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Covid-19: how do we protect the most vulnerable refugees?

Le 29 April, 2020


Covid-19: how do we protect the most vulnerable refugees?

The coronavirus health crisis is having a major impact as countries look to implement measures to protect public health. Many vulnerable populations, including some of the 70 million refugees and displaced people across the world, are particularly at risk, as they face overcrowded conditions, job losses worsening already dire levels of poverty and major challenges accessing healthcare and clean water. The coronavirus has already had a powerful impact on migration flows, as States look to close borders and implement alternative reception policies.

How can we ensure that we continue to offer safety protection to people fleeing war, violence and persecution while at the same time protecting the health of the wider public? Is it possible to ensure basic human rights are guaranteed without jeopardising people’s safety and welfare, and if so, how?

Who should act and who can? And what will be impact of the crisis on refugees and migration flows in the medium and long term? 

These are the questions we will try to answer with our expert speakers, with a particular focus on the situation on the Mediterranean Sea.

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Gillian Triggs

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection and former Chair of the Australian Human Rights Commission

Caroline Abu Sa'da

Director of SOS Méditerranée, created in 2015, it has become one of the leading organisations carrying out search and rescue operations on the Central Mediterranean in the last few years, saving countless lives in distress at sea

Etienne Piguet

Professor at the University of Neuchâtel, specialist in Swiss and European asylum policy, Vice-President of the Federal Commission for Migration in Bern, and author of several books including "Asile et réfugiés. Repenser Protection, published in 2019

Gianluca Rocco

International Organisation for Migration, Greece Chief of Mission. The reprensative of IOM will bring his analyses and experience from the field

Pierre Ruetschi

Director of the Geneva Press Club

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