Speaking Up, Not Talking Down (MigNet Ideas Salon 3)

Posted on 29 May 2019

University of York Migration Network is hosting 'Speaking Up, Not Talking Down' event alongside our third annual Ideas Salon.

University of York Migration Network is hosting 'Speaking Up, Not Talking Down' event alongside our third annual Ideas Salon, this year being part of the Refugee Week York. In this event, refugees and asylum seekers will be joined by lawyers, therapists, interpreters, humanitarian aid representatives and researchers from the University of York Migration Network (MigNet) to discuss the challenges of reporting and representing the experience of persecution, trauma and finding sanctuary in the face of the enduring hostile environment of Britain’s immigration system.

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Abdiaziz A. Ibrahim was the managing editor of Dalsan Radio and senior producer at Horn Afric Radio in Mogadishu. Abdiaziz was a fellow at the Centre for Applied Human Rights University of York and continued to speak out against Somalia’s crackdown on media and human rights issues despite being detained in January 2013 and later charged and convicted with insulting the government for interviewing a woman in an IDP camp who alleged soldiers had raped her. As someone who was born at a time of civil war he compelled himself to give a voice to the vulnerable people and because of this he conducted several research projects on human rights abuses and assisted international human rights organisations. 

He is a refugee who is trying to cope with his new life in the UK with his wife and two young children.


Esme Madill began her career as a social worker working with those affected by HIV and AIDS. For nearly 20 years she offered consultancy services to the not-for-profit sector. Her clients included Comic Relief, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Adfam, as well as grassroots refugee community groups. She is the co-founder of Refugee Action York and End Child Detention Now. Since 2004, Esme has worked with Shpresa Programme, supporting the Albanian speaking community in London.

In recent years Esme has struggled to find good quality legal representation for clients. As a consequence she decided to retrain as an immigration practitioner. She completed the LPC in 2015 and has a Justice First Fellowship training contact with MiCLU at Islington Law Centre. Esme will be accompanied by and in conversation with two young asylum seeking volunteers from MiCLU & Shpresa Programme’s Breaking the Chains campaign.


Hussein Mursal is specialist in programme management and policy development and he has held senior leadership positions for MERLIN, Save the Children, UNHCR and WHO in several countries across Europe, Asia and Africa.

He is a multi-linguist with a passion for promoting knowledge and skill sharing between the Northern & Southern Hemisphere and a great advocate for children to exercise their rights at all times and a fierce fighter against global poverty.

Hussein brings with him over three decades of a unique combination of skills and experience evidenced by leadership of large diverse teams, successful programme development and influencing decision makers to embrace child friendly and pro-poor policies in the areas of health, education, protection and livelihood.

He has been recently working with the Alzheimer’s Society and community based Somali organisations on engagement with Black and other minorities on equality, diversity & inclusion for service users in London and the Northeast Region.


Ann Salter is a psychotherapist specialising in work with children, young people and families who are survivors of torture. She has worked for a UK NGO that provides rehabilitation tor survivors of torture for the past 7 years. Previous to this she worked for a number of 3rd sector organisations as a psychotherapist with refugees and people seeking asylum.

Ann is committed to human rights, and considers a human rights approach to be a fundamental part of her work. She was drawn to volunteer with Colleagues across Borders as a way of being able to engage in dialogue with colleagues who are on the frontline of psychosocial work with refugees in North Africa.

Ann carries out training and supervision with practitioners and organisations across the UK, and teaches on a child and adolescent psychotherapy course. She has published on psychotherapeutic work with separated young people, and has been involved with the Colleagues Across Borders initiative for over 2 years.


Shpresa means “hope” in Albanian, and Shpresa Programme is a user-led organisation that works to promote the integration of the Albanian community in the UK using a family approach, providing holistic services through partnership work. 

Shpresa Programme works in partnership with a range of organisations, especially mainstream schools and specialist providers, and has received a number of awards, such as the Queen's Award for Volunteering 2006, the Special Distinction Award in 2014 for the supplementary school’s project, a Gold Award for youth provision from London Youth in 2014, and an Eagle Award for outstanding support to the Albanian Community in the UK from the Albanian Government in 2016. In 2016, Shpresa also received the Marsh Award for their Outstanding Contribution to the Fight Against Modern Slavery.

Location: York Medical Society, 23 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW 

The event is open to all although space is limited. Please register your attendance and we look forward to seeing you there.