On October 24th 2017, Dr Xavier Emmanuelli, founding president of Samusocial International and Dr Kamel Mohanna, founding president of Amel Association International, gathered more than 200 participants from civil society organizations, official institutions and research bodies, at the National Museum of Immigration History, with the aim of exchanging and developing necessary recommendations for a more dignified and sustainable hosting of people in exile.
30 speakers were invited to share experiences and perspectives on 4 key thematics.
Among key points that were raised, France and Europe were reminded of their responsibility in geopolitical events which have provoked mass migration flows, and were called on to ensure the respect of migrants’ rights.
The main conclusions and recommendations resulting from the seminar included:
Reflections from officials, researchers, legal experts, and field actors on varying definitions of ‘migrants’ and their historical and political roots, as well as highlighting the need distinguish between economic migrants and refugees to avoid generalized stigmas associated to people in exile.
Concerning the situation of unaccompanied youth, a unanimous call was made to unconditionally respect their rights and prioritize the interests of the child.
With the aim of transforming current geographical flows of migration, which commonly lead to exclusion, exploitation and in certain instances death, the participants believe it is necessary to increase legal migration pathways into France and Europe more generally.
Concerning migrant hosting and sustainable integration, once the right of residency has been granted, recommendations to increase integration efforts (particularly in terms of learning the host country’s language) were supported by all representatives, in addition to enhanced evaluation of such processes. The speakers also brought up the need for a common goal of economic, social and political actors, both in the public and private spheres.
The speakers also unanimously highlighted the current failures from states in providing adequate hosting conditions.
Samusocial International and Amel Association International there appeal to local and international communities to observe and implement the abovementioned recommendations with generosity, insight, responsibility, and pragmatism, urging states to host migrants with dignity, solidarity, and humanity.
At the end of November 2017, the conclusions and appeal will be disseminated in the seminar’s outcome documents. This will be followed by a second seminar in Athens on December 5th and 6th 2017 as well as an advocacy campaign launched by Samusocial International and Amel Association International to highlight these innovative practices.
Xavier Emmanuelli, President of Samusocial International
Kamel Mohanna, President of Amel Association International