Manager of one of the biggest refugee camps will lead discussion in Bratislava

Kilian Klenschmidt will talk about dire conditions in the Za’atari camp in Jordan, situated close to the Syrian border.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

The dire conditions faced by refugees will be the main topic of discussion with Kilian Kleinschmidt, founder of Za’atari in Jordan, one of the biggest refugee camps in the world run by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

As part of the 5th European Migration Network (EMN) Educational Seminar on Migration, organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the discussion titled “Refugee camp, my home” will start on July 4 at the Lumière cinema with a screening of the documentary film, “Salam Neighbor”.

Its directors, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, were allowed to live for a month inside the Za’atari camp, situated close to the Syrian border, the very first filmmakers to be allowed to do so. Currently, there are more than 80,000 Syrian refugees living in the camp. The film follows the story of Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers, and the street smart boy Raouf, whose trauma hides just beneath his ever present smile. It has won awards at several film festivals.

The screening will then be followed by a discussion with Kleinschmidt, about the conditions which the refugees face. A former director of Za’atari refugee camp, he has over 25 years of hands-on experience in humanitarian aid and work with refugees. As an international networker, he is now challenging the Humanitarian Aid Sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies and ways of financing.

While the film will be screened in English with Slovak subtitles, the discussion will be held in English with no interpretation provided.

The 5th EMN Educational Seminar on Migration takes place between July 3 and 5 in Bratislava and focuses on migration governance and possible solutions for the refugees of the 21st century.

Experts from international organisations, institutions and non-governmental organisations will lecture, among others, on their experiences in West Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The seminar’s overall objective is to provide professionals from public administration and non-governmental sectors with comprehensive and up-to-date information on migration and international protection and thus contribute to the policy-making process in Slovakia, other EU countries and Norway, the IOM informed in a press release.

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