UAI International End of Year Message 2020

Dear friends,

In the extraordinary circumstances of this year, in common with most organisations, UAI has moved most of its initiatives online, experimenting with webinars and Zoom conferences and stepping up our social media presence.

As we prepare for 2021, we are encouraged by the prospect of vaccines, but deeply concerned by global trends that are driving polarization, populism and the easy resort to armed violence to settle disputes. The brutality and suffering inherent in new and protracted armed conflicts are scourges that must be challenged by citizens everywhere. It is an indictment of contemporary times that asylum seekers and others in need of refuge face the double jeopardy of the imminent dangers they are fleeing and the terrifying risks and hostility they encounter on their journeys towards a safe harbour. All they are seeking is the chance of a dignified life.

UAI’s core focus, encapsulated in the Call to Action, resonates strongly with the universal desire to ensure the safety of those who are most at-risk. All of us in the UAI family are committed to spreading the word to stand united against inhumanity.

In presenting below our aspirations for 2021 and a brief summary of activities in 2020, the members of the International Executive Committee wish you and your loved ones’ good health and a restful holiday season. The IEC looks forward to working together with you in 2021 to challenge the inhumanities in war and erosion of the global refugee and asylum regime.

-The International Executive Committee of UAI

UAI in 2021
Independent Humanitarian Watch (IHW)
Plans by Boston University, the Costs of War project at Brown University and UAI to hold a workshop in May 2020 on the indirect consequences of war, and ways of measuring related excess mortality, were put on hold as the Covid pandemic spread. Efforts are now underway to hold a series of online meetings, beginning in January 2021, to review existing knowledge and practices on documenting the impact of armed conflict on a number of key issues such as health care, food and infrastructure. This will help set the stage for future direction and collaboration on this topic.
Initiative with Edinburgh University
UAI, together with colleagues at Edinburgh University, has identified a number of potential research subjects as part of a collaborative endeavour to facilitate academic work by graduate students keen to examine issues of mutual concern as part of their own MA research work. This programme is geared to generating findings on asylum and war-related inhumanities that will feed into the on-going development of the IHW.
UAI is interested in exploring similar arrangements with other universities; anyone interested in discussing this is encouraged to email or ">.

Get Involved with UAI
If you’re tired of the inhumanities being inflicted against civilians in warzones or of the systematic criminalisation of asylum seekers, getting involved with UAI is an excellent way to make a real difference. Simply by reading and signing our Call to Action, you can help UAI to achieve its aims.We also sincerely welcome further volunteer engagement with both UAI International and its local affiliated groups. You can even establish your own chapter if one doesn’t yet exist in your country. Check out our guidance for supporters or reach out to for more details.

A Retrospective on UAI’s Activities in 2020
This year, UAI hosted contributions from a wide variety of authors both within and external to our organisation. We also participated in several initiatives with like-minded groups, as well as launching our own initiative highlighting the inhumanities being practiced in Syria.We welcome your feedback and ideas on these initiatives and publications! We encourage you to have a read through the links below and share your thoughts with UAI via :
Articles, blogs and publications

Petitions & joint campaigns
Other events
Developments in social media

Image Credit: ToskanaINC /

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