IOM UK partnered with the women-led creative group Migration Collective to host the participative event "Young People in the ‘Refugee Crises’" Short Films + Roundtable, at the famous Upstairs at the Ritzy as part of this year’s London Migration Film Festival (LMFF), on Sunday (03/12).
Under the framework of IOM UK’s community cohesion, the LMFF was selected as the forum to mark this year’s International Migrants Day (18/12), and as a local partner to IOM’s own Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) running from 5-18 December and global youth migration film competition, Plural+.
The sell-out Ritzy event focused on the experiences of young refugees and migrants as told in their own words via media production, and facilitated a public discussion on integration and inclusion. Alongside the unique contributions of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and London-based children’s charity CORAM, the event featured the GMFF entry ‘Misafir - A Guest’ and the winner of the Plural+ Special Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia, Be a Champion for Social Inclusion.
Testimony to IOM’s recognition of youth as powerful agents of social change, the screenings were introduced by Plural+ winner Gabriel Brown, who gave a powerful speech on the importance of community action; and Omed Hawrami, a member of the CORAM Young Citizen’s network who dynamically engaged the public to explore the concept of belonging, topic featured in What Does Belonging Mean to You?
“We must tackle the discriminatory views and comments of others and ourselves in order to achieve a society where all people can be accepted and integrated into our world as valuable members of national and international society”, Gabriel said.
Important was also MSF’s intervention which focused on their work with young refugees and migrants in Calais and Paris, and counter-balanced the often dehumanising migration narrative with the short Sorry I drowned.
The successful roundtable discussion saw numerous thought-provoking interventions, which highlighted the public’s shared desire to foster community cohesion and conveyed a heartfelt wish for a more humane migration management.
Reflecting on his involvement with Young Citizens, Omed gave the public a glimpse of how important integration initiatives can be. “Since being involved in Coram’s Young Citizens project I have increased my confidence, improved my speech, met lots of amazing people and got involved in other projects”. Sharing his hopes for the future “I hope we can work together to make a change for children and young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds: that all will have access to free education and good housing. I hope we will achieve equality.”
IOM UK’s involvement in the event demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to uphold children’s rights in the field of migration. Just this week (04-06/12), IOM’s Director General, William Lacy Swing, attended the UN Intergovernmental Conference to adopt the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), in Mexico. The meeting saw UN Member States and civil society starting the drafting of the GCM, a landmark intergovernmental agreement that will cover all dimensions of international migration, including protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all refugee and migrant children.
For further information, please contact Francesca Megna at IOM UK, Tel: + 44 207 811 6068, Email: email@example.com or Christopher Gaul, Tel: + 4420 7811 6053, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org