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Who has the responsibility of protecting the Rights of migrants? Eduardo Cabrita, in charge of welcoming and integrating Refugees in Portugal, asked the question during the introduction of a debate at third day of the Estoril Conferences 2017. Former Minister of Justice of India, Ashwani Kumar, Maria da Conceição, a Portuguese established in Bangladesh and founder of the Maria Cristina Foundation for Children and Nabil al-Tikriti, Vice-President of dos Médecins sans Frontières US took part in the debate.

Eduardo Cabrita said he felt “privileged” because he lives in a country where the phenomenon of Migration does not spark major controversies. “I never heard, in our Parliament, one single voice using a xenophobe tone or people expressing populist points of view and advocating restrictions to migration.”
Cabrita also pointed out the great example Portugal gave and still shows when it comes to welcoming and integrating Refugees, a country whose practices are among the best in Europe, second only to Sweden. 
Ashwani Kumar on his side, referred that never before “we had to deal with 65 milion forced to migrate and leave their countries of origin.”
“Should not wealthier countries assume the responsibility from an ethical point of view, of allocate resources to help the reestablishment of those who had to abandon their homeland? “ 
Maria da Conceição’s speech was cheered by the audience. This young Portuguese woman left a comfortable life as an airline stewardess in Dubai to help street children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 
She became a sportswoman to raise funds to help her Foundation, the Maria Cristina Foundation for Children, named after her adoptive mother, an African widow migrant, with six children, who raised her. 
Nabil Al-Tikriti, vice-president of Medecins Sans Frontieres in the US, told the floor about a trip he took to Libya, to help migrants that escape different conflicts:
“These people get to Libya, coming from different countries, such as Eritrea or Sudan and they are abducted, they suffer from abuse and they go through starvation. They must pay around 7 thousand euros to travel in dangerous routes around the Mediterranean with no safety at all,” he said. 

The Estoril Conferences initiative (now in its 5th year) has become a dialogue cluster for leaders, thinkers and opinion makers from around the world, aimed at responding to issues related to Globalization. The Estoril Conferences are organized by the Estoril Institute for Global Dialogue, with the support of the Cascais Municipality and of the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic. The 2017 edition takes place between May 29th and 31th, at the Estoril Congress Center, in Cascais.

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