Refugee Leadership Multipurpose Space - R-Space

A refugee-led space

R-Space was a refugee-led space in Geneva during the GRF 2023. Refugee-led organisations co-designed a parallel programme of 40 sessions. These sessions were led by refugees and addressed issues of priority to refugees. It also functioned as an alternate site of engagement, where refugee-led initiatives could advance collaboration amongst each other as well as with their allies and supporters in governments, international NGOs, private sector, and international organisations. An estimated 300 people came to the space per day. It was organised by Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table, the Global Refugee-led Network, Asylum Access, Resourcing Refugee Leadership Initiative, Asia Pacific Network of Refugees, and Refugees International. It was supported by Open Society Foundations and Robert Bosch Stiftung, as well as joined by Porticus, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and Local Engagement Refugee Research Network.

The initiative filled a critical gap at the GRF 2023, where progress has been made regarding the scope and scale of refugee participation as compared to the GRF 2019, yet which did not offer a genuinely refugee-led space. R-Space demonstrated the important contribution of such a space in advancing refugee participation, which, in turn improves global solidarity and refugee protection. As the Global Compact on Refuges states: “Responses are most effective when they actively and meaningfully engage those they are intended to protect and assist”. It will be hard to imagine not having such a space in the GRF 2027 and related meetings.