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Bridging the gap: what role should civil society play in supporting refugees and migrants?

Migration, asylum and borders,Diversity, Equality & Inclusion


Bridging the gap: what role should civil society play in supporting refugees and migrants?

Over to Youth: CEPS Young Thinkers Roundtable


According to the latest United Nations data, there are 280 million migrants and 84million forcibly displaced people in the world, including 26.6 million recognised refugees. Over the next few years, this figure will grow for several reasons, including wars and armed conflicts, rising inequality, demographic imbalances, and climate change. To ensure better international governance, including the cooperation and support for refugees and communities, in 2018 the United Nations adopted the two Global Compacts – one Refugees (GCR) and one on Migration (GCM).  

 Both Global Compacts emphasise the ‘multi-stakeholder’ and ‘partnership’ approaches involving diverse actors from civil society to private companies and local authorities. The role of independent and watchdog civil society actors is central as they ensure the effective implementation of Global Compacts. This raises some crucial challenges and opportunities that are currently also investigated by the ASILE 2nd Forum: how can civil society actors ensure states’ accountability? How can we ensure that refugee- and migrant-led organisations have a seat at the table? What risks are civil society facing, when upholding the rights of migrants and refugees and how can we protect these activists? And which responsibilities should be left to national governments and where do we need a more incisive presence of civil society actors ? 

 To bring more young voices to the heart of high-level policy debates, the CEPS Young Thinkers Initiative launches its new series “Over to Youth”. Young Thinkers joined forces with the ASILE project on this webinar dedicated to discussing the role of civil society in protection of refugees and migrants around the Globe. The event will bring together refugee and migrant rights activists, policy makers and experts from across the globe with selected CEPS young thinkers to come up with the future looking insights and solutions.  

The event is organized in cooperation with ASILE, an H2020 project on Global Asylum Governance and European Union’s Role, led by CEPS Justice and Home Affairs Unit. The Young Thinker Initiative is a CEPS project aiming at bringing bright young minds at the centre of the policy debate. The Young Thinkers Roundtable Series is supported by the Mission of the United States to the EU and the Open Society Foundation. The ASILE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870787. 

Speakers list
André Leitão

Founder, Compassiva

Alphonse Munyaneza

Senior Regional Community Service Officer Southern Africa, UNHCR

Tahmina Salik

Refugees' rights expert and Women rights activist from Afghanistan

Sosé Mayilyan

PhD Researcher at Dublin City University

Keire Murphy

Junior Associate at Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund

Sarah Gerwens

PhD Student at LSE

Isaac Opoku

Student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Founder of Starlight Foundation

Mihail Murgashanski

Legal assistant at North Madecodnia State Office of Industrial Property

Elana Wong

Global Focal Point, Migration Youth and Children Platform, Major Group for Children and Youth

Fariba Pajooh

Journalist and Graduate Teaching Assistant at Wayne State University

Lina Vosyliūtė (Moderator)

Research Fellow at Justice and Home Affairs Unit, CEPS