The DiAir’s AGORA Forum: a day of exchange and co-construction for the welcoming and integration of refugees

Last month, FAIRE participated in a full day of exchanges and meetings organized by the DiAir: AGORA. After the first edition that gathered more than 200 participants, the second edition of the Agora returned with the same goal: to bring together participants involved in the welcoming and integration of refugees, in order to explore new ways of working together.

Highlights from the presentation of the refugees.info platform

After the opening speech by Alain Régnier, Inter-ministerial Delegate for the welcoming and integration of refugees, the first highlight of this AGORA was the presentation of the new platform refugiés.info. It is an easy to use platform intended for refugees and for those who work to support them. It is currently available in 6 languages (French, English, Arabic, Persian, Tigrinya and Pashto) and provides information and/or resources on many useful topics. Resources include language learning, health, housing, finding work, meeting others and social cohesion.

The originality and strength of refugees.info is also and above all the fact that it is a collaborative project. Everyone can contribute and thus enrich the platform! Don’t hesitate to get involved by translating information or by proposing activities or programs that help refugees.

Co-construction at the heart of exchanges between AGORA participants

Another highlight of the day was the co-construction workshops between the participants; we were all invited to discuss and propose solutions around 4 key topics:

  • Giving refugees a voice
  • Developing positive and open communication with journalists and youth
  • Territorial Forums: from dialogue to action
  • Refugees.info, discover its goals and participate in its evolution

Through a voting system, each group was asked to choose a flagship proposal by theme, which was then presented in a plenary session.

A roundtable to change the way we speak about refugees in the public sphere

The productive day ended with the roundtable discussion: “How else can we talk about refugees in public debates?”, participants included: Najat Vallaud Belkacem (Ipsos, TENT), Vincent Chauvet (Mayor of Autun), Reyad Mamdoh (PAUSE Programme), Ivanne Trippenbach (L’Opinion), Nina Gheddar (Guiti News) and Aurélien Taché (LREM).

Discussions focused on the representation of refugees in the media, the media coverage of migration issues and finally, their place in the media. Guiti News noted that refugees are cited as sources in only 10% of the articles that concern them. As a refugee-led media outlet, they advocate to give a voice to the refugee population that is too often ignored.

Najat Vallaud Belkacem stressed the importance of real figures, which are too often truncated or manipulated. It is therefore necessary to be able to show actual and relative figures on a global scale.

The question of perception and the use of negatively connoted phrasing was obviously at the heart of the discussions and Aurélien Taché concluded this round table superbly, by reminding us that it is imperative to continue to take action and to openly communicate on the welcoming of refugees, because there is a long road ahead of us. Successful integration today is one of the keys to meeting the challenges of tomorrow.