Friendship SPO: ‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

Friendship SPO: ‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

An Interview with Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship SPO

‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

Young Greens outside the Dáil

Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship SPO talked to us ahead of this year’s STAND Student Festival about climate migration and Friendship’s work in empowering at-risk communities who face environmental and human rights issues.

She emphasised the impact that climate change is having on the people of Bangladesh, and the importance of bringing the voices of these climate-affected communities to the fore so that everyone might be inspired to take climate action.

To learn more about the amazing work that Friendship SPO carries out in Bangladesh, follow the links below.

To learn more about the STAND Student Festival, click here.

 

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An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

An Interview with OurTable: “It All Comes Down to Integration”

STAND talks to Ellie Kisyombe from Our TABLE Dublin about the history of Direct Provision in Ireland, changes to the system and the role of ‘OurTable’.

 

 

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Young people show compassion with @letshelpdirectprovision

When Louisamay Hanrahan set-up an initiative for people to donate goods to others during lockdown, she never expected the huge amount of online support she would receive from young people in Ireland.

#SecondHandSeptember: A Sustainable Fashion Story with @Traashion

WE’RE HALFWAY THROUGH #SECONDHANDSEPTEMBER! 👕👗👖 Are you sticking to your commitments? We chat with the amazing Instagram slow fashion advocate Alba Mullen, aka @traashion, whose words and wisdom will inspire you on your own journey to sustainable fashion.

Friendship SPO: ‘Nothing will happen if voices from the field aren’t put on a plateau’

Runa Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Friendship SPO talked to us ahead of this year’s STAND Student Festival about climate migration and Friendship’s work in empowering at-risk communities who face environmental and human rights issues.

Veghuns – Advice from the Irish Vegan Girls!

Veghuns, the girls navigating their way through plant-based eating in Dublin, Ireland and abroad. We chat with Kate to discover the benefits of veganism and her advice for anyone looking to make the lifestyle change.

STAND News: The Digital Dublin Pride Week 2020

From June 18th to June 28th it’s Dublin’s Pride Week 2020. Due to COVID-19 it will be digital this year, also the big Pride Parade on June 28th.

World Refugee Day 2020

On June 20th is World Refugee Day. At least 70.8 million people around the world are fleeing from their homes. Those seeking asylum in Ireland are offered accommodation by the government. This system is called Direct Provision. COVID-19 showed again how bad the circumstances for refugees are in Direct Provision centres.

VIDEO: University Challenge – Trump’s immigration policy

VIDEO: University Challenge – Trump’s immigration policy

Trump implemented a ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ in April, 2018. Since then his administration has taken a hard line on illegal border crossings, imprisoning many illegal immigrants. According to the Department of Homeland Security, around 2,000 children were separated from their parents in the month of April and May.

Almost all the media platforms were drenched with the opinion, comments and perspective of people all around the world based on the Zero Tolerance Policy. To learn more about the Irish perspective, I went to Dublin City University (DCU, Ireland) to see student reaction.

University challenge

 

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day

Did you know that June 20th is World Refugee Day? Have you ever wondered how you can help refugees? 

An unprecedented 68.5 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Out of these, 25.4 million are refugees. Since 2001, June 20th has been celebrated as World Refugee Day and commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of refugees. It shows support and raises awareness of global responsibility for refugees. In response to the imminent World Refugee Day 2018, here are some things you can do, to support refugees locally.

  • Donations: this includes monetary and non-monetary donations to organisations working with refugees and is the easiest way to help refugees.
    See: RAMSI, the Homeless Period
  • Get involved with your local refugee solidarity group: if you can have spare time or skills to offer, volunteering is a more direct way of supporting refugees.
    See: RAMSI, MASI, Irish Refugee Council
  • Spread awareness: just as World Refugee Day seeks to raise awareness, you can do so as well. Consider attending refugee solidarity events and organising your own, holding information sessions, encouraging conversation with friends and family or challenging uninformed views.

 

Photo: Inside an UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) tent. United Nations Photo via Flickr. 

Right to work = the right to dignity

Right to work = the right to dignity

The Right to Work campaign was launched on June 14th 2018 at Liberty Hall Dublin by the Movement of Asylum Seekers of Ireland (MASI). This movement is led by asylum seekers and demands the right to work for all asylum seekers. They are seeking access to the labour market without restrictions for those who are under the Direct Provision system. Currently, Ireland is one of two countries in the European Union with a complete ban on the right to work.

Asylum seekers are at present given a meagre allowance of  €21.60 per week under Direct Provision, but are not allowed to seek employment in more than 60 work sectors including hospitality and construction. MASI urges the government to end Direct Provision, unfair deportation and forced removal. They also support the right to work and education of all asylum seekers. While the high number of personal accounts shared at the launch may have been disheartening, they are an important step on the road to equality. MASI simply asks for freedom, dignity and justice for all including the asylum seekers.

 

Who is an ‘Asylum Seeker’?
“Asylum seekers are people seeking protection as refugees, who are waiting for the authorities to decide on their applications. They are legally entitled to stay in the state until their application for protection is decided. They also have a right to a fair hearing of that application and to an appeal if necessary.” –  Irish Refugee Council

Photo by, Deepthi Suresh

Human Rights Injustices: forced displacement

Human Rights Injustices: forced displacement

In the fourth installment in our human rights series, Lynn Rickard looks at the Refugee Crisis in Europe.

In 2015, over one million refugees travelled into the EU zone by sea, while 3,771 were either “dead or missing”, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Two years on, Amnesty International Report 2017/18 reported at least 3,119 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe last year. When they land in Europe, refugees suffer overcrowded and unsafe living conditions on Greek Islands. In December, around 13,000 asylum-seekers remained in limbo, stranded on the islands.

Aquarius
This week, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reported that 629 Libyan migrants on a rescue ship Aqaurius in the Mediterranean were refused entry in both Malta and Italy. The decision comes after Italy’s recent elections, with the new deputy prime minister and interior minister Matteo Salvini stating that his country’s ports would remain closed.

Malta and Italian Rescue authorities have sent food and water supplies to Aquarius. After waiting off the coast of Sicily since Saturday MSF say some of 629 onboard the rescue ship Aquarius will be accepted in Valencia, Spain. Since 2014, more than 600,000 refugees have arrived in Italy. 

MSF Sea tweeted: “#MSF calls for people’s safety to come before politics.

Larger Problem
According to the UNHCR, 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide while 55% of refugees fleeing conflict and persecution come from just three countries: Syria with 5.5 million displaced refugees, Afghanistan 2.5million and South Sudan 1.4 million. Currently the number of stateless people who are “denied basic human rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement” exceeds 10 million.

Despite growing opposition to migrants in the EU, the countries that host the most refugees are all outside Europe. They include Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Uganda and Ethiopia.

What is Ireland doing?
The UNHCR Ireland statistics list the total number of resettled persons in Ireland since 2013 as 1,517. 2015 saw the number of refugees seeking Asylum in Ireland peak with 624 people. Ireland experienced a decrease by almost half in the following year as 325 refugees are recorded as resettling in Ireland and 54 persons this year so far.

 

Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash