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Home » Discussing migration & human rights: An event by the Samen Hier initiative

Discussing migration & human rights: An event by the Samen Hier initiative

An inspiring afternoon of dialogues on migration and human rights took place in February 2024 at The Grey Space in the Middle in The Hague. The Samen Hier initiative by Justice & Peace brought together a diverse set of voices to exchange and reflect on social inclusion, depolarization, and local solidarity.

The fall of the cabinet has raised questions about the direction of our national politics, and the Dutch elections outlined a new landscape. Never before have we discussed so much about the importance of human rights and the rights of newcomers. In this debate, contradictions seem unbridgeable and divisions dominate. Especially now, it feels crucial to hear from each other, listen, and take action together.

An afternoon on asylum, borders, humanity, and our responsibility as a society

How do we talk to each other about migration? How do we create support for newcomers? And what role can local residents play in welcoming newcomers?
During the event, the audience was motivated to think along and navigate opportunities and possibilities for change and rapprochement in conversation with Hanneke Felten, Arnon Grunberg, and Qader Shafiq.

About the guests

As a senior researcher at Movisie and Knowledge Platform Inclusive Living, Hanneke Felten took us through her work on stereotyping and stigmatisation within conversations about migration. According to her, the key lies in each investigating their own prejudices and having the courage to initiate conversations within their personal network.

Arnon Grunberg is a leading and award-winning writer and columnist known for his critical view on social issues. His latest book ‘The Refugee, the Border Guard and the Rich Jew’ explores themes such as asylum, borders and humanity.

Qader Shafiq is a poet, columnist, and founder of Bureau Wijland. He advocates greater cooperation between groups from diverse cultural backgrounds. His expertise contributed to addressing questions such as ‘Looking at polarization in Europe, with solidarity losing ground, should we expect more wars?’. During the afternoon, both Arnon and Qader shared hopeful messages on the current political landscape.

The afternoon was coordinated by presenter and storyteller, Leila Prnjavorac. Her contribution stirred further discussions at various dialogue tables, more specifically on sustainable connections, inclusivity, equality and the role of an involved society.

We all play a role in building a world that welcomes newcomers

The event highlighted the collective responsibility in shaping communities that embrace newcomers. As we navigate complex conversations around migration and human rights, each participant, speaker, and community member plays their crucial role. To see the inspiring moments from the event, watch the aftermovie below, created by our Claire Santen.

Stay tuned to learn more about future projects, events, and developments of the Samen Hier initiative.

Find out about the Samen Hier movement

Samen Hier is a nationwide movement of residents and organizations that aims to change the way people fleeing to the Netherlands come and receive refugees, through the implementation of the Netherlands’ first community sponsorship.