Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, has been confirmed as keynote speaker at a global virtual event to mark the world premiere of a moving new documentary and 3D photo exhibition on the lives of Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The event, which takes place on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, ahead of World Refugee Day will feature a panel of experts discussing how empathy and social cohesion can be built for millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey and elsewhere.
The documentary will give a rare insight into the day-to-day lives of nomadic and semi-nomadic Syrian refugees and refugees engaged in seasonal agricultural labour in Turkey. It was commissioned by Irish humanitarian aid agency, GOAL, supported by EU Humanitarian Aid.
Turkey currently hosts more refugees than any other country, with 3.6 million registered Syrians taking refuge in the country since the start of the Syrian conflict ten years ago.
The documentary and photo exhibition will shine a light on the lives of nomadic and semi-nomadic refugees, and those engaged in seasonal agricultural labour in Turkey, supported by GOAL thanks to EU funded project titled “Facilitating Marginalised and Vulnerable Populations’ Access to Services (LINK) Programme.
The LINK Programme is providing refugees with critical social protection support and information on their rights, obligations, and services in Turkey.
The event will include an informed discussion from leading experts to promote better understanding of the diverse perspectives and experience of the most vulnerable refugee communities. It will also explore how governments, the international community, and civil society can continue to support millions of Syrian refugees who cannot go back home as the conflict continues.
The panel of speakers includes Irish MEP Barry Andrews; chairperson of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and founder of the Migrants Rights Centre in Ireland, Anastasia Crickley; Representative of UNHCR Turkey, Philippe Leclerc, and the Programme Manager at ROMACT, a joint Council of Europe and European Commission initiative to promote the integration of the Roma community, Ana Oprisan.
The event will be chaired by Martina Fitzgerald, former RTE Political correspondent, Dóchas Board member and CEO of Scale Ireland, an independent not-for-profit organisation supporting Irish tech start-ups.
The documentary, created by award winning filmmakers GENBAR, aims to draw attention to the varied needs of the nomadic and migrant seasonal agriculture worker population, and provides a rare insight into their lives, challenges, hopes and dreams.
The 25-minute film displays refugees’ daily lives and how they were impacted by Covid-19.
The premiere will be marked with contributions from GOAL CEO Siobhan Walsh, Jonathan Gray humanitarian expert of EU Humanitarian Aid, Yusuf Nural, Protection and Inclusion Programme Coordinator of GOAL Turkey and Elmas Arus, the director of the documentary.
GOAL Middle East Regional Director, Lorraine Marriot, said today: “GOAL is proud to bring to Irish and European citizens, in partnership with EU Humanitarian Aid, this important documentary and photo exhibition which builds a vivid picture of the huge challenges refugees face every day as they try to build their lives away from home.”
“The filmmakers, GENBAR, were given unique access to refugees supported by GOAL under the LINK programme, sensitively capturing their stories. We hope the documentary and accompanying 3D photo exhibition will be pivotal in raising the critical humanitarian issues faced by the Syrian refugee population not just in Turkey but beyond.”
Date: Thursday June 17th, 2021
Time: Ireland 10am / Brussels 11am / Turkey 12pm
To Register: Visit www.goalglobal.org/homefromhome
Refugee Context in Turkey
Turkey is both a transit and reception country for asylum seekers/refugees and irregular migrants and currently hosts the highest number of refugees worldwide.
There are more than 3.6 million Syrians living in Turkey under temporary protection (Directorate General of Migration Management, 12 May 2021), almost half of whom are children and 46.2% women and girls. There are 330,000 refugees from other origins (UNHCR 2021) living in Turkey under international protection (IP) regulation, in addition to the unknown number of individuals not registered with authorities.
According to a UN Impact Assessment in Turkey and the Inter-Agency Protection Sector Needs Assessment Round 5 (June 2020), due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the deteriorating Turkish economy the vulnerabilities and socioeconomic needs of refugees increased, whilst the availability of and access to services reduced.
The study identified an overall decrease in the ability of households to meet basic needs due to the pandemic, leading to an increased risk for households.
About the LINK Programme:
The Link Programme, funded by EU Humanitarian Aid, has been implemented by GOAL in Adana, Ankara, Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa since 2018.
The programme targets refugees from nomadic and semi-nomadic backgrounds, and those engaged in seasonal agricultural labour.
LINK provides vulnerable and marginalised refugees with critical information on their rights, obligations, and services in Turkey. This is done by targeting key stakeholders and service providers, and by providing Individual Protection Assistance (IPA) services allowing refugees access basic social and protective services.
Documentary / Photo Exhibition
The documentary and photo exhibition aims to draw the attention of European audiences to how forced displacement impacts different refugee groups, with a focus on nomadic and semi-nomadic communities who have fled the conflict in Syria to seek refuge in Turkey.
They will raise awareness of the specific protection and humanitarian needs of these communities, showcasing the tangible positive outcomes achieved through addressing those needs thanks to the EU Humanitarian Aid funding.
Established in 1977, GOAL is an international humanitarian and development agency, committed to working with communities to achieve sustainable and innovative early response in crises, and lasting solutions to poverty and vulnerability. Last year it reached more than 14 million people in its 14 countries of operation in Africa, The Middle East and Latin America.
About GOAL Turkey:
GOAL began implementing humanitarian programmes in Turkey in 2016, contributing to the national refugee response framework and advocating for support where it is most needed.
In addition to the LINK programme, Goal Turkey implements a Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (BPRM) funded “green” project aimed at improving socioeconomic inclusion, resilience and self-sufficiency of highly vulnerable/excluded women from host and refugee communities, including nomadic communities and seasonal agriculture workers.
This is achieved through market driven livelihood opportunities, including language courses and vocational skills training on greenhouse production and agriculture; the establishment of a greenhouse complex and a woman cooperative; provision of case management and individual protection assistance services and awareness raising through outreach and GOAL social support centres (SSCs).
About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid:
The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent, and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters and crises.
Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.