Shami Chakrabarti to deliver keynote address at University of Leicester refugee conference

Posted by pt91 at May 31, 2012 10:57 AM |
Conference on 'Hope and Resilience for Refugees and Asylum Seekers' to mark Refugee Week

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 31 May 2012

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, will give a keynote address at a refugee conference organised by the Clinical Psychology unit at the University of Leicester. The conference, entitled 'Hope and Resilience for Refugees and Asylum Seekers', marks Refugee Week and will feature speakers from the Red Cross and Migrant Voices.

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Mohammed Dawood will open the conference on Tuesday 19 June, alongside University of Leicester Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert  Burgess.

The conference is funded by East Midlands Strategic Health Authority and organised in conjunction with a range of local refugee and voluntary sector organisations from across the East Midlands. The event will explore how hope and resilience can be fostered in the refugee community through an emphasis on human rights, approaches to justice in psychological therapy, and through building solidarity in the voluntary and statutory sector.

Shami Chakrabarti CBE is the director of UK-based pressure group Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties), which campaigns to protect civil liberties and human rights. Ms Chakrabarti graduated from the London School of Economics and trained as a lawyer. She is currently an advisor to Lord Justice Leveson as part of the ongoing inquiry into the UK press.

Other speakers at the event include:

Matt Carr, a journalist and author of two books. His latest book examines barriers to migrants and refugees in Europe, and exclusionary policies of European governments.

Nazek Ramadan, director of Migrant Voices and founder and editor-in-chief of New Londoners, the first refugee newspaper in London. She has over 20 years of experience working with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities in the UK, and in 2012 was named The Migrant and Refugee Woman of the Year.

Liz Page, UK director of the South Eastern territory of the British Red Cross. Her work includes supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and she is currently a Trustee for Women for Refugee Women which campaigns on behalf of women and children who seek asylum in the UK.

Along with talks and workshops, the event will also feature stalls hosted by local refugee and asylum organisations. Filmmaker Sandra Madi will attend a screening of her film Nahr el-Bared… Detention Camp.

The conference is to be held at Peter Williams Lecture theatre, University of Leicester on 19 June 2012 9am – 4:30pm.  The fee for the conference is £20 for waged, £10 for students and no fee for unwaged or refugees. The majority of this fee will go towards the destitution fund for asylum seekers. A free lunch is also included.

To book a place contact Carl Gudgeon on or 0116 223 1639.


For further information contact Carl Gudgeon on or 0116 223 1639.

Full biographies and details of the speakers:

Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti is Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties) and Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. She is also a Governor of the British Film Institute, a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, in addition to being a Master of the Bench of Middle Temple. She was recently invited to be one of six independent assessors advising Lord Justice Leveson in his Public Inquiry into the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the UK Press.

Taiwo Afuape

Taiwo Afuape is a Principal Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist working in South Camden Community CAMHS for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and Principal Systemic Psychotherapist in an adult Psychology and Psychotherapy service in CNWL NHS Foundation Trust. She is also author of a new book entitled: Power, Resistance and Liberation in Therapy with Survivors of Trauma.

Matt Carr

Matt Carr is a writer and journalist.  He is the author of Blood and Faith: the Purging of Muslim Spain (Hurst 2010) and The Infernal Machine: An Alternative History of Terrorism (Hurst 2011).  His next book Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent is an investigation of the exclusionary barriers that have been established by European governments both inside and outside the continent to keep out and control the movements of migrants and refugees, based on journeys undertaken over the last two years to the countries and places where these ‘hard borders’ are most apparent.  It is due to be published in the UK this summer by Hurst & Co, and in the United States by New Press.

Nazek Ramadan

Nazak Ramadan is the director of Migrant Voice and is the founder and editor in chief of the ‘New Londoners,’ the first refugee newspaper in London.  She is vice chair for the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) and represents the EAPN (UK) on the Anti-discrimination and Migration working group at EAPN Europe.  Nazek has over 20 years of experience working with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities in the UK.  Her work has included the production of a number of short films.  She was awarded The Migrant and Refugee Woman of the Year award 2012.

Liz Page

Liz Page is UK director of the South Eastern territory of the British Red Cross, responsible for the range of services provided in London and the South East.  This includes support to refugees and asylum seekers.  She is currently a Trustee for Women for Refugee Women which seeks to challenge the injustices experienced by women and children who have sought asylum in the UK.  In association with The New Statesman, Women for Refugee Women ran a campaign against the detention of children.

Film: Nahr el-Bared… Detention Camp by Sandra Madi. Palestine/Qatar (2011)

In 2007, under the guise of eradicating a base for the armed radical Islamist group Fat’h el-Islam, the Lebanese army effectively destroyed the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared.  Residents were displaced and received little humanitarian support in their plight.  This film is a direct result of director Madi sneaking a camera inside the camp to document the everyday survival for four years after the conflict.

City of Sanctuary and De Montfort University Law students

This is an umbrella group of De Montfort post-graduate Law students and staff and volunteers from the British Red Cross and City of Sanctuary, focusing on tracking new evidence in failed asylum cases.

Faiza Nasir and Alison Birch

Faiza Nasir is a final year trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Leicester and has undertaken doctoral research with unaccompanied minors at the Centre Project.  Alison Birch works at the Centre Project for unaccompanied minors.  They have set up ‘Here Alone,’ an exhibition at the Charnwood museum, aiming to depict the hopes and fears of young people who have come to Leicestershire alone seeking safety from war or persecution.  The interactive display outlines the findings of the research and art work created by the young people with the help of a local artist.

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