Second Thematic Session Of the GLOBAL COMPACT ON REFUGEES – PANEL TWO: HOW CAN WE SUPPORT STATES TO RECEIVE LARGE NUMBERS OF REFUGEES IN A SAFE AND DIGNIFIED MANNER?
NRV INTERVENTION- HAQQI BAHRAM
Ladies and Gentlemen, Excellencies,
Like millions of people, I fled from war. I first arrived in Greece where the assistance I received was not safe nor dignified, as I was immediately detained for the only crime of seeking safety. As a result, like many others, I had to take matters into my own hands. I had to flee further and seek my own solutions outside the institutional response. I relied on my fellow refugees, friends I made in my host community, and my agency.
Today, I represent a coalition of refugee-led organisations, the Network for Refugee Voices. My colleagues and I work every day to support refugees in our communities. We understand what they are going though and we now have the tools to help.
I have experienced firsthand what an effective, safe and dignified response to large movements of refugees looks like. It is a response where refugees are included, and supported, as agents of change. Refugees are best placed to identify vulnerabilities within our communities. Few are a more legitimate stakeholder in dialogue with host communities than we are.
Therefore, I believe that the first step to ensure the safe and dignified reception of large numbers of refugees is to involve refugees from the onset of the crisis to help develop the most cost effective and sustainable solutions. These solutions must then be supported by long term strategies that are not just based on a limited assessment of our needs but on a holistic analysis of our aspirations.
For the benefit of refugees, as well as that of host communities and donors, I urge you to commit to create space for refugee voices to be heard in the policy discussions that concern them.