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“Somali refugees in Europe” a presentation by Abdi Roble and Doug Rutledge, 10/22/2008

October 22, 2008IASEvents0

During the summer of 2007, Abdi Roble and Doug Rutledge of the Somali Documentary Project (SDP) traveled to places in Europe that have proven very difficult for Somali refugees: Germany, Greece and Malta. They discovered that Europe is using its border countries to create a fortress against refugees attempting to enter the European Union. Moreover, the border countries are making no distinction between economic refugees and refugees who are fleeing armed conflict. After consulting with the UNHCR and several other humanitarian organizations, it became clear to SDP that Somali refugees deserved the rights accorded to war refugees under the Geneva Convention. However, in border countries like Greece and Malta, Somali people are being denied those rights. Roble and Rutledge will discuss the SDP’s work in the United States and in Dadaab refugee camp, and compare the conditions for Somali refugees in the U.S. and Europe, with specific information on each European country.

Abdi Roble has been honored with the Arts Freedom Award of the South Settlement House and the Individual Artist Award from both the Ohio Arts Council and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. Doug Rutledge is a poet, playwright, and essayist who has dedicated most of his life to humanitarian issues. They are the authors of The Somali Diaspora: A Journey Away (University of Minnesota Press, Cosponsored by The Immigration History Research Center.

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