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Didzis Melbiksis: Including refugees in the common information space

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Integration conference "My home, our home: what unites us in a multicultural community" on 15th and 16th November in Tallinn, Estonia. Conference webpage: www.integrationconference.ee

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Didzis Melbiksis: Including refugees in the common information space

  1. 1. Including refugees in the common information space
  2. 2. • Small numbers of refugees in Estonia and Latvia - 411 and 662 respectively in 20 years • Short experience of refugee reception and integration • Lack of media coverage from abroad - until 2015 • Lack of direct contact with refugees • However, many Estonians and Latvians have been refugees themselves Context
  3. 3. • Refugees are ordinary people living through extraordinary times • But refugees are also a vulnerable group • Refugees voices need to be heard • But refugees are also under international protection Dilemma
  4. 4. Reflection • Each refugee is an individual - 68,5 million displaced constitute a very diverse group • Sometimes media can harm them even without the intention • Being a refugee is not ones core identity • Words matter - seeking asylum is not illegal & a human being cannot be illegal • Articles about refugees without refugee voices - how much do they really tell?
  5. 5. What does protection mean? • Each refugee owns his his/her life story • Refugees might not know the context of publication, need to explain • Anonimity can and should be used if necessary • More knowledge about refugee origin
  6. 6. Alternative ways • UNHCR stories on www.unhcr.org/neu • Living libraries • Children books • Ask refugees themselves!

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