Blog → March 16, 2023

Why consent matters to us (and why it should matter to you too).


In a world of selfies and social media where much of our private lives is posted for public consumption, we forget that for some, sharing personal information may be a matter of life and death.

For many of our Afghan friends, having their photo or name on the internet may heighten the risk that the Taliban can trace them or their family members, some of whom may still be in Afghanistan.

We offer a reminder:

  • Always obtain consent before posting photos or sharing personal details.


  • Their loved ones at home may be at risk.

  • They might be at risk. Even after a refugee or asylum seeker has reached a “safe” country, they may still be at risk from those that don’t hold welcoming views. Political and cultural beliefs can and have led to aggression.

Protecting the security of our friends is something we at Their Story is Our Story take seriously. Our team members obtain informed consent from each individual before an interview takes place. Individuals dictate where their stories may be shared and what personal information they wish to keep private. In situations where the individual is at risk and/or wishes to remain anonymous, alias names are used and other identifying information is removed from interviews immediately after they are received by TSOS.

We are grateful to witness an increasing number of welcomers in communities where displaced persons have been resettled. News agencies and partner organizations alike have encouraged greater involvement and many locals have responded by stepping forward as sponsors, as volunteers, and as neighbors. To those who have actively welcomed a newcomer, we thank you.

Our top priority should be to protect and honor the wishes of our new neighbors and friends. We call upon journalists, organizations, volunteers, and community members to join us in the practice of seeking informed consent out of respect and care for their safety.

Other Posts

My First Asylum Case: An Attorney's Perspective on Asylum in the United States

I took my first asylum case in 2016, when our national dialog on immigration took a decidedly negative turn. As a corporate attorney, I had no experience in immigration law, but my license allowed me to represent individuals fleeing severe persecution and I signed with a local non-profit to offer my help. My first asylum client was a young mother and her two small daughters. I could see myself in Saba.

April 14, 2024

Their Story is Our Story Applauds the Signing of Virginia House Bill 995 and Continues Efforts to Open Doors for Foreign-trained Medical Professionals in Other States

Their Story is Our Story (TSOS), a non-profit organization that collects and shares the experiences of refugees to deepen understanding and influence action, applauds the signing of Virginia House Bill 995 into law by Governor Glenn Youngkin, after its unanimous passage through the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. It will create a pathway for foreign-trained doctors who have immigrated to the state, including those whose careers were interrupted by forcible displacement, to fill workforce gaps in medically underserved communities.

April 11, 2024

Idaho One Refugee Conference

Last fall I was able to attend the 1Refugee Conference in Idaho. The event was well organized and everyone who approached our table was interested in what we did and wanted to know how to get involved. There were at least 100 students majoring in a variety of things who attended the event and we had 20 students give us their contact information. Most were interested in our internship programs.

March 15, 2024
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