Refugee Solidarity Network

Bridging Refugee Rights in Turkey & Mexico

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In October 2019 the Refugee Solidarity Network (USA), Refugee Rights Turkey (Turkey), and Sin Fronteras IAP (Mexico) organized two knowledge-sharing exchange events in Mexico City. These events are part of an on-going triangular cooperation dialogue between the three organizations that seeks to improve refugee protection in emerging host countries. This report provides an overview of the two events co-convened by the three organizations, and offers a summary of the lessons learned from the comparative exploration of the Turkish and Mexican contexts. Potential strategies to address common challenges, and other potential ideas for collaboration, as identified by participants, are also included for consideration.

By publishing this field report we hope to shed light on the critical importance of fostering strong civil societies in emerging refugee host states, and creative modalities available to do so, as a principal means to ensuring the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. Strong civil societies outlive shifts in political leadership and allow for an ongoing focus on international, regional, and domestic rights frameworks that ensure accountability. The knowledge-exchange explored in this report revealed that supporting civil society can and should be achieved through various axes of dialogue, including between refugee rights advocates in the Global North and national civil society organizations and advocates in emerging host countries in the Global South as well as through South-South engagement. Fostering cooperation along these lines helps protect human rights at a time when the universal values underpinning them are increasingly at-risk.

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