We will continue to advocate policies and programs that protect migrants and refugees from xenophobia, promote their human rights and dignity, and support their integration
By Saionara König-Reis and Kaitlin Drape – The NGO Committee on Migration (CoM) is a civil society platform to encourage the promotion and protection of migrants, refugees, stateless persons, internally displaced persons, trafficked persons, and their human rights. Representing over 50 organizations, the Committee has been instrumental in uniting civil society voices to advocate for justice for migrants at the United Nations and other relevant international forums. Dianova has been a member since early 2016 and has since been active in the Subcommittee to Combat Xenophobia and Foster Social Inclusion, planning and executing strategies and actions to end discrimination against migrants and to promote inclusive societies.
The latest monthly event of the CoM took place on January 11th and has been organized by Dianova International together with other partner civil society organizations member of the Subcommittee on Xenophobia and Social Inclusion, which includes among others the Poverty Elimination and Community Education (PEACE) Foundation and Zonta International. The meeting showcased two short movies (Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution and No Monsters in Berlin), as well as a debate with the former director of the UN Together Campaign, Stefania Piffanelli, and others.
Subcommittee to Combat Xenophobia and Foster Social Inclusion: A way forward
The Subcommittee on Xenophobia and Social Inclusion has undertaken an intensive work over the past year to promote integration and combat the mainstream narrative against migrants and refugees. For the year ahead, we are enthusiastic about a series of upcoming events to be held in and around the United Nations on these topics. In addition to the latest January 11th meeting, the Subcommittee is organizing two side events to the 56th Session of the Commission on Social Development (CSocD56) to take place at the UN Headquarters in New York on February 5th, discussing the plight of the Rohingya refugees.
Another important event is planned to take place in the spring and will highlight the findings and best practices from the worldwide survey conducted by the Subcommittee last November, which received more than 80 responses from organizations working with migrants and refugees’ survivors of xenophobia and intolerance. In addition, based on the experiences of our colleagues in the field collected from the survey, the Subcommittee plans to conduct a qualitative analysis of the survey aiming at producing a strong advocacy document which will showcase trends and practical solutions to address xenophobia and promote social inclusion.
As we start the year in full speed, the Subcommittee renews its commitment with those who have suffered and are suffering from bigotry and prejudice. In our way forward we will continue to advocate policies and programs that protect migrants and refugees from xenophobia, promote their human rights and dignity, support their full integration into receiving communities, and ensure a brighter future for all. We are optimistic that our planned events and other activities will promote a sentiment of inclusion that we all know is possible.