London Met interpreting network is expanding access to advocacy and services to stateless people across Europe.
Date: 13 May 2021
London Met’s Conference Interpreting graduates and students are working with the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), a civil society alliance committed to ending statelessness which is made up of over 160 organisations and individual experts in 41 countries.
ENS works to ensure that everyone living in Europe without a nationality can access the rights they are entitled to under international law. They bring together stateless people living across Europe to participate in advocacy, to build relationships and solidarity, and inform the work of ENS, with virtual events taking place since the pandemic hit.
As it became clear that the calls were difficult to access for anyone who didn’t speak or understand English well, the London Met Interpreting network stepped in to help bridge this gap, making sure that Arabic and Spanish speaking stateless people can be included on the calls on an equal footing.
The ENS said: "A key part of our commitment to working together with stateless people is to address barriers to their participation, and we knew that some of the stateless individuals and communities with whom we were connected did not speak English.
"Working together with the London Metropolitan University’s Conference Interpreting graduates and students has enabled us to expand our reach among stateless people and community organisations, who have been able to start joining our monthly group sessions and building connections with other stateless people in the region.
"By volunteering their time to provide high-standard interpreting, London Met graduates and students have helped us to ensure that language is one less barrier to stateless people participating in ENS’ work and having their voices heard."
"At our most recent group session in March, Saharawi Collective Youth Association LEFRIG based in Spain were able to meet their peers and tell them about the situation for Saharawis in Spain, and some of the work the association is doing to support stateless Saharawis through Spain’s statelessness determination procedure.
"We are dedicated to working alongside stateless people and their communities to strengthen their voices and together advocate for full respect of their human rights."
One participant in the events, Aminetou, said, "I never dreamed that I would be able to meet with other stateless people like this".
Associate Professor Danielle D’Hayer, course leader MA Conference Interpreting at London Met stated: "For our graduates, this is an excellent opportunity to provide interpretation services. For our students, it is the perfect opportunity to observe their peers at work."