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Women’s voices shouldn’t only be heard because they are the victims of the war- Mary Robinson

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AWEPA Ireland: Coordinating a response to the refugee crisis

10 September 2015

A Syrian migrant carries a child as she walks along a railway track Photo Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

A Syrian migrant carries a child as she walks along a railway track Photo Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

Dublin, Ireland – Members of the Irish AWEPA Section organised an emergency meeting in the Irish Parliament on 10 September 2015 on how best to respond to the refugee crisis in Europe.

This meeting brought together Irish MPs and Senators from across the political spectrum with leaders and representatives of civil society groups from all parts of Ireland.

Chaired by Governing Council member, Hon. Denis Naughten TD, along with AWEPA members, Senator Averil Power, and former Senator, Mr. Pat Magner, the meeting aimed to help co-ordinate a response among civil society organisations already active on this issue, linking to government and state services at both local and national levels.

Participants discussed how best to oversee the Government’s response to the crisis; inform current policy; and plan for the successful arrival and integration of people coming to Ireland, using the model of a well-prepared, community-led response.

In reaction to the Irish public’s expressions of generosity and willingness to help, an ad hoc parliamentary group has now been formed under Hon. Naughten’s leadership. It will continue to work on this issue, linking to Irish Government policy, listening to the Irish public’s initiative and responses to the crisis and, we hope, reaching out to other AWEPA sections across Europe.