EMN Ireland Conference: Responding to the refugee crisis

08 Nov 2016

Responding to the refugee crisis conference

Date: Thursday, 15 December 2016
Venue: Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, No. 6 Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Time: 09:00 – 16:00

Download conference summary

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that globally 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced in 2015, including 21.3 million refugees. UNHCR has estimated almost 1 million refugees were in need of resettlement in 2015 and that this figure grew substantially in 2016.

This full day conference brought together a range of speakers who addressed current responses to the ongoing refugee crisis, providing an opportunity to highlight good practices, as well as to exchange information on challenges. Topics included EU and international policy, as well as State and local-level experiences of resettlement and private sponsorship, including in Sweden, Germany and Portugal. The Irish response was presented and discussed. An update was provided on the practical implementation of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, set up in 2015 to coordinate the resettlement, relocation and integration of 4,000 refugees and asylum applicants.

Conference Agenda:

09:00 Arrival and registration
09:30 Welcome: Professor Alan Barrett, Economic and Social Research Institute
Opening address: David Stanton, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Read speech)
09:50 Session 1: Content and Policy Framework

Chair: Brian Merriman, Asylum Policy Division, Department of Justice and Equality

Bullets, brutality and barbed wire: Reality for people forced to flee

Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland (Download presentation)

Better protecting refugees in the EU and globally: UNHCR’s proposals to rebuild trust through better management, partnership and solidarity

Susan McMonagle, UNHCR Ireland (Download presentation)

Responding to the EU refugee ‘crisis’: Reform of the Common European Asylum System and enhanced external engagement

Stephen Ryan, Asylum Unit, DG Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission (Download presentation)

10:50 Questions and answers
11:10 Coffee break
11:30 Session 2: State and Local Level Responses in EU Member States

Chair: John Roycroft, Irish Refugee Protection Programme

Resettlement, humanitarian admission programmes and private sponsorship in Germany

Janne Grote, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany (Download presentation)

Resettlement in Sweden, central and local perspectives

Martin Söderström and Mattias Sjölund, Åre Municipality and Marie Bengtsson, Swedish Migration Board, Sweden  (Download presentation)

The mobilisation of civil society, municipalities and the state towards the reception and integration of resettled refugees and relocated asylum seekers: The Portuguese response

Maria de Fátima Grilo, Asylum and Refugees Department, SEF, Portugal  (Download presentation)

12:35 Questions and answers
12:55 Lunch
14:10 Session 3: Ireland’s Response to the Refugee Crisis

Chair: Enda O’Neill, UNHCR Ireland

The operational response to the refugee crisis: The role of the European Asylum Support Office and the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner

David Costello, Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and EASO Management Board (Download presentation)

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme and the challenges created by the Government’s approach to the Migration Crisis

Shane O’Connor, Irish Refugee Protection Programme

Safe and legal pathways to protection in Ireland

Nick Henderson, Irish Refugee Council (Download presentation)

Personal experience of resettlement and integration in Ireland

Abbas Ghadimi, Business person and former Programme Refugee (Download presentation)

15:30 Questions and answers
15:50 Close