There are a few things that I took away from attending CSocD59 and the side events. We co-sponsored side events and one was with UNANIMA International and other NGOs on “Migration, Displacement & their Cross-Cutting Issues in the context of Digital Technology & Just
Transitions.” We heard from a panel of experts: people working with refugees, people with a lived experience as well academics, State Representatives and UN Personnel.
Inkeri Von Hase from UN Women said that women refugees are less likely to have access to digital technology. Information is empowering but without access to devices and internet, it further reduces their access to information about the risks of migration, health care, e-learning to gain qualifications and access to finance (remittances).
Chioma Agwuegbo reminded us that advocacy is to “stand in the gap” between the powerful and the marginalised. Our role is to ensure that the vulnerable are protected, their voices are heard and their opinions are included in the decisions made. For this to happen we need to be aware of our rights, understand the issues, build networks, be accountable and speak in simple and concise terms so that all are able to understand. She encouraged us to speak out for “no voice is too soft that speaks for others.”
Suad, a software engineer from Syria, now living in Ireland, spoke about the importance of education. She shared her story as a refugee forced to leave her country because of the civil war. Suad had to pay to go by boat
because with countries closing their borders, there were no legal avenues. She was sure that her education saved her life. She now works with UNICEF to support people on the move through digital technology.
You can watch the webinar here.