03 Jul Notes from World Refugee Day 2020
Notes from World Refugee Day 2020.
“Beyond the emergency – Beyond the emergency. Tools and opportunities for protection and inclusion of refugees “
This year, in response to the measures taken to contain the spread of Covid-19, the World Refugee Day was characterized by a calendar of online events. Those were organized by Mosaico - Actions for Refugees, in collaboration with Unhcr ed Ecre. The 2020 edition, entitled "Beyond the emergency-tools e opportunities for protection and inclusion of refugees " created a space of open and constructive listening in which it has been possible to deal with issues of significant relevance in the social, legal and economic context of refugees at local, national and international level. Although in a complex context of health emergency, we associations didn't want to give up such an important appointment as the World Refugee Day, so we offered our support and in the end three days of discussions and confrontations took place on 15, 18 and 23 June. Thanks to the understanding and availability of guests, in fact, an online edition was implemented, organizing easily accessible directs through the social medias of Facebook and Youtube and on the Mosaico website. The narrative strand began with the first appointment, held on June 15 2020 in a webinar entitled "One step with refugees". The appointment was introduced by Ruth Kiyindou, President of the Mosaico Associations-Actions for Refugees. During this first intervention we have underlined the Association's intention to continue to live GMR by creating a space for listening and comparison in the context of different methods and tools than usual. These are in fact, the most complex moments in which people are unexpectedly encouraged to use problem solving skills to find creative solutions: new challenges are answered with renewed creativity.
Inside the conducted discussion, it has been shown that solidarity should be considered as one of the fundamental principles, aimed to all those people who are homeless and in general towards all people who are experiencing socio-economic difficulties. Those who already experienced complex situations have seen their condition worsen due to an emergency that turned from health, initially, to a social and economic emergency. Those individuals have been and are supported daily through the development of projects aimed at their support and orientation, thanks to the work of mediators and general networking in the area of interest.
From the very first appointment, it has been possible to observe how the initiatives and the great commitment of the realities operating on the local and national territory have brought and will bring in future perspective important support for the most vulnerable sections of the population. Those temathics have been discussed by Ilaria Caramia from Compagnia di San Paolo, Virginia Antonini of Reale Group and Giovanna Castagna of Open Society Foudations.
With the second appointment entitled "Beyond Covid", held on June 18 2020, which was coordinated by Michele Manocchi (Center for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University of London), attention has been paid to the role that associations are playing in the refugees context , both as preventive intervention and also in terms of financial support to people and to the realities that live in difficulty, passing through the weaknesses of the current asylum system also and especially in the perspective of disruption of human relationships dictated by the health emergency, up to the consequences in national and European legislation. Also in practices lived in European countries and locally in terms of granting refugee status and citizens and safeguarding the rights of international protection holders and new citizens. The debate was attended by the Assessor of Rights of the Metropolitan City of Torino Marco Giusta, the lawyer ASGI Lorenzo Trucco, UNHCR Senior Protection Officer Ana de Vega, the director of Mosaico Berthin Nzonza and for ECRE Giacomo Manca. In the third and final appointment entitled "Beyond the emergency", held entirely in english, socio-economic vulnerability of the refugees during the period of Covid-19 has been discussed, in contexts of informal and precarious jobs which, as pointed out by Ferruccio Pastore "They are the first to be blown away." The need to work for labour integration of refugees is repeatedly affirmed. It is in fact essential for the smooth functioning of the society itself. A lot of important activists have spoken in this occasion: Sophie Magennis (Head of Policy and Legal Support Unit, Representation for EU Affairs, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands, UNHCR), Yonous Muhammadi (Director of GFR, Member of Advisory Panel of Fundamental Right Platform at FRA), Najib Obaid Babakerkhail (Founder and Director France Refugee Council), Yagoub Kibeida (Mosaic - Actions for Refugees) and Michele Manocchi (Center for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Western University of London, Ontario – Canada). The initiative has received a good audience response with over 3,000 online views, showing that World Refugee Day is a necessary space for discussion. Also this particular year has therefore hosted the passion and great desire to make a positive change in order to support and help more and more international protection owners and asylum seekers, analyzing a developing context in Italy, in Europe and the whole world.