Migration & Refugees

Scaling Up SDG4 in Crises

Out of global crises spring opportunities for change. In crisis, change is not an option. It is a necessity. And, as Plato famously noted: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is an invention that sprang out of crisis and was borne of necessity.

Peer Support Vital to Help Young Returnees Rebuild Their Lives in West Africa

Ismaila Badji could not bring himself to leave his house for weeks after returning to Senegal. “I failed twice; at school and on the road,” he said. “What's wrong with me? I'm still looking for the answer." After spending time in a Libyan detention centre, Badji returned to where he came from. He did not feel like himself, he lacked motivation and he suffered from stigma from the local community.

Teachers Shoulder the Burden: Improving Support in Crisis Contexts

Teachers are at the heart of children and young peoples’ educational experiences. Teachers play multiple roles in their students’ lives by supporting their learning, providing them with inclusive and safe environments to grow and develop, and helping them become more confident as they make their way in the world. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day on Monday, 5 October and its theme--Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future--we must recognize the inspiring and transformative role that teachers working in armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change induced disasters and protracted crises play in their students’ lives.

If I Didn’t Believe, I Wouldn’t Know How to Breathe

Here’s a story that encapsulates the terrible situation of our world: Associated Press reporters were on a Turkish coast guard vessel which picked up 37 migrants, including 18 children, from two orange life-rafts in the Aegean Sea on 12 September. The refugees were from Afghanistan, a country that shudders from an endless war. One of the refugees, Omid Hussain Nabizada told the reporters that the Greek authorities held them in Lesbos, put them onto life rafts, and then sent them into the turbulent seas. They were left there to die.

Fighting India’s Bonded Labour During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Part 1

One of the worst fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the closure of industries in India, which caused thousands of migrant labourers to return home to villages in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal. In a region where the poorest have always been subjected to bonded labour, child labour and slave trafficking, it has meant revisiting the past.

Helping Make Education a Reality for the 75 million Children in Conflict Zones

Aryan is a 15-year-old girl from Afghanistan who lives with her family in a shelter in an undisclosed country in Europe. She doesn’t go to school. But she is hugely creative. And it shows in how she occupies her time during the day — writing poetry and making bracelets and earrings that she hopes to sell online one day.

Supporting Migrants and Remittances as COVID-19 Rages On

Just as COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted some communities more than others, globally, the virus has had an oversized negative impact on migrant workers.

Interview with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi

Education Cannot Wait: As the UN agency mandated by the UN General Assembly to provide international protection and seek solutions for refugees, could you please elaborate on the overall importance of education for refugee children as a component of protection and solutions?

A New Social Contract Needed for Children on the Move

Forced to flee wars and disasters, sometimes without family, and struggling to survive in the worst of circumstances, children on the move have long led very precarious lives. Be they refugees, internally displaced or asylum seekers, vulnerable and marginalised, they lose years of childhood. They are exposed to the worst forms of abuse, such as commercial exploitation and violence. Today, their situation is dire as they remain at the very bottom of the list to receive emergency measures to protect them from the impacts of COVID-19. 

Seeking Asylum? Not Here!

Although the right to seek asylum is recognized nearly universally, governments across the globe are increasingly declaring, “Not Here!”. Those governments view the large and growing numbers of men, women and children seeking asylum in their countries as serious threats to their native populations, ways of life and cultures

Nepal Welcomes Qatar Labour Reform

Even as Nepali workers stranded overseas face confusion and uncertainty during the Covid-19 crisis, labour reforms in Qatar – including an increase in the minimum wage announced in Doha on Sunday — may have lasting implications for migrants there.

Rohingya repatriation: Myanmar doing little while Bangladesh facing challenges

When Bangladesh continues to bear the brunt of sheltering more than a million Rohingyas, Myanmar is doing little for their repatriation amid the silence of global powers though the Southeast Asian country faces a genocide case, experts and officials said.

Defying Predictions, Nepal’s Remittances Still High

Despite dire predictions about a drastic drop in remittances that Nepal gets from its workers abroad due to the Covid-19 induced economic downturn, money transfers have hit Rs875 billion which is only 0.5% less than the preceding year.

The Invisibles: Inhumane Conditions of Italy’s Migrant Farmworkers

Over 200,000 migrant laborers, mostly from Africa, work in Italy’s fields. After being exploited for years, the coronavirus global pandemic made these workers “essential” overnight — but without labor rights or even access to basic sanitation, these farmworkers are living and working in conditions that have been described as modern slavery. Union leader Aboubakar Soumahoro has been documenting these inhumane conditions and is now helping the workers organize to demand real and lasting change.

I Came to Work in Qatar to Pursue My Dreams, But My Life is a Nightmare

Like thousands of migrant workers from Africa and Asia, I am finally in the land of my dreams, Qatar. I knew working here would be tough, but I thought I would be able to regularly send money home to my family and live decently.

No More Lost Generations: Global Fund Provides Education for Children in Crisis

15-year-old Humaira* sits on the mud floor of her hut in Ukhiya camp, Cox's Bazar, listening as the rain beats down on the tarpaulin roof.

COVID-19 Sharpens Caste Discrimination in Nepal

Across Nepal, it is the already under-served and vulnerable who have been affected by the prolonged lockdowns. But it is the Dalit returnees from India who have tested positive and their families who face double discrimination.

Keeping Education within the Grasp of Refugee Children

“Not being able to go to school is not something I’d wish on any child in this world,” said 21-year-old Nujeen Mustafa, a young advocate for refugees who fled the Syrian war with her sister. Mustafa, who now lives in Germany, is also the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) high profile supporter.

Impending Food Crisis in Lebanon will Largely Affect Migrant Workers

Migrant workers and refugees in Lebanon will “inevitably” suffer the most as food insecurity threatens the nation following last week’s blast.

Rohingya Women Take a Seat at the Table & Share Stories in a Growing Rights Movement

Rohingya women are coming together to feature their own work, plight and stories in mainstream conversations about their community — a space they say they’ve been left out of. “If we think of revolutions or liberty or think of any ways to liberate ourselves from the shackle of suffering and being dubbed as 'the most persecuted minority on earth', women have to be part of it,” Yasmin Ullah, president of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, told IPS.


Marking 75 Years of the Charter of the United Nations

The Charter of the United Nations has been a constant presence in my life. My awareness of it started with the usual brief introduction to the basics of the United Nations as an organization that many young people receive in school. Later, as my political awareness took shape against the backdrop of military rule in Portugal and my country’s status as a colonial power, the Charter’s calls for self-determination and other freedoms registered with urgency. During the time I spent as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, the Charter’s vision of social justice was equally resonant. In subsequent service as a parliamentarian and then as Prime Minister, I was privileged to have an opportunity to advance not only national progress but one of the Charter’s other main objectives: international cooperation. Across a decade as High Commissioner for Refugees and now in my current role, the Charter’s power inspires me onward every day in serving “we the peoples”, including the most vulnerable members of the human family, who have a special claim on that landmark document’s provisions and protections.

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