IIHA Spring Event Series: March 2016 Round Up

This semester, the IIHA is organizing a series of events that focus on the very timely topic of “Challenges & Opportunities: Global Migration in the 21st Century.” With approximately 60 million people either forcibly displaced from their homes or migrating by choice, the current migration crisis presents a multi-faceted, global challenge. IIHA is promoting events focused on migration as well as hosting a series of events offering different perspectives on the crisis.

Below is a summary of the events that were promoted and hosted by IIHA in March 2016.

This event spotlighted positive outcomes of including and encouraging youth production of media in formal and informal educational settings and will include a screening of Syrian youth-produced videos in Jordanian refugee camps. Jordi Torrent, Project Manager of the Media Literacy Programs of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), coordinated the conference with Lewis Freeman from Fordham University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies.

The conference provided an opportunity to showcase and discuss youth-produced media and the work of New York-based youth media organizations. The conference included screenings and discussion on Syrian youth-produced videos in Jordanian refugees camps, empowering youth through media production, PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival on Migration: Celebrating Diversity & Social Inclusion, inter-cultural dialogue & youth media production and a roundtable discussion with representatives of: Global Kids; Cartwheel Initiative; Texas A&M University-Media Rise; BYkids; Global Nomads Group Moderated by David W. Kleeman, Dubit Limited, and Children’s Media Association.

Salam Neighbor is a documentary on the Syrian refugee crisis and Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. This is a critical moment, with more refugees today than anytime in the last century. In Syria alone, more than four million people have fled the country to escape the atrocities of war. Right now, we are at risk of losing a generation of youth, destabilizing the region, and perpetuating a cycle of violence and poverty. American filmmakers Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple were the first filmmakers ever allowed by the United Nations to be given a tent and registered inside a refugee camp, they were able to get a never before seen look into the world’s most pressing crisis. Zach Ingrasci, Director/Producer of Salam Neighbor, discussed his experience last winter living alongside displaced families in the Za’atari refugee camp after the screening.

  • March 15, 2016 | Documentary screening: Frontline Doctors: Winter Migrant Crisis
    Hosted by: Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

“Chris and Xand van Tulleken – doctors, part-time aid workers and twin brothers – want to see for themselves what conditions are like for migrants fleeing through Europe at the height of winter. Over two weeks in early January, Chris and Xand travelled to Lesbos in Greece, through the Balkans and on to Berlin and Calais to understand what’s being done on a medical and humanitarian level in response to the current refugee crisis. Spending time with medics, charities and volunteers in camps and clinics, at border crossings and transit points, they wanted to find out what the situation is like on the ground and, wherever possible, lend a hand during the biggest migration crisis of our times.” (BBC) Dr. Alex van Tulleken, IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow, discussed his experience filming the documentary and answered questions after the screening. Watch the documentary on YouTube. You can read more about the documentary on Evening StandardBBC, TelegraphThe Guardian, and Fordham News.

Violence in Syria has displaced more than half of its population. More than 4.5 million refugees have fled into neighboring countries with an additional half a million making their way to Europe. What is the impact on Turkey? How can these refugees be protected?

Kemal Kirişci is the TÜSİAD senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project at Brookings Institution. Previously, Kirişci was a professor of international relations and held the Jean Monnet chair in European integration in the department of political science and international relations at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.

Mr. Kirişci spoke on the migrant crisis and the ethical implications regarding it. Specifically, he emphasized:

  1. Syrian migrant crisis is not the only current migrant crisis
  2. The international community needs to do more in terms of burden sharing
  3. Safe zones should be created but currently require UN Security Council approval
  4. The recent European Union deal with Turkey, while not without it’s flaws, has a silver lining – it is meant to help refugees

View the webcast on Carnegie Council’s website.

  • March 31, 2016 | Humanitarian Sector Response to the Migration Crisis with Christophe Lobry-Boulanger
    Hosted by: Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs

Christophe Lobry-Boulanger began his lecture by explaining the structure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the role of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) within this movement. He then moved into an overview of the organization’s current operations around the world that are responding to the migration crisis. Using facts and figures about the positive impact that migration can have on host economies, Mr. Lobry-Boulanger encouraged attendees to think of the current migration situation as not only a crisis, but also an opportunity. Citing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s words regarding Germany’s decision to take in over one million refugees: “wir brauchen sie” (we need them) and “wir können es schaffen” (we can do it), Mr. Lobry-Boulanger highlighted that not only is a positive response to the migration crisis possible, it is actually to the benefit of many countries involved.

Lobry-Boulanger has over 15 years of service with the International Red Cross and American Red Cross. After serving at the U.N. Department of Political Affairs, he developed the International Services Department at the Greater New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, with a strong focus on international humanitarian law. As a volunteer with the GNY Red Cross and as an international delegate, he has been deployed to Haiti, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Kenya to help provide humanitarian aid and assistance. For the past four years, he has served as an adviser at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Delegation to the United Nations, where he was responsible for the health file, among others. He has recently come back from West Africa, where he was the deputy head of Regional Ebola Response for the Red Cross Movement and various refugee-related missions in Europe.

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