Refugee Week 2021

CEMR joins campaign “We cannot walk alone” 

Ahead of the World Refugee Day (20 June) CEMR’s Citizenship team and IncluCities are joining Refugee Week, a global festival where anyone can get involved by organising events and activities.

To shed light on three important aspects of migrant and refugee integration, CEMR is organising three online events to raise awareness about the contribution of diverse and inclusive cities in the EU, moreover to offer inspiration and open space for exchange within the framework of the IncluCities project.

Refugee Women in the political arena: politics as a vocation (14 June)

Jaimie Just, CEMR Policy Adviser for Gender Equality will kick off of the Refugee Week together with Rabina Khan and Melody Deldjou Fard. On one side is Rabina, a Bangladeshi-born British writer, politician, public figure, councillor for Shadwell, a community worker and author of  My hair is Pink under my veil, amongst others. On the other side is Melody, born in Iran and fleeing with her family to the Netherlands when she was 15. Determined to embrace her new homeland, she decided to teach herself Dutch using the subtitles from the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’. A student and a member of GroenLinks Utrecht, she serves as a member of the Utrecht municipal council and has been progressively building her political career over the last years.  

ICT and digitalisation for better integration: LRGs up with the times (16 June)

How can new technologies help improve migrant integration? We will explore together some examples from the ground coming from different cities all around Europe. The H2020 project MICADO (Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards), will share some concrete insights from their project. They are creating a multi-purpose app supporting the migrant integration process in four European cities. Carolina Marelli from University of Bologna will share experience from MICADO's pilot city - Bologna. Seyran Maryam Khalili, an organisational psychologist, service designer and project lead «Young Connectors» at New Women Connectors will present her strategy to build up inclusive policies for integration and share her refugee experience. The third guest joining the debate, Gabriella de Francesco, is responsible for equality and diversity at the City Council of Mechelen. A mentor city in IncluCities and a role model for inclusive policies,  Mechelen wants to improve their existing integration practices with new ICT solutions. Moderated by Maria Grazia Montella, CEMR Project and Policy Officer, Migration and Integration.

Second-generation migrants and the Political: between climate change fighters and citizenship requests (18 June)

Redouan Boudiba, Youth Engagement officer at CEMR talks with Imane Nadif, councillor for the Green Party at Amsterdam Municipality about second-generation migrants’ youth engagement. The young activists have taken lead roles in public protest and advocacy around many challenges and issues we are called to solve: Climate change, citizenship recognition, equal rights, racism and discrimination. How do young people, particularly second generation migrants in the EU, see and engage in youth movements? How does political response differ from the North to the South or from West to the East of Europe? 

The Refugee Week was founded in 1998 and takes place every year around World Refugee Day and has become a growing global movement. Through different events and campaigns it enables people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels and stereotypes. The aim is to raise awareness and understanding of why people are displaced, and what challenges refugees and migrants face in host countries.

The title of the 2021 edition has been inspired by the passage in Martin Luther King’s historic ‘I have a dream’ speech: “They have come to realise that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom,” he said. “We cannot walk alone.”


Events in the Refugee Week:

  • Monday, 14 June 12.30 CET | Refugee Women in the political arena: politics as a vocation
  • Wednesday, 16 June 12.30 CET | ICT and digitalisation for better integration: LRGs up with the times
  • Friday, 18 June 12.30 CET | Second-generation migrants and the Political: between climate change fighters and citizenship requests

To register, follow the IncluCitiesCEMR Facebook page!