Announcement: You can attend 3 online Hotspots with the Danish Immigration Museum

PhD Fellow Sahra-Josephine Hjorth has arranged 3 online hotspots in collaboration with the Danish Immigration Museum.

What is a hotspot?

A hotspot is a 1 hour online LIVE talk that is open to the public and free of charge. The talk is held by a guest speaker, and it is possible to ask the speaker questions using a built-in Q&A feature. We will advertise the times of the hotspots well in advance.

Title: The Refugee Crisis – Explanations, Solutions, and Challenges
Speaker: To be announced

Date: March 16th 2016

Overview: The “European refugee crisis”, or “migrant crisis” as it is also known, has filled both the political and media landscape since the end of 2014. The crisis became widely center of attention when five boats with almost 2000 refugees sank in the Mediterranean sea in the spring of 2015, with an estimated death toll of 1200 people. Since, both the number of people trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, and the debate on the how to handle what has been described as one of our time’s biggest humanitarian crisis, has escalated.

The crisis is a result of ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, especially in Syria, where hundred of thousand have been forced to flee to refugee camps in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, or attempt the dangerous travel over towards Europe.

The crisis has had enormous human consequences both for those trying to flee from war, but also for those who stay behind. Moreover, the huge number of refugees crossing the borders to Europe has put the nation states under an enormous pressure. Coastal countries such as Greece and Italy, already under economic pressure, have struggled to cope with the situation, and the European Union has until now failed to come up with lasting solutions.


Title: Climate Refugees – Facing a “New” Challenge

Speaker: To be announced

Date: March 23rd 2016

Overview: These days, world leaders come together in Paris for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), where they will try to reach a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the human consequences of climate changes are enormous. Scarce natural resources such as drinking water are likely to become even more limited, and in certain locations the changing conditions means that crops and livestock are unlikely to survive. In many of these locations, food security is already a significant concern, and the consequence for many people will be to migrate to another place in order to survive.

According to Michael Werz, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress policy group in Washington, D.C., the consequences of climate changes are already massively contributing to human mobility, even though we often don’t recognize it as a direct effect:

“No one is saying ‘I’d better pack my stuff and go to Europe because I expect CO2 emissions to rise,’” he says. But the knock on effects—failed crops, ailing livestock and localized conflicts over resources—are already driving residents of the Sahel northward to flee poverty. Libya’s collapse has opened the doors wide for migrants, and the smugglers who ship them across the Mediterranean to Europe.”

Climate changes is not only a question of environmental issues or related to energy policy, but a social, political, economical, and security concern that threatens to dramatically impact both vulnerable groups, particularly in the MENA region, and societies.

Another wave of migrants fleeing to Europe as a consequence of scarce natural resources will further exert pressure on the nation states. In this hotspot, the speaker discusses the major human consequences of climate changes, how it will affect European societies, and addresses some of the political solutions and challenges.


Title: Greece – A Crisis within the crisis

Speaker: To be announced

Date: March 30th 2016

Overview: When the refugee crisis hit Europe in late 2014, Greece, was already struggling economically from the 2009 depression that led the country on the brink of bankruptcy. While the Greek recession and the refugee crisis can somehow be distinguished, they are undoubtedly intertwined and the impact of the crises on Greece and the Greek population has been massive. The chaotic situation and unreliable access to credit card and ATM networks threatens to impact the tourist tourist industry, one of the last pillars of the Greek economy. Meanwhile, refugees are living on the streets or trying to cross the country to reach other destinations in Europe. Many systems seems to have collapses, and Greece find itself in a crisis within the crisis.