One Passion Project team celebrated UNHCR’s World Refugee Day on June 21 by participating in the Greek Forum of Refugees (GFR) “Europe: Protection or Exclusion” event. The team, represented by Zoe Kostitsi-Papastathopoulou (MPA ’16), presented key research findings from their ongoing project researching access to protection for asylum seekers and refugees in three areas: illegal refoulement, asylum, and detention. The GFR presentation during World Refugee Day events in Athens was the first time the team had received public feedback on their findings thus far.
In addition to the presentation by the Passion Project team, GFR also organized a film screening, an art exhibition, and musical performances by refugees. “It was a great experience to share our findings at World Refugee Day,” Kostitsi-Papastathopoulou said. “I was thrilled that there was such strong interest from the audience – from refugees to UNHCR officials.”
Through their work with GFR, Passion Project team members are applying some of the skills they have learned at SPP to a practical situation. “After giving the presentation at the World Refugee Day, I realized that SPP has really prepared me to form policy recommendations, discuss them, and present them,” Kostitsi-Papastathopoulou commented.
The Passion Project team will continue working with GFR throughout the next year to do additional research on refugee rights, analyze the gap between legislation and implementation of asylum policies, and create an advocacy campaign.