The Observatory of Refugee Camps, an impactful initiative that sheds light on encamped refugees

We had the chance to meet the O-CR team during a Prototyping Lab hosted by our partner PLACE Network, which they attended in order to test and improve their project. Their idea immediately struck us as both brilliant and necessary: establishing an Observatory of Refugee Camps to better understand, act on, and sound the alarm as to the living conditions in refugee camps.

 

An NGO with three key missions, founded by Rima Hassan

2020 was a year no one is bound to forget, and was a particularly complicated year for refugees. The number of displaced people and refugees has never been greater, and certain countries have made their hosting policies significantly stricter. The complex management of the COVID crisis in refugee camps has made already unstable groups of people even more vulnerable. But what do we actually know about refugee camps around the world, besides what we read in certain news articles on the most well-known camps? In reality, not much despite the fact that nearly 30% of refugees and 50% of internally displaced people live in camps for an average of 11.7 years.

Rima Hassan, founder of O-CR, based her project on the fact that the information available on refugee camps was often too disorganized and not always fully transparent. In response, she created the Observatory of Refugee Camps, an NGO covering five geographical areas (Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East and North Africa) where camps are set up. The NGO is focused on three major missions:

  • Studying and census’ within the camps, which already involves 135 contributors worldwide. As of right now, the NGO has studied 104 refugee camps and provides an explanatory guide with neutral, unbiased information on each site. Information collected includes: the circumstances under which the camp was set up, the role of the host country, services provided by the camp and refugees’ problems and needs.
  • Carrying out fact-finding missions on the camps’ management and refugees’ living conditions.
  • Advocacy to raise awareness about violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms of people living in these camps. The NGO also campaigns for alternative hosting solutions for migrants.

O-CR, a project supported by our partner SINGA France!

O-CR was incubated by our partner SINGA France, which offers incubation and acceleration programs for projects created by migrants and to help refugees.

Rima received support from SINGA to develop and roll out her project as well as tackle sensitive questions like funding since, in order to guarantee total independence, the NGO does not request any funding from governments or international NGOs (which are sometimes involved in management or administration).

To learn more, visit their website.

Funding is crucial to the project! If you’d like to contribute, visit the HelloAsso page !