Protecting the rights of refugees in Europe: Farah Abdullahi Abdi

Peace Award Winner 2015, Category "The Unknown Peaceworker"

He courageously denounces breaches of human rights suffered by refugees and fights for the dignity of migrants: Farah Abdullahi Abdi from Somalia. In a blog, the young man tells of the problems faced by asylum seekers, whom he also represents in front of the European Union.

He is a beacon of hope for many who have difficulties making themselves heard: Farah Abdullahi Abdi, a young refugee from Somalia who suffered months of trial for a life in Europe. His escape led Farah from Kenya through Uganda, South Sudan and Libya to Malta, where he currently campaigns for the rights and recognition of asylum seekers.

An odyssey of humiliation

Farah AbdiBorn in 1995 in Central Somalia, Farah Abdullahi grew up in Kenya. He became aware of his sexual orientation at an early age. Homosexuality is a crime in many African states and so, at the age of 16, he left his native country and headed for Europe. He was taken prisoner on his flight through several different countries, was mistreated and had to graft for months without pay on construction sites, until at last he managed to escape from Libya to Malta across the Mediterranean Sea.

Although he was a minor, Farah was put under house arrest on Malta. He was soon released as he spoke such good English and was able to communicate very well. However, it had become clear to him that the dignity of refugees is permanently violated in Europe. For this reason, he regulary publishes on the Blog of "Malta today" and has become the mouthpiece for many migrants whose problems he describes.

For human rights and human dignity

Farah AbdiToday, Farah no longer has to hide his homosexuality and the humiliation of exploitive work is also a thing of the past. What remains is the threat posed by the locals as he also fights for the right to be valued as fellow human beings, both he himself and other asylum seekers.

On account of his commitment, Farah is the victim of hostility, ridicule and even violence almost on a daily basis. But he does not lose his courage: in cooperation with terre des hommes, he is planning a campaign for unaccompanied minors. He spoke to members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, and called for an end to the detention of unaccompanied minors in front of the United Nations in Geneva. In his diary “From Chains to Freedom”, Farah tells of the difficult years of his young life. He made his personal fate public and in doing so, appeals for understanding for the plight of many unheard refugees throughout the whole world.