Exploring the Refugee crisis

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The UK, The Refugee Crisis, and You!

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Event Summary

On Wednesday the 29th of Nov 2017, young people from all over London and beyond attended a Model Westminster event on the Refugee Crisis. The aim of the event was to discuss whether the UK had fulfilled its legal and moral obligations to welcome refugees and whether refugees are a force for good or an added burden on our already stretched public services.

Unlike our usual day-long events, this event was shorter and designed to give young people a taste of both a serious and relevant subject, and also what Model Westminster is all about. The event was organised by Marwan Ahmad Zai and Jessica George and included two main sessions. The first session was a panel discussion where four speakers presented a position concerning the Refugee Crisis which was followed by a lively Q&A.

The second session of the evening was a thought provocative debating exercise where the attendees were divided into three groups and each group had the opportunity to debate for and against a given motion in relation to Refugee Crisis. This was especially challenging and interesting for the attendees as it meant them arguing in some cases for positions they strongly disagreed with. However, the feedback we got from them was that this enabled them to consider an alternative point of view and see an issue from a completely different perspective!

The panellists included:

Gulwali Passarlay: Author of The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year- Old Refugee’s Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World; After briefly touching on his journey as a 12 years old Refugee from Afghanistan, Gulwali passionately spoke about the responsibility of the UK government towards refugees.

Dr Zarghuna Taraki: An Award Winning Surgeon and a Humanitarian; Dr Zarghuna shared her moving personal journey as a former refugee and the challenges she faced in pursuit of her ambition to become a medical doctor against all odds.

Michael Abiodun Olatokun: An Academic and Third Sector Leader; As a research fellow at Bingham Institute for the rule of law and co-author of the Rule of Law for Citizenship Education: International Law and Human Rights, Michael spoke about the legal aspects of Refugee Crisis from British and international law’s perspectives.

Jim Hirschman: Former president of the Student Union and the debating society at the University of Westminster; Jim eloquently presented the negative implications of mass migration primarily from legal, economic and political perspectives.
Note: As a well-established debater, Jim was tasked with making the case for limiting immigration purely for the sake of balancing the discussion. His own views are entirely pro-immigration.

The event was a great success and enjoyed by the attendees. A special thanks to Hogan Lovells for supporting this Model Westminster event by providing venue space.

As always we took loads of photos and you can see a sample of them below.

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