The last week, SB OverSeas attended a number of conferences as part of the Syria-Brussels Conference. On Monday, we started with a conference at the European Endowment of Democracy ‘Addressing the Challenges of the Refugee Protection.’ This conference brought together a number of speakers discussing the three different forms of fatigue amongst the refugees themselves, the host community and the international community. We heard stories from the ground from the organisation SAWA who shared their experiences and challenges working in Lebanon. Attention was brought to the issues of evictions of refugees without any notice, suicide rates and gender-based violence. The implications brought by this new so-called ‘war economy’ which is based on crimes such as drug, human trafficking and due to the conflict has thrived.
We then attended the conference held at the Carnegie Institute ‘Will Syrian Refugees Return Home?‘ This conference was based on the recent report by Maha Yahya which outlines what factors would lead to a return of Syrian refugees to Syria. The panel also included Stefan Lehne, who wrote a report explaining why the EU remains unprepared for the next migration crisis and Simon Mordue, from DG Home.
On the Tuesday, we attended the Arrival Cities Final Conference: Co-creating for better inclusion of migrants and refugees. Here we received an insight from a variety of different cities across the EU about how they have integrated refugees and migrants into their cities. We heard testimonies from a number of cities including Dresden, Patras and Thessaloniki.
In the evening, we attended as part of Tourab: Syria Art Space Syrians Got Talent concert in Bozar. This brought a number of people to listen to traditional Syrian music and hear about their stories.