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Having worked for more than three years running programmes both in Syria and with Syrian refugees, Rae McGrath is looking to share his experience of the situation of Syrian refugees and to have an informed discussion about this in the context of the current crisis in Europe.

Founder of the Mines Advisory Group in 1989, and a co-founder in 1992 of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Rae is an internationally acknowledged expert on the impact of landmines and cluster munitions on relief and humanitarian efforts in the Balkans, Africa, and Asia, and a frequent lecturer on conflict and humanitarian issues.

Of his current work, Rae says:

“My day-to-day work involves leading a multi-national team to deliver humanitarian aid to communities in frontline, bombarded and besieged areas and thus I seek solutions to maintaining the impartiality of humanitarian assistance, including resisting the tendency for international donors to impose irrational limitations which could limit our ability to save lives. I am interested in any initiatives which call for revisions of IHL which would address the now common military strategy of indiscriminate bombardments which take cynical advantage of the indistinct terminology of IHL and totally disregard the requirement of the Treaty of Vienna for parties to apply the terms of treaties (in this case especially API articles 51 and 57). Pacta sunt servanda. Our work with refugees in the Aegean region raises some challenging views which tend to run counter to the popular perceptions of the ‘European Migration Crisis’. ”