of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what it means to seek asylum. CVT has and will continue to educate about refugee and asylum issues and to dispel the myths about who refugees and asylum seekers really are. This ad is just one example of CVT striving to engage as many people as possible in order to dispel these myths.”


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit

Jenni Bowring-McDonough 612.436.4886