Refugee Hosts International Conference – Archive Now Available


Refugee Hosts International Conference – Archive Now Available

by refugeehosts

On 24 and 25 October 2019 Refugee Hosts hosted and live-streamed our Refugee Hosts International Conference, Without Exception: The Politics and Poetics of Local Responses to Displacement.  The conference included a series of keynote lectures, panels, roundtables, and artistic interventions exploring themes that are key to our project.

Day 1:

Welcome and Introduction by Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Distinguished Keynote: Homi Bhabha – The Afterlife of Migration

Panel 1: Disrupting Humanitarian Narratives

Roundtable: Writing Displacements into Literature

Panel 2: Hosting, Hospitality and Displacement

Displacement in/through Film

Day 2:

Keynote Conversation: The Politics and Ethics of Knowledge Production in Refugee Situations

Workshop: Translation, Literature and Precarity

Workshop: Locating Faith in Humanitarian Practice and Local Community Responses

Panel 3: Rethinking Community, Rights and Displacement: Theory and practice

Alternatively, full lives stream videos in English and with Arabic translation are available via the following links:

You can watch the full video of day one of the conference here.

You can watch the full video of day two of the conference, here.

Watch the video of day one of the conference with Arabic translation here and here.

Watch the video of day two of the conference with Arabic translation here.

World Day of Migrants and Refugees: ‘’It is not just about migrants.’’


29 September 2019.

In the message of his Holiness Pope Francis for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis highlights his repeated and explicit calls of concern for migrants and refugees, should be understood as being integral to his deep concern for all of humanity.

His message aims to convey to us how deeply involved  ‘’as Christian communities and societies we are and that we are all called to respond and to reflect how our faith and commitments are engaged in responding to vulnerable people on the move.

In an increasingly globalised world, where migrants, refugees, displaced persons and victims of trafficking have become emblems of exclusion, Pope Francis reminds us that each encounter with the other, is an encounter with Christ and in extending the hand of love, friendship, assistance and support to the most vulnerable, we are extending our hands to Christ.

Full text at:   

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.


Introduction to summary of Order of Malta Symposium ‘’How to better fight, together, the sexual trafficking of women in West Africa and to support their rehabilitation, ’’ held Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Ordre de Malte France Paris, France.

As an actor mobilized on the ground and strongly committed to preserving human dignity, the Sovereign Order of Malta wishes to intensify its action to prevent and fight trafficking in human beings. 

Aimed to strengthen synergies, partnerships and alliances between the various regional and international agencies and organizations, local non-governmental organizations and civil society, including local faith-based organizations, the Sovereign Order of Malta, through its two anti-trafficking ambassadors in Geneva (Michel Veuthey) and Lagos, Nigeria (Romain de Villeneuve), organized this symposium to discuss the issue of the sexual exploitation of young women in West Africa, particularly Nigerian women victims of trafficking. 

This conference had two specific objectives: 

1). Strengthen relations between the different actors involved in the fight against trafficking;

2). Continue to elaborate and implement solutions identified with the help of experts.

Methodologies throughout the Symposium comprised presentations, discussions, Q & A session and Round table discussions, which were conducive to rich sharing and great learning.

Mr Romain de Villeneuve, Ambassador of the Order of Malta in charge of the problem of trafficking in human beings in Africa introduced the Symposium and Round tables were moderated by Mrs Geneviève Colas, Coordinator of the Collective “ Ensemble contre la traite des êtres humains ” (“Together against human trafficking”) in France, for the Secours Catholique (Caritas France).

The summary document covers the following:

-Testimony of Miss Dore Ayiri Tessy, Trafficking survivor, taken care of by the Bakhita Shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.

– Key elements on the problem of trafficking in Edo State in Nigeria and the means implemented to address it (Nigerian representative of Edo State currently being confirmed).

– A positive example of cooperation between France and Nigeria: Prevention and Study Ms. Aurélie Jeannerod, Project Manager Trafficking in Human Beings –  Advocacy, ECPAT- France.

– The fight against trafficking networks and the obligations of legislators, investigators and judicial authorities Mr Nicolas Le Coz, Former Chairman of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

-Identification and protection in Belgium: an example of collaboration between magistrates, police officers and civil society  Mr Charles-Eric Clesse, King’s Prosecutor, Professor at the Free University of Brussels (ULB)

– Assessing of the victim protection mechanisms by the French Authorities Mrs Elisabeth Moiron-Braud, Secretary-General of the Inter-ministerial Mission for the Protection of Women against Violence and the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings (MIPROF)..

– Victim care in France: the challenges of escaping the trafficking network  Mrs. Vanessa Simoni, Friends of the Women’s Bus.

– Sheltering trafficking victims in France  Ms. Federica Marengo, Coordinator of the National System for the Reception and Protection of Victims of Trafficking – AcSé.

