Students Staff

22 July 2016

Why I support #WithRefugees

Charlie Goodlake

We’ve been speaking to Essex graduates and academics about why the #WithRefugees campaign being led by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is so important.

Many of our graduates work with organisations which support and promote the rights of refugees across the world, while our academics are also working on research and projects directly impacting on refugees.

Essex graduate Charlie Goodlake is the first to share his views and experiences.

Charlie Goodlake – UNHCR headquarters in Geneva

Can you tell us a bit about your yourself?

I studied both the LLB Law degree and then the LLM in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Essex. Through the module in International Refugee Law, the opportunity arose to move to Geneva to work at UNHCR HQ as a Law and Policy Intern. I couldn’t say no. A year later, and now working as a consultant, I help with the messaging behind UNHCR’s Global Campaigns. I hope to move into refugee protection work in a field location soon.

What inspires you to work at UNHCR?

Since 1950, UNHCR has been working hard to protect and assist refugees around the world. Yet because of conflict and persecution, over 65 years later, we are unfortunately witnessing the highest levels of displacement ever recorded. The work of UNHCR has therefore never been so important and I am inspired to continue to work for an organisation that tirelessly searches to find solutions for refugees.

Why do you think the #WithRefugees campaign is so important?

In 2016, divisive political rhetoric on asylum and migration issues, disturbing levels of xenophobia, and a lack of solidarity between states have presented significant challenges to refugee protection. The #WithRefugees campaign provides a strong platform for UNHCR to work to mobilise states to sign up to a Global Compact on Responsibility Sharing for Refugees. Securing protection and solutions, which the petition encourages States to do, can only be achieved through international solidarity!

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