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20th June 2018, 00:01:11 UTC

Amnesty International Ireland is marking World Refugee Day 2018 by asking communities to take action as world leaders continue to fail to respond to the international crisis. They are releasing both a refugee rights online course and a ‘how-to’ toolkit on welcoming refugees into communities, as concrete actions for people to take to support refugees in their own communities and around the world. To launch this call to action, a sand art installation is being created on Sandymount Strand beach with the words ‘Fáilte’ and ‘Ahlan Wa’Sahlan’ (Arabic for welcome), by artist Sean Corcoran and his team. Amnesty activists and members of refugee and migrant communities will come together at the beach to recognise the day.


“At the end of 2017, there were 25.4 million people registered as refugees globally, with 1.2 million women, men and children in urgent need of resettlement. In the face of continued international failure to respond to this crisis, we’re asking people to ‘think globally and act locally’. Human rights become real in our communities; it is there that we can each make an enormous difference and help respond to this crisis,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.


“We know that people in Ireland see the horrors of conflict, persecution and other human rights abuses that force people to flee their homes and that they want to help. But they often don’t know where to begin. That is why this year, we are offering a toolkit on the concrete steps people can take right now and in their own communities. We are also offering an online course focusing on the rights of refugees. Both offer opportunities for people in Ireland to make a real difference and have genuine and long-lasting impact for refugees.”


The toolkit outlines information around refugees and asylum seekers and what you can do to create a ‘welcoming community’, from becoming a community sponsor to organising events like solidarity dinners and film screenings. The online course, Human Rights: The Rights of Refugee’s, is open to all those seeking to understand more about the refugee crisis and how to take action. It includes modules on how to defend the rights of refugees, the role of governments in protecting refugees and preventing human rights violations against them and how to challenge discrimination.  Both the toolkit and the online refugee rights course can be found here.