Conference Major Hazards and Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Migrants are a risk group also facing natural hazards and technological accidents. To analyse how countries deal with their vulnerabilities, the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement of the Council of Europe held a conference on Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in the context of natural and technological hazards on 14 October 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal. The conference was the EUR-OPA contribution to the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2016. It concluded a two-year project on Migrants and Major Hazards and gathered 60 participants from all over the globe, including high-level representatives of international organisations and European institutions, civil protection authorities and INGOs working in the field of migrant protection and disaster risk reduction and management.
The participants discussed inspiring practices in this area, as well as policies at European level through guidelines and recommendations for action. The overall aim of this conference was to take forward initiatives in order to improve the quality of services designed to support migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who are confronted with emergencies or disaster risk.
The conference was organised in close co-operation with the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, with the support of the Municipality of Lisbon, the Ismaili Centre, the Portuguese authorities as well as the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe and the Intercultural Cities Programme.
Key speakers addressing the conference included João Afonso, Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Lisbon, Portugal, Pedro Calado, High Commissioner for Migration, Government of Portugal, Paola Albrito, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, Stephen Curzon, DG-ECHO Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, European Commission , Jérôme Hamilius, Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF), Council of Europe Development Bank’s (CEB), in charge of a project aiming to increase the capacity for the reception of migrants and to create conditions for the expansion of legal services in Portugal, as well as Lora Pappa, Laureate of the North South Prize, President of METAdrasi, Greece and representatives of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Portugal.