-Presentation of a shelter for victims in Switzerland  Anne-Marie von Arx-Vernon, Psychologist and expert in fighting human trafficking and violence against women.

– Reception and protection of victims upon their return to Nigeria  Sister Patricia – Bakhita Home  Mr. Luke de Pulford – Arise Foundation.

– The challenges of reintegrating victims into society  Ms. Céline Huard, Psychologist at the AFJ Home in Paris  Ms. Diana Nwakanma, Rehabilitation consultant for victims returning to Nigeria.


International Migrants Day : 18 December 2018.


Migration has always been with us. From time immemorial, people have moved in search of new opportunities and better lives. Climate change, demographics, instability, growing inequalities and aspirations for a better life – as well as unmet needs in labour markets – mean it is here to stay. The answer is effective international cooperation in managing migration to ensure that its benefits are most widely distributed, and that the human rights of all concerned are properly protected.’ António Guterres, UN Secretary General.

A useful video has been made by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, highlighting the issue of modern slavery and migration as smugglers  look to capitalise on the ever-increasing numbers displaced in modern times. This is a valuable resource which can be deployed in any setting, for awareness-raising, advocacy and campaigning.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

New Study published- ‘’Using Criminal Law to Restrict the Work of NGOs Supporting Refugees and Other Migrants in Council of Europe Member States.’’


Photo from Council of Europe website.

The Expert Council on NGO Law has just published a study entitled “Using Criminal Law to Restrict the Work of NGOs Supporting Refugees and Other Migrants in Council of Europe Member States”.

The study considers the situation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) carrying out humanitarian assistance and related work in support of refugees and other migrants in Council of Europe (CoE) Member States, and the extent to which criminal law and its enforcement impact on legitimate NGO activity.

The study finds that laws criminalising NGO activity, and the enforcement of such laws, impact significantly on legitimate NGO activity, negatively affecting freedom of association and related human rights. The laws themselves are vague and lack legal certainty in the way in which they have been applied and the limitations placed on lawful NGO activities are often neither necessary nor proportionate.

The Expert Council on NGO Law is preparing guidelines based on this study to help CoE Member States ensure that their law and practice when taking action against trafficking, smuggling and border control is consistent with applicable European standards governing freedom of association and the rights of NGOs.

Full study available here: Using Criminal Law to Restrict the Work of NGOs Supporting Refugees and Other Migrants in Council of Europe Member States”.




“Youth delegate for a year.”

Participation of Youth Delegates at the April and October 2020 sessions of the Conference of INGOs.

Building upon the successful experiences in 2019, the Conference of INGO’s at the Council of Europe hopes to continue investing in youth within our organizations and invites applications from young people within our organisations, to be a youth delegate with the Conference of INGOs.

In April 2018, the INGO Conference adopted a new Roadmap for youth participation. Following its youth Strategy, it is now inviting 2 youth delegates representing member organizations to take part in its two 2020 sessions:

  • to have their say in the debates
  • to exchange with Conference of INGOs members on the issues on the agenda.

To learn more about the “Roadmap for youth participation” of the Conference of INGOs please follow this link

By inviting a number of young people to take an active part in its 2020 sessions the Conference of INGOs aims to give young people an opportunity to be an active and direct contributor to issues being discussed during these sessions.


This year again, in line with its “Roadmap for youth participation”, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe will invite 2 young persons (between 18 and 30 years old) from an INGO member of the Conference to take an active part, as a youth delegate, in its April and October 2020 sessions.

Being a youth delegate for a year is a unique opportunity to gain international experience, become a part of a diverse group of young activists, network and make an impact by stimulating the debates from a youth perspective within the Conference of INGOs.


The profile of the candidates, the commitments and working process are detailed in the attached document (English only)


The deadline for submitting completed applications is 15 February 2020.


For more information please contact:

Rareş Augustin CRĂIUŢ, Board member of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe

Council of Europe round table on action against trafficking in human beings in the digital age


Image courtesy Council of Europe.

RENATE member at the Conference of the INGO’s at the Council of Europe, Marie Hélène Halligon, olcgs, sends us news of collaborative efforts at the Council of Europe, to address the role played by digital age technologies and human trafficking.

On 17 December 2019, the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Division organised a round-table meeting on “Stepping up the Council of Europe action against trafficking in human beings in the digital age”.

The purpose of the round-table was to share information and proposals on how to make better use of existing tools and develop public-private partnerships to prevent and combat human trafficking in the digital age.  Participants discussed key challenges in identifying victims, investigating cases and prosecuting perpetrators of human trafficking offences committed with the use of information and communication technology, human rights challenges linked to the use of technology in tackling trafficking in human beings, and how governments and international organisations can strengthen collaboration with businesses and civil society.

The meeting brought together some 60 participants from Permanent Representations of Council of Europe member States and observer states, law-enforcement officials, business and civil society representatives.

For more specific details, please click on the links below: