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Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School

185 Pelham Street

Carlton, VIC 3053

Australia

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'Nothing about us without us':The rise of refugee self-representation in global dialogue on forced displacement

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A seminar as part of the Migration. Refugees and Statelessness Seminar Series.

Co-presented by Arash Bordbar (Chair, UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council) and Dr Louise Olliff (University of Melbourne).

In recent years, there has been a noticeable change in the composition and visibility of actors engaging in global dialogue on refugees. While decisions made in Geneva and New York are still dominated by states, intergovernmental institutions and larger NGOs, refugee-led networks have made an entrance in a big way. In 2017, the UN Refugee Agency established a Global Youth Advisory Council made up of refugee young people from around the world. In 2018 the first Global Summit of Refugees was held, and in 2019 the Global Refugee-led Network was formally established, strategically perceiving the negotiations for a Global Compact on Refugees as an opportunity to claim a seat at the table in future dialogue. This seminar will track the rise of refugee-led advocacy networks and the challenges and potential posed by refugees demanding that there be ‘nothing about us without us’.

Arash Bordbar is a strong advocate for refugees being given space to contribute to more effective solutions to forced displacement and changing the narrative about meaningful participation of affected populations in policies that impact their lives. Among other things, Arash is the current and founding co-Chair of the UN Refugee Agency’s Global Youth Advisory Council, is current Chair of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), and was a participant in the first Global Summit of Refugees in 2018. Arash works for Community Migrant Resource Centre in Sydney as a Youth Transition Support Worker.

Dr Louise Olliff works as a senior advisor for the Refugee Council of Australia, where she has been employed in policy, research and advocacy roles since 2009. Her current role focusses on RCOA’s international and community engagement work. Louise completed a PhD in Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2018, where her research explored the ways in which refugee diaspora communities in Australia are involved in helping people living in refugee situations in different parts of the world.

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Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School

185 Pelham Street

Carlton, VIC 3053

Australia

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