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
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.
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.
- “Afghanistan: human costs of war, impunity and indifference” by Norah Niland (10 Jan 2020)
- “In the Absence of Solidarity, Coronavirus is a Threat to Humanity” UAI Statement (25 March 2020)
- “Post-pandemic change? Humanitarian action and multilateralism in transnational times” by Antonio Donini (20 April 2020)
- “War and Covid-19: need for a new normal that rejects inhumanity?” by Norah Niland (19 May 2020)
- “The end of asylum?” by Jeff Crisp (7 July 2020)
- “Pandemic as revelation: what does it tell us about people on the move?” by Alessando Monsutti and Antonio Donini (9 July 2020)
- “When Aid Workers Serve the Powerful!” by Khaled Mansour (25 August 2020)
- “Putting the incarceration business on trial: The dehumanization of racist policies and for-profit prisons” by Raoul Walawalker (29 August 2020)
- “Refugee protection at risk” by Jeff Crisp (8 September 2020)
- “Lebanon, where the Humanitarian Vultures Descended” by Khaled Mansour (9 September 2020)
- “Moria – Built to Burn” UAI Statement (18 September 2020)
- “Disingenuous, dishonest and dangerous: the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum” by Jeff Crisp (2 October 2020)
- “The power of people is stronger than politicians; unite for refugee rights” by Mostafa Azimitabar (13 October 2020)
- “WFP wins the Nobel! Is this an opportunity to enhance protection?” by Norah Niland (20 October 2020)
- “End The Pandemic of Cruelty – Human Rights Day 2020” UAI Statement (10 December 2020)
- “Prosecution of alleged war crimes: need for Afghan voices in Australian judicial process” by Dr Melinda Rankin and Dr Jacinta O’Hagan (17 December 2020)
- “An Interview with Avril Loveless from Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group – ‘Where is humanity? The human cost of detaining asylum-seekers’” (20 April 2020)
- “An interview with Hassan Akkad – young English language teacher and photographer, award-winning film-maker, and Syrian refugee in England” (22 June 2020)
- “An interview with Seán Binder – a young humanitarian volunteer and researcher celebrated by refugee aid and human rights organisations in Europe” (13 December 2020)
- Say NO to the inhumanity in Syria – UAI Campaign (11 Feb 2020)
- UAI signed two petitions initiated by the Greek Refugee Council (30 March 2020)
- UAI co-published “First, Save Lives: Solutions for the COVID-19 Pandemic and New Solidarity with Migrants and Refugees” (7 April 2020)
- Co-submitted ‘Integrating atrocity prevention across UK policy: The need for a national strategy” to the Integrated Review of International Policy from the UK Atrocity Prevention Working Group (August 2020)
- Signed ECRE’s joint statement on European Pact on Migration and Asylum (7 October 2020)
- Supported WeMove Europe’s campaign to pressure the director of FRONTEX to resign after accusations of collusion with Greek authorities in migrant pushbacks (20 December 2020)
- “Where is humanity? The human cost of detaining asylum seekers” – Event held in collaboration with Initiatives of Change (25 February 2020)
- “Asylum & Protection in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic” – Special event held to mark the legacy of the late Mona Mahmoud, co-founder of UAI in the UK (18 June 2020)
- “Monday on the Couch – Does data change behaviour of belligerents in wars? Examples from Afghanistan” Event co-hosted with Bosch Alumni Network (7 December 2020)
- UAI on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/unitedagainstinhumanity/
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