Switzerland is a hub for many actors working in the humanitarian field. So much so in fact that there is a joke that when someone visits the country they will visit at least one humanitarian organization per day.
Trust Consultancy and Development’s Director Youssef Almustafa recently travelled to Basel in Switzerland to participate in a conference
called Internal Displacement and Transitional Justice from 11-12 December 2017 organised by Swiss Peace, University of Basel and UN special rapporteur of the human rights of the internally displaced persons.
The conference’s aim was to bring together those working on internal displacement and transitional justice in order to share knowledge and identify lessons learnt and recommendations for the future. The organisers intended it to “serve as a dialogue platform between experts and the UN Special Rapporteur for the human rights of IDPs, Mrs. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, who will dedicate her 2018 report to the UN General Assembly to the theme of IDPs and transitional justice”.
Youssef Almustafa spoke about Trust’s knowledge of displacement from its work collecting data over the last 20 months the findings from data the company collected over the last 20 months in different locations in Syria. He drew on examples from the different sectors Trust has collected and analysed data in, such as Education, to analyse trends of displacement in Syria, its affects and what this means for the future. It was a particularly timely and relevant conference
considering that the world today is experiencing the highest levels of displacement recorded. Mr Almustafa highlighted 3 main points in the conference; transitional justice is not delivered in phases but rather is a continuous process, so we should not wait
until the post conflict phase to move forward on this. Secondly, internal displacement requires integration interventions of IDPs in the host communities similar to the refugee’s integration projects. Finally, unless we seek more just international legal and political system, the success at the local level of transitional justice is likely to be limited, given that some of permanent members of the security council are involved in many internal and external armed conflicts.
Following the conference he spent his time in the capital of the humanitarian sector, Geneva, by visiting many humanitarian stakeholders
including; the Director of the Sphere Project, Christine Knudsen, Credential program coordinator of Professional of Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP), Mariska De Keersaecker, coordinator of NGO Management Association, Jeniffer Macheso, and Trainings Administration Manager in CERAH – Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, Manuela la Greca. In addition, Youssef visited the International Committee of the Red Cross and met with some of its staff. The meetings were great opportunities to discuss common goals and cooperation and coordination in the sector.
Finally, the trip was also an opportunity for the Trust Director to celebrate his academic achievements. Youssef has just graduated from Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action with a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Designing strategies and projects for humanitarian action. Whilst in Geneva he was able to meet with his colleagues and fellow students as some of them are now preparing themselves for missions in different countries.
For the Trust team 11-15 December was a great humanitarian networking week. It is the beginning of many great partnership and collaboration agreements between Trust and the many humanitarian players in Geneva.