World Refugee Day Lunch Celebration-June 2012

‘Resettlement Saves Lives!’ - World Refugee Day lunch celebration hosted by the EU Resettlement Network, EUROCITIES & the city of Utrecht

On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2012, the EU Resettlement Network, EUROCITIES and the city of Utrecht hosted a lunch event to celebrate the celebrate the ongoing contribution of European municipalities, cities and regions to providing refugee protection and upholding human rights.

35 attendees from EU institutions, European city and regional representations, universities, NGOs and international organisations learned more about the new EU Resettlement Network and refugee resettlement in Europe via a series of presentations and short films, and engaged in a lively discussion on the role of European regions and cities in providing safety and security for those in need of resettlement. 

Presentations introduced the EU Resettlement Network and the network-building and peer exchange activities both of Eurocities and the current IOM, UNHCR and ICMC ‘Linking-In EU Resettlement’ project. Attendees also heard about the human rights-related work currently being undertaken by the city of Utrecht, and plans to expand this work in the future.  All those presenting focused strongly on the partnerships - between UNHCR, national governments, international organisations, NGOs, regions, cities and municipalities – necessary to make human rights work and resettlement programmes a success at the local level. 

Attendees were also introduced to ICMC’s new SHARE project, an 18-month programme to build the city-region dimension of the EU Resettlement Network and support the participation of regions, cities and municipalities as network members and participants.  

Over lunch, attendees viewed short video impressions from the recent EU Resettlement Skills Share Day, held in Brussels in May 2012 and at which the EU Resettlement Network was formally launched. The final element of the programme showed short extracts from ‘Moving to Mars’, a documentary film that follows 2 Karen families on their resettlement journey from Mae La camp in Thailand to the city of Sheffield in the UK, again enabling participants to gain an insight into local resettlement programmes and practice, and the experiences of refugees resettled to European cities and municipalities.

For more information about the World Refugee Day lunch event, please contact Rachel Westerby, City Coordinator at ICMC Europe (