Dialogue Knowledge Hub

Building Trust For A More Inclusive Europe: Dialogical Approaches Between People Seeking Refuge and the Local Host Community

Online Zoom Application
03:00 pm
18 June 2020
Geertrui Lanneau
Dr. Shannon Pfohman
Thomas Huddleston
Policy Webinar

Populist tendencies throughout Europe have sparked fear in host societies, leading to distrust of refugees as well as hate speech and discrimination.

This policy webinar will discuss the ways in which trust building can be enhanced to build a more inclusive society for people seeking refuge in Europe. Trust is a powerful force that builds loyalty, increases credibility, and supports effective dialogue. It gives the benefit of the doubt in situations where one wants to be heard, understood, and believed. It also allows people to feel safe and belong. The absence of trust can cause fragmentation, conflict and even war.

Dialogue facilitates the promotion of trust, thereby also building mutual understanding and connection. Dialogue and trust building become inherently more important in a world which is divided due to the strengthening of populist, nationalist and xenophobic forces, especially in Europe.

By drawing from key experts in the field of social inclusion and policymaking, this webinar will aim to answer three questions:

  • What policy insights can be drawn from existing evidence and research on trust building which can help foster the social inclusion of people seeking refuge in Europe?
  • What formal and/or informal approaches have been taken by organizations working with people seeking refuge and local host communities in Europe which can build trust between both sides?
  • How can dialogue facilitate the process of trust building in relation to policymaking in order to foster more inclusive European societies?

The panel will be followed by a Q&A round which will be open to the audience.

Geertrui Lanneau

Geertrui Lanneau is a Senior Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Based at the organization’s Regional Office for the European Union, Norway and Switzerland, she coordinates IOM programming and provides policy guidance on migrant integration, labour migration and the linkages between migration and development. From 2007 to 2013 she was attached to IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa in Dakar, advising governments on labour mobility, migration management and human development issues. Prior to joining the IOM, she worked as a Human Rights Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Uganda and as Adjunct Advisor for the Belgian Federal Ministry of Justice. She holds a Masters in Law from the University of Leuven.

Dr. Shannon Pfohman

Shannon Pfohman is the Policy and Advocacy Director at Caritas Europa, where she oversees the advocacy work of the European network in the areas of social economy, social rights and policy, migration and asylum, development policy, and humanitarian aid. Prior to this, she worked as the Deputy Director of Policy at the European Network against Racism in Brussels as well as the Competence Centre Manager for Equal Opportunity in the Migration and Qualification Department of the Confederation of German Trade Unions’ in Düsseldorf. In Berlin, she also worked as a researcher on migrant integration and identity at the Berlin Institute for Social Research. Her PhD compared the modalities of integration based on a sample of Bosnian refugees in Berlin and Chicago.

Thomas Huddleston

Thomas Huddleston is the Migration Policy Group (MPG)’s Research Director. Thomas joined MPG in 2006, and since 2018, he coordinates research and communications. On behalf of MPG, he chairs the EU’s migrant education network (SIRIUS) and the quarterly migration meetings of the EU NGO Platform on EU Asylum and Migration (EPAM). He is also the coordinator of MPG’s Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), the European Website on Integration (EWSI), the VoteBrussels campaign and the Transatlantic Migrant Democracy Dialogue.Thomas obtained his PhD in European Studies at Maastricht University. He is a Senior Fellow of Humanity in Action, and an alumnus of Georgetown University.


Maria Lucia Uribe

Maria Lucia Uribe has been the Executive Director of the Arigatou International office in Geneva since 2013. In her role as Executive Director, she currently heads the strategic implementation and expansion of the Ethics Education for Children Initiative, ensuring that values-based education is integrated in programmes to respond to the prevention of violence and the promotion of peacebuilding and interfaith and intercultural collaboration. She is also currently convener of the International Consortium on Nurturing Values and Spirituality in Early Childhood for the Prevention of Violence, and of the Working Group on Children and Violence of Child Rights Connect.  Previously she served as Coordinator of the Working Group on Education and Fragility for the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). Maria holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the University of Basel, Switzerland.