Wednesday, October 22, 2008

U.N. Experts Address the Challenges of Resettling Iraqi Refugees and IDPs

Radhouane Nouicer refutes media accusations of inflated Iraqi refugee statistics in an informative presentation at the 2008 Iraq Action Days Forum. The Director of Bureau for Middle East North Africa at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) challenges the audience to ignore the number nitpicking. As an alternative, he urges them to focus on the mass suffering of Iraqis whose acknowledgment by the global community is at “risk to go into a long shadow.”

Panel 2 Part 1 (37:29) from Sarah Shannon on Vimeo.

Following Mr. Nouicer’s presentation, Dana Graber Ladek, a specialist on Iraq displacement for the International Organization for Migration in Amman, Jordan, elaborates on “the worst refugee crisis since 1948.” Dana Graber Ladek explains, increased security, expended finances, visa restrictions, and lack of employment, have prompted between 80,000 and 100,000 Iraqis to attempt return to the homes they fled. Dana Graber Ladek addresses many of the pressing needs of the resettled Iraqis, most who have merely shifted status from refugees to internally displaced persons (IDP’s).

Panel 2 Part 2 (31:09) from Sarah Shannon on Vimeo.

“Why resettlement?” is the question raised by the 3rd panel speaker Bob Carey of the International Rescue Committee. Carey emphasizes that the U.S. humanitarian legacy is under threat due to a significant decline in resettlement privileges granted to refugees in the United States. Quotas for Iraqi refugee resettlement within the U.S. are grossly unmet. Carey also raises questions about refugees once they are resettled. How will the physical and psychological medical needs of resettled Iraqis be met? How can resettled refugees be assured jobs? What can the American public do to aid in a smooth relocation for Iraqis?

To hear the panelists answer questions from the audience click here Q&A

SPECIAL NOTE: Bob Carey of the International Rescue Committee is among the many distinguished panelists who will be presenting this Friday at the IRAQ AT THE CROSSROADS symposium at Rutgers School of Law-Newark.

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