Updated: Jun 1, 2022
When refugees — I am among their number — are included in events and conferences in Brussels, or in Geneva or New York, it is usually so we can tell our miserable stories. Policymakers like to hear accounts of a hard journey on a refugee boat. They are less interested in listening to our ideas. At some gatherings, migrants are invited to cook authentic refugee food; we’re meant to be charmed by this display of inclusivity but this is as far as promises we hear about inclusion are allowed to go. Tokenism like this needs to stop. Migrant and refugee organizations represent lived experience which is at least as valuable as a policy makers’ technical qualifications.