The Refugee Week was born in 1998 in the UK to celebrate the contribution of refugees and migrants to the host societies and, at the same time, to sensitize the local communities towards the challenges that refugees encounter when fleeing their countries. In these 22 years of life, the festival has become a global movement highlighting the resilience and creativity of refugees and migrants around the world. The broader aim of the one week campaign is to foster positive narratives and discourse about refugees and migrants through cultural discovery, encounters between communities and the promotion of a more welcoming society.
In this framework, UNITEE and MAX project are planning a week of events and thoughtful moments of sharing new perspectives on the topic.
From 15 – 21 of June, we will be hosting interviews with former and current refugees, sharing experiences and telling stories, reading poems about exile, and quotes that can inspire us to think about the experience of refugees.
Being in Brussels at the heart of the European policies, we would like to stress the importance that the New Pact on Asylum and Migration will have on the management of asylum and migration policies, even more after the evidence occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is worth mentioning that in the last months, the European Commission worked on the Pact with the specific objective to reform some of the previous regulations and give a brand new start to legal and safe migration paths.
This reform has been strongly demanded for a long time now to allow the creation of safe and regular paths to come to Europe whatever the circumstances are: asylum-seeking, labour migration, climate change.
The Civil Liberties Committee has recently stated that the Common European Asylum System needs to be reformed by adding a European Union Resettlement Framework valid for all Member States. Humanitarian corridors need to be put in place as well as a provision of legal and safe routes for labour-related migration. New and solid partnerships with the Third National Countries should be implemented with a broader offer addressed to those willing to work in Europe in order to avoid the exploitation of workers and enhance an equal and legal treatment for everyone.
The theme of the Refugee Week 2020 is IMAGINE and we hope that this keyword will be an inspiration to have a better understanding of the social, political and economic challenges that often migrants and refugees encounter while resettling in a new country. At the same time, we hope that during this week the positive impact of refugees and migrants to the host societies will be highlighted as we need a change in how those people are seen and perceived by the public opinion. We need to be the change we want to see in the world. That’s why we are engaged in this. This is our mission: imagine and build a better world for future generations.