Refugee conference: key points

TRANSLATED BY LISETE FERNANDES AND THOMAS SHACKLOCK

Le Journal International was present at the conference « Réfugiés : le choix de l’accueil » organized by the association Forum Réfugiés – Cosi Wednesday, February 22nd in Villeurbanne (France). Called to share their testimonies, the associations and the elected representatives commented on such subjects as the welcoming of asylum seekers on their territories, the wealth contributed by the refugees and high tensions with certain opponents. Here are some of the highlights of this live conference.

The conference was held at the request of the Forum Réfugiés – Cosi association.

A group of local politicians and a couple of refugees will intervene during the evening #lt@forumrefugiespic.twitter.com/pcxSLmOkWj

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter) February 22, 2017

Jean-François Ploquin, the managing director of the Forum Refugees, regrets the political recovery in France about this issue of the welcoming of asylum seekers. He recalled earlier the primary mission of his association: “act in favor of the right to asylum”.

“The question of the welcoming of the refugees has been generally instrumentalized with the approach of the electoral deadlines.”#ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter)  February 22, 2017

The mayor of Villeurbanne explains that in France, the welcoming of refugees is managed by several complementary actors including the State, which provides the majority of the funding, as well as municipalities, associations and the landlords of social homes. Local authorities orientate refugees systematically to associations with whom they have a partnership, such as Forum Refugees or Adoma, and those who volunteer in it.

 

“In France, the municipalities work with the landlords of social homes, associations and high schools. ” @JeanPaulBret #ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter)  February 22, 2017

 

Another elected representative mentioned the supporters of the cause. He also mentioned the opposition’s sometimes violent groups of residents when a reception centre was set up in his municipality. He wanted to show, in reaction to these opponents, the wealth that the village and the society were able to benefit from following this initiative. An elected representative for the Pas-de-Calais region brought up the opposition to the project of the reception centre in his municipality.

An elected representative on the Pas-de-Calais evokes the opposition to the project of the reception center in his commune.#ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter)February 22, 2017

 

The elected representative evokes the “wealth” given to the people that was received in his rural village. #ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter) February 22, 2017

On the issue of health, with a divide between the metropolitan and rural areas:

“The access to healthcare is very unequal in the country but with the opening of social security rights is now facilitated” #ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter) Februay 22, 2017

A couple who fled Mosul, Iraq, commented on the unemployment difficulties they could experience when they arrive, if their arrival were to be poorly handled with the society:

Questioned over the acceptance of the society, the Iraqi couple responded that learning the language has help a lot.#ForumRefugies

— Le Journal Intl (@journal_inter) February 22, 2017

Banner photograph : ilustrative image, public domain..

 

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