11 April 2019: The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue is organizing a debate and book presentation entitled Migration and Human Solidarity to officially launch its latest publication on the causes and consequences of migration today, including refugees and IDPs, entitled The Unprecedented Rise of People on the Move in the 21st Century. The debate and book presentation will be held on 25 April from 10:00 to 12:00, at the United Nations Office in Geneva in room XXV.

The panellists will discuss, among others, the following points:


• The increasing hostility towards migrants and refugees in European societies and the manipulation of this issue for political ends, resulting in particular from the rise of populist movements and the exacerbation of xenophobic, particularly Islamophobic, sentiment;

• The growing criminalisation of migration and of solidarity in the context of today’s crisis;

The role of civil society in promoting the respect of human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers;

• The importance of multilateralism and international cooperation in the context of this crisis.

Opening remarks will be delivered by the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre, Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, who will also moderate the debate.

The conference will benefit from the participation of the following experts with first-hand experience in the migrant and refugee crisis:

Monsignor Robert J. Vitillo, Secretary General of the International Catholic Migration Commission. Previously, Monsignor Vitillo served in Catholic Church-related charitable agencies at local, national, and global levels. Between 2005 and 2016, he coordinated the Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the UN in Geneva.

Mr José Benavente, President of the French Association Pilotes Volontaires. Mr Benavente is a professional pilot with 25 years’ experience in humanitarian aid, who created this association in January 2018, with the aim of providing assistance to people in distress at sea;

Ms Julie Melichar, Citizen Mobilisation & Communication Officer at SOS Méditerranée. Ms Melichar is an active voice in promoting the work of this humanitarian association dedicated to the rescue of persons in distress in the Mediterranean Sea. SOS Méditerranée is well known for chartering the Aquarius until a forced end was put to the ship’s activities in December 2018. Ms Melichar previously worked on board the Aquarius as research and evidence officer.

Ms Camille Pagella, journalist at L’Illustré and Mr Adrià Budry Carbó, journalist at Le Temps, joint recipients of the first ACANU (Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations) Prize for Reporting on Human Rights Issues. Ms Pagella and Mr Budry Carbó spent two weeks on board the Aquarius last year, documenting the work of the humanitarian ship saving migrants’ lives on a daily basis.

All attendees who do not hold a UN badge are kindly requested to register at the following link https://reg.unog.ch/event/28928/  by Tuesday 23 April 2019.

For any questions, please contact the Geneva Centre at info@gchragd.org 

Migration and Human Solidarity
Date & Time: 
Thursday, 25 April, 2019 - 10:00 to 12:00

United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG)

Room XXV

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Migration Event

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