FMIP Director Dr. Faith Nibbs is a presenter at the UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs in Geneva June 17-19. Dr. Nibbs will present at the International Conference Center Geneva (ICCG) as part of a panel entitled, “Achieving Self-Reliance: Paving the Way for Safe, Lawful and Sustainable Livelihoods.”
In her presentation, Dr. Nibbs argues that refugee work rights are vital, but notes that access to safe, lawful employment should not be a goal in and of itself if having that right leads to the creation of a new underclass of exploited peoples with diminished financial resources and long-term dependence.
UNHCR has been holding annual consultations with its NGO (non-governmental organization) partners for more than a quarter-of-a-century. The gathering in Geneva has evolved from a one-day meeting where NGOs prepared for their interventions at the annual meeting of UNHCR’s governing Executive Committee to three days of dialogue on a wide variety of subjects of interest to NGOs and UNHCR.
The conference gets bigger every year, with more than 350 representatives and some 200 organizations from around the world attending the consultations. Participants include representatives of small and large, national and international assistance and advocacy organizations (including those specialized in resettlement). Sister UN agencies also attend.
It provides an important forum for NGOs to raise issues, network and exchange views with UNHCR. Typical topics for discussion include human rights; urban refugees; the shrinking of humanitarian space; refugee law; post-primary education for teenagers and youth; internally displaced people; protection of women and children at risk; regional issues; and monitoring of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants in detention.