The movie 'After Spring' brings the story about the Syrian refugee crisis and is followed up with a discussion on the topic of starting a new life and the battle with a new future on an unknown territory, in a new country and in a new community. The film follows two refugee families in transition as well as aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, providing insight into what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees situated in Jordan.
With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, every person must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent. The Festival is honoured to welcome Giuseppe DiCaro, the UNHCR representative in Croatia, as the special guest at the roundtable. Before his mission to Croatia, he worked for UNHCR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Serbia, Georgia and Iran. Mr. DiCaro started his career in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Current situation in Croatia:
Croatia has two reception centers for asylum-seekers; The Government intends to improve accommodation capacity to ensure that adequate accommodation space is available. Refugees and migrants arriving through irregular border crossings are at risk of being rejected at the border and exploited by smugglers and traffickers. National child protection systems do not have sufficient capacity to address the needs of unaccompanied and separated children and there are delays in the appointment of special guardians and a lack of interpreters for less common languages. Children are placed in residential care institutions that do not adequately respond to their needs. In addition, social welfare officers often are not familiar with the children’s specific cultural backgrounds, impeding the delivery of services and assistance. Legal and psycho-social counseling for refugees and migrants needs to be prioritized, taking into account the specific challenges (trauma and exhaustion, depression caused by the prolonged stay at reception centers) faced by persons of concern. Integration of refugees and migrants will also present a challenge, in particular in terms of acquiring necessary language skills, and effective access to education and employment.