UNHCR announces appointment of Irish Refugee Advisory Board

The Irish Refugee Advisory Board is committed to representing the interests of refugees in Ireland and amplifying their voices.

UNHCR announces the appointment of the Irish Refugee Advisory Board
Image: Via Twitter - @UNHCRIreland

On March 15, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced the formation of the new Irish Refugee Advisory Board. We are delighted to announce that a member of the GCN team, Marlon Jimenez-Compton, is a part of it.

The UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency that works to ensure that people fleeing their homes because of violence, war, persecution or disaster have the right to seek asylum and find refuge in other countries. It was created in 1950 in the aftermath of the Second World War and established its presence in Ireland in 1998.

Now the newly-created Irish Refugee Advisory Board aims at making sure that the voices of refugees in Ireland are heard in policy decisions that will impact their own lives. It will do so by generating discussions on issues that affect these people and their communities with the goal of proposing solutions to the problems they might encounter.

The group is composed of eight members who originally come from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, South Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. They are committed to amplifying the voices of forcibly displaced people and representing their interests at a local and national level.

Among the objectives of the Board are: identifying gaps in legislation and policy implementations that hamper the refugees’ enjoyment of their rights and propose changes to alleviate them; promoting their integration in Irish society; raising awareness on issues that beneficiaries of international protection might encounter in Ireland; fight prejudice and discrimination.

The selection process that the members of the Board went through started in late 2021 when the UNHCR published an advertisement inviting applications from people who resided in Ireland and were:

  • a beneficiary of international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection);
  • a resettled or programme refugee;
  • a beneficiary of permission to remain in Ireland on the basis of family reunification or statelessness status;
  • or a naturalised Irish citizen who previously met one of these criteria.

We are truly delighted to announce that a member of the GCN Team, Marlon Jimenez-Compton, will also be part of the Irish Refugee Advisory Board. Marlon has been working as Advertising Sales/Account & Distribution Manager at GCN since 2019, after a long journey that led him from Venezuela to Ireland that he shared with us and the world last year. He expressed his joy at being a part of this with the following words:

“I am very grateful and humbled to have been selected to be part of the board. This achievement feels like a full circle considering that I was a refugee myself. The Board’s aim is to ensure that the voices of refugees are heard in policy decisions that affect them. Therefore, I will use my knowledge, life experiences and love as a springboard to make a valuable contribution to embrace the challenges ahead. I am very focused on achieving recognition and inclusion for all refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland. And I am already ready.”

The other members are Ghazal Aljarad, Siphiwe Moyo, Patrick Khamis Mboci, Diane Ihirwe, Homayoon Shirzad, Marwa Zamir and Radwan Abouhajar. You can find out more about them here.

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