Over 1 million people arrived in Europe by sea in 2015. And since the conflict in Syria continues, this influx will not halt.
It is the biggest refugee crisis since World War II according to the UNHCR. The journey by sea is dangerous, the circumstances in refugee camps and asylum seeker centers are far from ideal – to say the least – and tensions between host countries make it difficult to find constructive solutions.
With such big numbers and their political, social and logistical complexities, it’s easy to feel powerless as an individual. Still, there are opportunities. As Margaret Mead has famously been quoted:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
So with a group of young academics, we thought we should do our part. During two intensive days in Amsterdam, we brought together over 20 experts on migration and refugees. Their expertise ranged from human rights to history, and from public health to engineering. It was an international team, also including people from (former) conflict areas.
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