Co-organized by Support to Life (STL) and the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), with support from European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and Diakonie Katastophenhilfe (DKH), the conference ‘Meet, Share, Inspire: International Conference of Good Practices on Refugee Protection’ took place in Ankara between 24-26 September. Following the conference, a ‘Declaration of Outcome’ is now published. The document identifies thematic recommendations and strategic priorities in the light of the discussions that took place during the conference.
The international conference organized in Ankara brought together 23 panellists from 10 countries spanning 5 continents, accompanied by 7 expert moderators to discuss protection solutions and response strategies. On the opening day, public officials from key ministries and public institutions in Turkey, as well as representatives of civil society organizations working on refugee protection welcomed the participants with opening speeches addressing three protection issues: child protection, access to rights and services, and sexual and gender based violence. Each day of the conference focused on one of these three main topics, with keynotes delivered by experts followed by panel discussions on good practices. During the final session of the conference, three parallel roundtable discussions took place, the outcomes of which will feed into a comprehensive report.
The conference opened with speeches by Mehmet Sinan Yıldız, Deputy Director of Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM),; Dr Manuel Paulus, Development Counselor of German Embassy,; Claudia Amaral, Head of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Office in Turkey and Sema GenelKaraosmanoğlu, STL Director. The speakers highlighted the current situation of refugees in Turkey and in the world and highlighted the need to develop holistic, coordinated, needs and rights based project designs offering durable solutions.
The first day’s theme was child protection. The keynote speakers and panellists from national and international NGOs as well as public institutions focused on specific methodologies, lessons learned and achievements.
The second day focused on refugees’ access to rights and services. Solutions to provide better access were discussed, as well as good practice examples from Germany, Hong Kong, Spain and Turkey. The discussions focused on rights-based approaches; strengthening cohesive relationships between refugees and host communities; community-based initiatives; committees mobilizing refugee communities; livelihood schemes providing durable solutions; and refugees’ access to information.
The final day of the conference focused on a human-rights violation that continues to be an enduring problem all around the world: sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The keynote speech focused on the relationship between forced migration and SGBV. Thematic panels of the day included four good practice examples from Lebanon, Jordan, India and Turkey and focused on specialized services as well as community-based protection activities.