University of Pittsburgh
October 1, 2008

The University of Pittsburgh to Host the 2008 Conference on Refugee Warehousing Oct. 10-12

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Nearly 9 million people around the world are victims of refugee warehousing. Many are confined to refugee camps for decades, while others are banned indefinitely from working. These victims are not criminals, but people fleeing persecution.

The 2008 Conference on Refugee Warehousing, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Oct. 10-12, will provide an opportunity for participants to learn more about refugee issues and join the global movement to end the human warehousing of refugees.

Keynote speakers Barbara Harrell-Bond, founder of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University and the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Program at the American University in Cairo, and Merrill Smith, director of International Planning and Analysis for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), will kick off the conference with a discussion on how to end this inhuman practice, at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland.

Saturday's events begin at 9 a.m. in Room 12, Chevron Science Center, 219 Parkman Ave., Oakland; Sunday's events begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. The conference is free and open to the public, however, registration is requested. To register, send an e-mail including full name, preferred e-mail address, phone number, and university/organization affiliation to

The conference is being organized by the FORGEPitt, the Pittsburgh branch of the nonprofit organization FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), with assistance from Pitt's Global Studies Program and the Anti-Warehousing Campaign of USCRI. Partners include Pitt's Department of Africana Studies; Pitt's STAND chapter, the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network; Keep It Real, a nonprofit volunteer-run program that aims to assist refugee families, particularly children, in taking up the opportunities that exist in their new home in the United States; the Pittsburgh Refugee Center; the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies; Amnesty International-Pittsburgh; and the Project to End Human Trafficking.

For more information, contact Veronica Dristas at 412-624-2918 or