3rd EPIC webinar “From emergency reception to an inclusive and sustainable response: the narrative of a human-based system to welcome refugees from Ukraine”

Mar 30, 2022

Taking place online on April 13, 2022 at 6:00 P.M. CEST

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CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVES OF THE WEBINAR:

As the world is witnessing the suffering of Ukraine, with millions of people displaced from their homes and seeking a safe refugee, grassroots efforts and solidarity movements to provide support have emerged all around the world and particularly in the neighbouring countries welcoming the largest number of refugees, such as Poland, Hungary, Moldova, or Romania.

While it is remarkable how citizens-led and other local initiatives have been paving the way to address the crisis, this approach lacks a sustainable strategy that ensures reception of refugees from a human-based perspective.

The equal and inalienable rights of all human beings are the foundation for freedom, justice and peace in the world, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

For this to materialise in the context of welcoming refugees, the reception and integration strategies need to be designed keeping in mind a human-based narrative where refugees are recognised as key actors in their own development, rather than passive recipients of help, commodities, and services.

Language and narratives are crucial to push for the design of sound policies.

The European Commission invoked the Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) on 3 March 2022 to provide safeguards for the rights of Ukrainian nationals and nationals staying short-term in Ukraine who are fleeing to the European Union (EU).

In some countries, the system set up for asylum seekers had some pitfalls and was definitely not ready to tackle the large number of applications. Therefore, the TPD is aiming to solve that issue. Individuals who receive special protection under the Directive are eligible for a residence permit, access to employment, access to education for minors, opportunities for family relocation and social welfare. However, it will be up to the Member States to determine the conditions of reception, residence and work access of people protected under the Directive and the citizens not specifically mentioned there.

For an inclusive and sustainable response to be put in place, multi-stakeholder cooperation is critical.  From public authorities to the private sector, media companies or international institutions, the answer to such a complex societal challenge cannot fall under the sole responsibility of those working on the ground to provide an immediate response.

In particular, governments will need to rapidly understand how to take over from the remarkable but sometimes ad-hoc and uncoordinated responses deployed by citizens, such as those who have been offering private homes to welcome refugees from Ukraine. After first reception, the educational system and other services will need to be adjusted to non-native speakers, and curricula made more inclusive.

  • How are we going to ensure we do not repeat past mistakes and efforts are coordinated in a manner that can guarantee refugees rights are duly protected and fulfilled?
  • What can we learn from those on the ground?
  • What strategic approach do we need to embed the human-right based narrative into the development of a sustainable and inclusive response to welcoming refugees in Europe?

This webinar aims to discuss some not-so-obvious aspects of hosting refugees, and shed some light on how human-based narratives should be placed at the centre of integration strategies, where refugees are not perceived as pawns but instead, empowered to be active citizens through integrated access to all spheres of society.

SPEAKERS:

Yulia Krivich. Ukrainian artist and activist. Yulia graduated from the Academy of architecture and civil engineering in her hometown and the Academy of Arts in Warsaw. In her artistic practice, she addresses the issues of identity, Ukrainian artists representation in the Polish art scene and employs the elements of activism combined with a personal story. Concerned with the impact of harmful narratives in the Polish-Ukrainian context.

Hania Hakiel. Psychotherapist and supervisor working in the field of refugee trauma and community building. She studied psychology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Hania is an expert on trauma and safe spaces, from verbal to physical dimensions. Currently based in Portugal, Hania has worked with refugee communities in Berlin for several years after 2015. She works with Pomerania cultural institutions and therapists on how to engage with refugees in a healthy and meaningful way.

DEBATE:

After the panel presentation, Q&A with the audience and debate, the local authorities and NGOs members of the EPIC project and invited stakeholders will share their experiences on how they are living the current humanitarian crisis and what past lessons learned can be replicated

MODERATORS:

Marta Siciarek, Coordinator of the regional migration policy, Metropolitan Area of Gdansk and Pomerania Marshal Office. 

Dolinda Cavallo, Project Coordinator, ALDA

Patricia Martinez, Project Manager, AEIDL

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