Challenges for Children on the Move Focus of Global Migration Film Festival Event in Belgium

Global Migration Film Festival

Brussels – IOM’s Belgium and Luxembourg Office is organizing a film screening and debate in Brussels on International Migrants Day (IMD, 18/12). In line with the IMD 2018 theme “Migration with Dignity’, the focus of the event will be on children and migration.

The short film, Abu Adnan – Adnan’s Father, tells the story of Sayid, a refugee doctor from Syria who has just received his Danish residence permit. As he starts a new life in rural Denmark, with his son Adnan, Sayid faces the challenge of maintaining his son’s respect while trying to assimilate to a new country and learning a new language, while Adnan finds the process of adaptation significantly less challenging.

Laura Palatini, IOM Chief of Mission for Belgium and Luxembourg, underlined the importance of the Global Migration Film Festival: “This worldwide initiative allows using films as tools to challenge the negative portrayal and stereotypes about migrants, by bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss key migration-related aspects such as fundamental rights, tolerance and inclusion.”

The debate that follows the film will discuss the human rights aspects of migration, focusing on the most vulnerable and marginalized people.

The film is very timely; this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights are not some abstract concept — each one of us has a role to play in defending the dignity and rights to which all persons are entitled, no matter who they are or where they come from. It’s small acts that breathe life into the Universal Declaration, explained Birgit Van Hout, Director of the UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe whose office will moderate the debate.

Panel members will include: Irina Todorova – IOM Regional Office’s Regional Thematic Specialist for Migrant Assistance; Katja Fournier, Coordinator of the Plateforme Mineurs en Exil; and a migrant girl living in Belgium with a foster family.

The Nawaris Trio (led by Hussein Rassim, an Iraqi refugee now settled in Belgium) will close the debate. The participants will further discuss the issues over refreshments enriched by Syrian flavours, from Take Home Chef, a new catering company launched by Abdell Baset, a well-known Syrian refugee chef in Belgium.

The event is organized in partnership with Cinema Vendôme and the UN Human Rights Office, and with the support of Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles, Centre du cinema et de l’audiovisuel and Europa Cinemas. It is a continuation of the awareness-raising event IOM will organize on 12 December at the Children’s Museum in Brussels.

Click here to register for this Global Migration Film Festival event.

For more information please contact Géraldine d’Hoop at IOM Belgium and Luxembourg, Tel: +32 2 287 74 12, Email:

  • Hussein Rassim, preparing for his concert at the Global Migration Film Festival, Brussels. Photo: IOM 2018