The Committees and Issues
The conference will focus on three main issues: Refugees and the impact of COVID-19, Protecting the rights of refugee women and Empowering refugees through technology. For each issue, there will be a corresponding committee, which will lobby and debate on the topic.
These issues are strongly tied to our present times with the drastic consequences of the pandemic on those that were already struggling. Containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in packed refugee camps is a unique problem, which demands sufficient access to testing, areas for refugees to isolate themselves in, and vaccination. In a context in which access to healthcare for refugees is already heavily compromised, it is crucial to take note of the impact of the pandemic of Covid-19 on refugees - from the perspective of health, but also employment, border crossing, and social inclusion.
At the same time, as refugee conditions deteriorate, women are in greater danger than ever and face many obstacles on their journey. Refugee women are especially vulnerable, often being subject to sexual violence and sexism, both from their home country and their destination country. Generally fulfilling caretaking roles, protecting refugee women also means protecting refugee children, and the refugee community as a whole.
Moreover, as technology becomes a bigger part of our everyday lives, it is important to consider the impact, benefits and difference it could have on refugees. Access to an internet connection and mobile phones is crucial for refugees, notably to be able to use government services targeted to asylum seekers. Additionally, the Internet allows for refugees to study online for free, and research their rights in their destination country.
All these themes are central questions that structure today’s debates and the world of tomorrow, hence the importance of discussing them among the youth, who will one day be policy-makers and community leaders.