Skrivet av: L | 2 februari, 2016

Lästips ”City of Thorns” och info om nytt projekt från UNHCR


Dadaab från luften. Foto: UNHCR

Häromdagen såg jag en liten notis i Dagens Nyheter om en nyutkommen bok som jag tycker verkar intressant. Den handlar om flyktinglägret Dadaab, ibland kallat världens största flyktingläger,  som funnits för somaliska flyktingar i Kenya ända sedan början av 90-talet. Boken beskriver nio olika människors liv i Dadaab. Boken finns att köpa på nätet. Läs mer här.

Boken är skriven av Ben Rawlence som kom till Dadaab 2010 som researcher för Human Rights Watch. Så här skriver New York Times Book Review om boken: ”In 2010, Ben Rawlence, then a researcher for Human Rights Watch, visited the refugee camp of Dadaab on the eastern Kenyan border, home to 300,000 people, many of whom had fled the chronic civil war in Somalia. The next year, he returned for what would be the first of seven long visits to follow the lives of nine of its inhabitants and to watch the camp grow until it became the largest refugee settlement in the world, more town than camp, with its own hospitals, cinemas and soccer teams, occupying an area the size of New Orleans. It would be good to be able to say that his story is encouraging or uplifting; but Rawlence’s “City of Thorns” is a deeply disturbing and depressing portrait of the violence, destitution, fear, sense of hopelessness and neglect in which a large number of the world’s estimated 60 million forcibly displaced people now live.”

Från Dadaab till ett annat projekt om rör somaliska flyktingar men också eritreanska flyktingar. Så här beskriver UNHCR projektet Telling the real story:

Launching the E-Platform and Information Campaign: Telling the Real Story

UNHCR is launching today a new and innovative information platform reaching out to Eritreans and Somalis who are considering taking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. Telling the Real Story ( is a collection of testimonies by persons who have made this voyage. This community-based information project is aimed at helping Eritreans and Somalis to take an informed decision about traveling to Europeand countering the narrative of smugglers and traffickers.

Smugglers and traffickers are currently the main source of information. For obvious reasons, they play down the full extent of dangers such as accidents, diseases, torture, SGVB, trauma, extortion of large sums of money (from the entire family) and raise unrealistic expectations about asylum and life in Europe. Furthermore, those who have made the journey to Europe do not fully reflect their experiences when they report back home. Telling the Real story has been set up to counterbalance this biased information.

There are a number of triggers for primary and secondary movements: many are fleeing persecution, war, and conflict, while others are escaping from poverty or the lack of livelihood opportunities. They are lured by the false promises of smugglers or simply following the example of peers.

The right to seek asylum is a basic human right. No one who is in need of protection must be dissuaded from doing so. But the decision to embark on the long and dangerous journey to Europe should be based on comprehensive information that is truthful and trustworthy.

As of today, the website as well as a mobile friendly version are online, providing authentic stories, told by the refugees and migrants themselves. They speak to their own communities and share their experiences, good and bad. To set the example, the e-platform currently features testimonials recorded by a camera team. As of now, Eritreans and Somalis en route to or in Europe will be encouraged to upload their own videos, pictures and sound files.

Telling the Real Story is a joint endeavour by the UNHCR Europe and Africa Bureaus. UNHCR is enabling the project, but it is the close cooperation with the diaspora and Eritrean and Somali refugee communities in camps in Sudan and Ethiopia which makes it participatory and interactive. Somali and Eritrean communities are both providers and recipients of the messages.

The Telling the Real Story Team is based in Stockholm and consists of a project leader and four Somali and Tigrinya-speaking project assistants. We are in the process of hiring assistants who will reach out to refugee communities in Ethiopia and Sudan. The project is funded by the European Union.


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