First Wednesdays Summer Series 2023

FROM LEGAL OBLIGATIONS TO ILLEGAL PRACTICES: Challenging Pushbacks & the Erosion of the Rule of Law on the European Borders

Join us for First Wednesdays Summer Series 2023, in partnership with Oxfam Ireland, which will focus on the critical issue of EU pushbacks and the breakdown of the rule of law at the European borders. It aims to shed light on the human rights violations, law breaking, and ethical concerns associated with the EU’s pushback policies and unlawful actions towards people seeking protection.

Join the conversation, register now!

At the borders of the EU, people seeking international protection are being illegally pushed back by border guards in clear violation of European and international laws. The right to ask for international protection is set out in the 1951 Refugee Convention, written after the atrocities of the Second World War. It was created to ensure that people fleeing persecution could cross a border to ask for protection. Under European and international law, states must examine a claim for international protection and pushbacks violate these fundamental principles

Join us for this series, inspired by the recent report by Oxfam’s partner Greek Council of Refugees (GCR) , At Europe’s Borders: Between Impunity and Criminalization. Everywhere there are pushbacks, there is also solidarity. Migrants, local communities, lawyers and activists are documenting pushbacks and working towards justice. Activists from Poland and from Greece will join us on June 7th to share some of that work with us. We will shed light on the harrowing experiences individuals face during pushback operations, and provide a troubling glimpse into the organized, systematic and often violent nature of these illegal practices. 

Together, we will explore tangible solutions that can be implemented to address this injustice and ensure that the rights of those seeking protection are respected. We hope you will join us for this important conversation.



Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Shedding Light on the Reality of EU Pushbacks

Date: Wednesday, 7 June, 6:30 PM

On June 7th we will have the honour of hosting activists from Poland and Greece who will share their experiences and efforts in fighting pushbacks, protecting the rule of law and those whom this law is supposed to protect. We invite you to join us for this crucial discussion and to learn more about the importance of defending the right to international protection.

We will announce PART 2 soon, so watch this space!


Search and Rescue: From Celebration to Criminalisation

Date: Wednesday, 5 July, 6:00 PM

Join us and Oxfam Ireland for an insightful #FirstWeds discussion on the critical issue of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.  

Search and Rescue, intertwined with the protection of human life, is a vital topic for anyone interested in human rights. Join our panellists on First Wednesdays in July as they discuss the criminalisation of search and rescue; forced returns to Libya; government actions that restrict people’s movement in the name of ‘saving lives’, and the right to cross a border to ask for protection. 

Together we will explore why these are an issue for us in Ireland and what we can do to right this injustice, prevent the breakdown of our European values and laws happening on the EU borders, and stand in solidarity with refugees and those saving their lives. 

Register now!

Equal Right to Refuge - Take Action Now!

Urge the Irish Government to use their influence at EU level and ensure equal right to refuge for all.

Sign the Oxfam Ireland’s petition now.


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