Global refugee forum promotes refugee participation, but world leaders need to do more to deliver real change for refugees, says Oxfam

The Global Refugee Forum ended today with refugees making sure that their message to be fully included in all decisions about their futures was heard by world leaders.

Oxfam welcomes the real strides which have been taken to include more refugees at the Forum, they have been represented on high-level panels alongside governments, business leaders, and UN agencies. However, this still accounts for only 2 per cent of the total attendance list of nearly 3000 participants.

During the forum, Victoria Nyoka, a refugee from South Sudan living in Uganda said, “The organizers of this forum should have prioritized voices of refugees, particularly those from the grassroots level. While participants have made over 700 pledges, they need to move beyond fine words and put them into practice.”

“At this forum, Oxfam gave up its seats on high level panels and meetings to ensure refugee voices can be heard. In the future, member states should ensure they include refugees at every high-level forum to its delegation,” said Danny Sriskandarajah, the Chief Executive at Oxfam Great Britain.

Member states, private sector foundations and UN agencies have signed a pledge on meaningful refugee participation. This was put forward by refugees from the Global Refugee-led Network which calls for refugees to be included in all decisions affecting their lives. Oxfam calls upon more stakeholders to sign this pledge.

While the Forum has been taking place in Geneva, millions of refugees remain at risk or are stuck in limbo because many countries are still failing to shoulder their fair share of responsibility for protecting people forced from home.

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Notes to editors: 
  • The Global Refugee-led Network (GRN) is a network of refugee-led groups in six regions, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, MENA and the Asia Pacific. It is governed by an eighteen-person steering committee, with three representatives from each of the six regions. Steering committee members represent the regional branches of the Network, which work autonomously under the umbrella of the Global Refugee-led Network to shape local, national and regional policies.
  • For more information about GRN visit:
  • Link to the pledge
  • For more details on latest figures and key demands from countries at the forum please check Oxfam’s report “Welcome, Support, Pledge, Resettle”
For media interviews, please contact:

Paula Baker
Oxfam Canada
Media Relations
(613) 240-3047

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