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Asr
15:52
Monday
22
July 2019

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UNHCR


17/07/2019

"I walked and walked, day and night"

When your own identity puts you at risk, the stark choice is to leave or die. This was the decision Estefanía* faced. Staying at home in Honduras meant either to deny her identity or to face blunt harassment, violence or worse. “I couldn’t walk in the streets of Honduras without fearing I could be harmed or hearing some type of [aggressive] comment,” she said. “Even the mildest one was very hurtful.” According to the Cattrachas Collective, a rights group based in the capital, 64 members of the LGBTI community have been murdered in Honduras since 2017. 38 per cent of...
17/07/2019

"Another teacher has left"

Ernesto*, a Honduran schoolteacher, sat in the empty classroom staring at his colleague’s blackboard. Yesterday's lesson was still there, written in chalk. "Another one," he said to himself. "Another teacher has left." Luisa*, who had been a fellow teacher at his school in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, had joined thousands of other displaced people in those same neighbourhoods to escape gang violence. Schools are ideally a setting where people are safe. Yet teachers and students in Honduras routinely face extortion, threats and sexual harassment. “We live in fear, but most importantly we do not know who to turn to to get help,”...
17/07/2019

"Violence must not dictate our future"

Adults often look back at their early teenage years, as some of the best ones of their life – a time when they were young, careless and free; a time when they could make mistakes and learn for the future. But for young men like Jose*, being careless, free or making mistakes is not an option. “Being young in El Salvador can be dangerous,” he explains. “When you go out, gangs harass you. They want you to do favours for them, to collect their fees for them or alert them when the police are coming.” Young women are often forced...

15/07/2019

UN's core values guide Volker Türk's career at UNHCR

On April 13th, 1989, a 24-year-old law student walked up to UN headquarters in Vienna for the first day of a short term contract. Few would have paid much attention to Volker Trk that morning. “I remember being extremely nervous …. I took the underground. I went there in a suit. I just remember going to the security guards at the entrance and entering the UN … I had this sense of getting out of my own country and into the world,” he said in an interview. Türk steps down this month as Assistant High Commissioner for Protection for UNHCR,...
12/07/2019

"I want to change perceptions of what a refugee is and can be"

Afshin Samali and his family came to Ireland as resettled refugees in 1985. He is now a professor of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, leading research into fighting cancer “In 1985 my family moved to Ireland. We had to leave Iran due to religious persecution. We are members of the Bahá'í Faith, a religion that was founded in Iran in 1844. Since the foundation of the religion, and until the present day, members of the Bahá'í Faith have been persecuted in Iran. The persecutions became worse after the revolution in Iran in the 1980s – there was imprisonment, torture and even...
11/07/2019

Refugees in Egypt pitch in to fight plastic pollution in the Nile

On a broad stretch of the River Nile in the heart of downtown Cairo, hundreds of young people work their way along the water’s edge, hauling out handfuls of plastic waste from floating islands of trash that have accumulated in the still waters beside the bank. Working alongside the youngsters is 50-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammad, his face glistening with perspiration as he wades ankle-deep through the water to fish out discarded shopping bags and flattened juice boxes. Having initially only come along to look after his daughter and her friend on the two-hour journey to and from home, the communal...

08/07/2019

What is home? South Sudanese poet reflects on decades of flight and exile

Bigoa Chuol does not know much about how her family fled their home, but she has heard stories of being put in a bucket and carried on the heads of older relatives as they walked away from the bullets. The South Sudanese poet was born in 1991 on an arduous journey that took her family from a brutal war in the south of what was then Sudan, to safety in Ethiopia then on to Kenya. “I was born in Addis Ababa and there are stories of us walking to Kenya when I was a very young girl,” says the 28-year-old....
05/07/2019

Football helped me find my feet again in Ireland

Asifiwe Tutu came to Ireland from a refugee camp in Tanzania in 2014. A keen athlete, he still plays with his local club in Cavan when not studying business in Letterkenny IT. “My name is Asifiwe Tutu, I ‘m from Cavan but I moved to Letterkenny for college and I’m currently studying Business in my first year at the IT. My family and I came to Ireland through UNHCR’s Resettlement programme from a refugee camp in Tanzania in 2014. My parents flew from DRC to Tanzania and came to live in Dar es Salaam, where I was born. We stayed...
05/07/2019

Costa Rican schools open their doors to displaced Nicaraguan children

The first day at a new school can be nerve-wracking for any child. But for Lina* and Miguel*, their first day of class in Upala, a small city near Costa Rica’s northern border with Nicaragua, was nothing short of life-changing. That is because the two siblings had been out of school for over a year, ever since their family fled their native Nicaragua amidst the ongoing social and political crisis there. For their mother, Melissa*, the decision to take them first out of school, and then out of the country, was a wrenching one. But leaving them in school back...

04/07/2019

UN High Commissioner for Refugees to visit Ireland 10-11 July

UNHCR is pleased to note that the High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi will make an official visit to Ireland on 10-11 July. On 10 July he will meet with the Irish President at Áras an Uachtaráin and a group of refugees from different countries who have made Ireland home. On 11 July he will meet with the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice and speak at two public events at the and the . Registration for both these events is now open. High Commissioner Grandi will argue that Ireland’s commitment to overseas development assistance and multilateral efforts to...
04/07/2019

Launch of Refugee Employment Toolkit by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

UNHCR invites you to the launch of UNHCR's Refugee Employment Toolkit by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.Offices of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, 16-22 Green Street, Dublin 710:45am on Thursday, 11 July 2019.If you would like to attend, please to
04/07/2019

NGO partners more crucial than ever, says UN refugee chief

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has called on non-governmental organizations from around the world to work together to counter “toxic” discourses that pose a danger not only to refugees but also “the very foundations of our global society”. “We need to provide a moral and strategic response to these trends,” Grandi told 500 delegates from some 300 civil society organizations working in more than 80 countries. He was speaking on Wednesday at the opening session of the UN Refugee Agency’s Annual Consultations with Non-Governmental Organizations, a three-day gathering in Geneva, Switzerland. Grandi stressed the crucial role such organizations...