Walk In Their Shoes to mark World Refugee Day

Tue, June 14, 2016


Walk In Their Shoes 19 June 2016 3PM

Nasc Ireland are hosting a silent solidarity walk through Cork City to mark World Refugee Day, to raise awareness of the millions of displaced men, women and children who are currently on the move seeking safety and protection.

‘Walk In Their Shoes’ will be held on Sunday 19th June 2016 at 3PM. The walk will begin and end at the gates of Bishop Lucey Park on Grand Parade. All are welcome.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis throughout the world. We can and must do more to show our support and solidarity for the millions who have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety,” states Nasc CEO Fiona Finn.

Nasc are asking that everyone participating in the solidarity walk carry with them an old pair of shoes, to signify to the numbers of people who are currently on the move fleeing violence and persecution throughout the world. The shoes will then be left at the gates of Bishop Lucey Park for a moment of silence in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives in search of safety.

The event will also include speakers, including Syrians and other refugees who have journeyed to Ireland and are struggling to bring family members to join them. UCC Professor and migration expert Piaras MacEinri will also speak.

For more information about the event, please click here. To download the event poster, click here.

Safe Passage

At the event, Nasc will also be launching our new ‘Safe Passage’ campaign, calling on the government to ease the family reunification criteria for Syrians and introduce a humanitarian sponsorship programme, similar to the Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme (SHAP) which operated for a short period in 2014.

“We have devised a practical and implementable scheme, based on our experience working with members of the Syrian community in Ireland who are seeking to reunite with their family, and on the SHAP programme. This new scheme will provide a safe and legal migration route for Syrians fleeing the conflict. It is a perfect complement to the ongoing Refugee Protection Programme, and through a sponsorship mechanism, will not place any additional burden on the Irish government to provide for those granted residency under the scheme,” notes Ms. Finn

The Safe Passage scheme also offers an opportunity for Irish people to aid Syrians in their community, by providing sponsorship support to a Syrian person’s application. This is similar to private resettlement schemes which have operated so effectively in other jurisdictions such as Canada, Germany and Australia.

“There is such a huge outpouring of goodwill amongst the Irish people to do something to help refugees in the ongoing humanitarian crisis. But to date the government has not effectively tapped into that resource,” Ms. Finn comments.

“Ireland was ahead of the curve in implementing the SHAP scheme in 2014, but it only operated for a very short window. This scheme offers an opportunity to bypass the use of traffickers and smugglers and the reliance on dangerous boat crossings, providing a safe and legal channel for Syrians to join their loved ones in safety here in Ireland, with no additional financial or resource burden on the state. It is a simple and effective solution,” finishes Ms. Finn.

More information about Nasc’s ‘Safe Passage’ campaign will be available following the launch.