Every year, UNHCR consults with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working with refugees from around the globe to share experiences, develop contacts, and strengthen refugee protection globally. This year 2018, under the theme ‘Putting People First’, the consultation took place from 27 to 29 June 2018 at the International Conference Centre Geneva (ICCG).
The annual consultation brought together over 300 diverse humanitarian and development professionals worldwide, and I was honoured to have been invited, and to have represented Refugee Law Project together with a colleague Ms Susan Alupo (Manager Access to Justice Programme). During this event, and as part of an institution that envisions a context where all people enjoy their human rights irrespective of their legal status, I enthusiastically offered evidence-based insights on how to strengthen work for and with local refugee leaders, how to strengthen National Systems on refugee protection, Self-reliance and economic inclusion, and Age, Gender and Diversity.
Having worked directly with refugees, asylum seekers, and host communities for nearly a decade, such spaces are vital for strengthening protection, and therefore an essential space for high level dialogue on addressing the global refugee crisis as well as amplifying refugee voices.
As I look forward to working through the key recommendations for this year, and eagerly waiting for 2019 and the years to come to talk stock of lessons and successes garnered, I call upon you to support all forced migrants within your reach and capacity.