Side Meeting on Boat People at Upcoming UNHCR-NGO Consultations

The annual UNHCR-NGO consultations will take place beginning 29 June (registration is closed).  Various side-meetings will also be held, including one on 1 July: “A hearing on Boat People: Different people, different needs and rights to protection.” Palais des Nations, Geneva, 13h15 – 14h45, Room XXII

“A hearing on Boat People: Different people, different needs and rights to protection.

Brief description: What are the needs of today’s boat people—and how can these needs be differentiated and matched to rights and practical responses of protection and assistance—among boat people arriving in Europe or Yemen from Africa; in the US from Haiti; in various parts of south and southeast Asia and Australia from Burma or Sri Lanka, or following other sea crossings? This session is organized as a hearing, not a series of presentations. It will begin with a brief introduction of the importance of differentiating needs and rights to protection and assistance among all the people arriving, (i.e., refugees, victims of human trafficking and smuggling, victims of torture, children, etc.) Conclusions from an experts roundtable in Tunis last year will then be offered as a reference, which participants will be invited to comment upon and at the end of the session, consider supporting. During the bulk of the session however, panelists from UNHCR, IOM, IFRC and UNODC will serve as a hearing board: listening, probing and recording the experience, concrete practices and recommendations of NGO participants who respond to boat people, either in Europe or in other parts of the world. Input will then be organized and submitted to the international organizations and to government policy makers, including the European Union and Council of Europe through the new EU-funded NGO partnership “DRIVE” (Differentiation for Refugee Identification and Vulnerability Evaluation).”

Click here for full Side Meeting agenda.

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Filed under Colloques / Conferences, UNHCR

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