Festival Passagens – Press Release

#WorldRefugeeDay #FestivalPassagens #FreePassages #noborders 

Next monday, 20th of June, is World Refugees’ day. 

On this day, we remember the 89.3 million people that are forcibly displaced worldwide, escaping from war, climate change, hunger and violence (UNHCR, 2022).

On this day, we must also question why, out of these 89.3 million people, just close to a third is recognized for protection by another country, becoming a refugee.

The European Union hosts less than 10% of the displaced population worldwide (UNHCR, 2021). Reaching Europe is not simple or safe and last year 3 231 people died or went missing at its border according to official data (UNHCR, 2022). However, it is not confirmed/we cannot be sure of how many people leave the shores to cross the sea, so the real number is expected to be considerably higher.

Barriers and drawbacks start early in the journey, at Europe’s’ fortress’ doors, where people are welcomed by pushbacks and detention (Refugee Rights Europe, n.d.). This increasing hostility against migrant people shows a behavior very distant from the common narrative of European solidarity and respect of human rights. How are we welcoming migrants at borders? Are we witnessing violations of international law?

After passing the border, migrants face multiple legal and social barriers to be admitted to a host country. In Portugal the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) constitutes one of the main pitfalls and difficulties for most of the people that decided to have Portugal as their final safe port. The government decided that SEF was going to be abolished (Decree-Law n. 73/2021 from november 12th and subsequent modifications), but there is still no plan for this transition, which has been postponed since 2021. Which should be the next step? How and what should be important to reformulate in the current system? 

With a long and heavy journey on their backpacks, the entrance in the receiving society is not always easy for people from different origins, cultural and religious backgrounds, demanding an urgent question about how the integration system works in Portugal. When speaking about minors integration, the challenge is even bigger. In 2019 Portugal compromised to host 500 unaccompanied minors from Greek Refugee Camps (JN, 2020), till now, less than half of the minors made it to Portugal. Why so? How is the integration of these minors working? What are we doing to respond to the insecurity and psychological distress these children were subject to in their previous journey?  

These are the starting questions of the first edition of the Festival Passagens, an event that brings together multiple specialists, testimonies and artists to talk about and raise attention to the varied and intricate frontiers that migrants and refugees have to pass through to reach a safe port.

HuBB- Humans Before Borders welcomes everyone who is looking forward to dive deep into the world of migration and to celebrate the social richness created by people’s movements!

Counting on the expertise and testimonies of specialists and frontline workers we will try to better understand the frame of migration flows to Europe. From the perilous boat trips in the mediterranean to the disorienting host system in Portugal, we will follow the paths and look closely at the contexts that surround people on the move, especially the most vulnerable, like refugees and unaccompanied minors. For that will we have 3 debate/sharing sessions:

  • SEF Extinction… Now what?
  • Pushing back hope – EU cruelty at its borders 
  • The reality of refugee minors integration – Promises, challenges and good practices

Festival Passagens is also about the richness of the encounter of cultures and people, about those special collective moments made of different tastes and spices, of diverse dance passes and music transitions. For this purpose, we will count on an inter and transcultural group of artists and chefs that will delight us with their music, performances and food.

Come and join us on the 25th and 26th of June in Nucleo A70.

Free entrance, as worldwide passages should be.

Facebook Event: https://facebook.com/events/s/festival-passagens/345417781068391/ 

Contacts: humansbeforeborders@gmail.com

See the event in our website here: Festival Passagens

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