Addressing human rights in forced displacement and welcoming of refugees
Photo: Wil Sands, 2022
Disinformation poses a significant barrier to the reception and welcoming of refugees in Europe and the Netherlands. Misleading narratives and media coverage encompassing forced displacement fuel prejudice and resistance, and hinder humane asylum policies and social inclusion. Many unfounded claims refer to asylum procedures and the ongoing housing crisis; these hamper resettlement initiatives and ignore human rights violations at stake. In countering this obstacle, organisations and local communities come together to champion accurate representations and dispel misconceptions.
Paving the way for inclusive and welcoming communities
Positive transformations have been made possible through the collective efforts and commitment of empowered groups and civil society actors across Europe and in the Netherlands. As we navigate the complexities of migration, more and more dedicated change makers emerge, and play a pivotal role in fostering safe pathways and environments for those that were forced to flee their home. Having a broader vision on migration by matching human rights, economic and social interests; our work together can be a potent force for positive change and allows for opportunities, as well as solutions*.
Advocating for change and influencing reformation
While constructive developments have been made, advocacy remains crucial in addressing fundamental challenges. Civil society actors have a key position in promoting reforms that prioritise human rights along with fair and dignified reception procedures. Justice & Peace stands firmly committed to this cause and joins the open dialogue for change at a structural level. Lately, we joined and endorsed the following petitions and we participated in the ‘Storytelling that informs policy’ expert panel and exhibition during The Hague Justice Week.
*An example of such collective efforts is our Samen Hier movement. Groups of residents welcome a person (or family) with a refugee background into their municipality and spend time with each other for (minimum) a year. Together they can practice the Dutch language, for example, explore the new neighbourhood and learn about each other’s cultures; an enriching experience for everyone involved! Learn more about our Samen Hier initiative here.
Give Solidarity a Chance
Justice & Peace is joining organisations from 11 more countries and demands shared responsibility for refugees seeking a safe haven in Europe. Sign the petition of VluchtelingenWerk Nederland through the link below.
Nooit meer buiten slapen! (Never sleep outside again!)
Justice & Peace is participating in a network of more than 30 organisations in the refugee field protesting the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in reception centres in the Netherlands and calling for long-term solutions.
Storytelling that Informs Policy
On June 7, our Migration and Human Rights Programme Coordinator, Liselot van Zantvoort, participated in an expert panel hosted by ART WORKS Projects, in collaboration with US-based think tank ‘The Wilson Center’.
The event aimed to explore how visual media and tools can help contextualise the complexity of forced displacement through multiple lenses to examine the ways in which refugees are presented in media and politics, and whether this inhibits or supports efforts to activate change. Liselot, as the coordinator of our initiative Samen Hier, offered profound insights into community sponsorship: a collaboration among residents and governmental authorities to jointly create safe havens for refugees.