The Dublin Pitfall 

The Dublin Pitfall addresses the consequences of the Dublin Regulation on Syrian refugees in Europe. 

Documentary by Rime El Jadidi – 2015 – Moroccan – 30 minutes 


Le monde est comme ça or, translated: The world is like that

The film that follows explores the destiny of five of the protagonists in the film ‘Special Flight’ whose fate is to be deported from Switzerland. Being paperless migrants, they were uprooted from their host country and torn away from their children. Back in Senegal, Kosovo, Gambia and Cameroon, they found themselves totally destitute, excluded from their families and sometimes even tortured. This film is an intimate portrait of these broken men bearing witness to the brutality of the migration policy in Switzerland and in Europe

Documentary by Fernand Melgar – 2013 – Switzerland – 50 minutes

Vol Spécial/ Special flight

A nine month immersion in the administrative detention centre of Geneva, one of the 28 deportation centres for the paperless in Switzerland.

Each year, thousands of men and women in Switzerland are imprisoned without trial or sentence. Simply because they stay in the country illegally, they may be deprived of liberty for up to eighteen months before being deported.

Documentary by Fernand Melgar – 2011 – Switzerland – 135 minutes


Sound of Torture

Documentary that focuses on the plight of Eritrean refugees kidnapped in the Sinai.

Between the desert and the fire

Parenting the Missing

The ICRC recently estimated that more than 12,000 persons disappeared during the Government of Uganda – Lord’s Resistance Army conflict. Their whereabouts remain unknown to date.

This 15 minutes documentary is helping to break this silence: Four parents of missing persons voice what it means to them to suffer ambiguous and unclear loss. They recount their emotional hardships, their difficulties in life, and their perceptions of blame and forgiveness.

Stateless – Stop Rwanda Cessation

STATELESS from Scott Erlinder on Vimeo.

Rightful Yet Right-Less – Orkidea Productions

Rightful Yet Right-less – A documentary by Juliana Tafur from Orkidea Productions on Vimeo.

A film by Director/Writer Juliana Tafur from 2007

The Body Snatchers – SBS Australia

Fouad Hady presents a disturbing report from Sinai in northern Egypt which documents the link between the kidnappings of refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan and the international trade in human organs. The documentary follows the work of the  New Generation Foundation For Human Rights in Arish which helps refugees with health care, nutrition and burial preparation. This SBS production from Australia should serve to increase awareness of the horrors and the need to end these atrocities.  A recent court case in Israel sheds light on the kidnapping and abuse of refugees and the extortion of ransoms from families in Israel. See also the information resource provided by The America Team for Displaced Eritreans which is presided over by John Stauffer.

Gender Against Men – The Refugee Law Project

“Voted Best Documentary 2009” – Kenya International Film Festival. This documentary explores “the hidden world of sexual and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes region.” It is a movie about men, violence, and the inability of society to recognise or address male vulnerability in times of conflict. The movie is intended to raise as many questions as it gives answers in its quest for an honest examination of the gender stereotypes underlying mainstream approaches to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). 

Gender Against Men – The Refugee Law Project

Gender against Men from forced migration on Vimeo.

A film that exposes the hidden world of sexula and gender-based violence against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes Region. (2008. Running time: 38 minutes)

On the day Yafa`s refugees return – Zochrot 

A film from Oxfam partner Zochrot exploring the attitudes of local Israelis towards both African and Palestinian refugees in Jaffa, Israel, and asking them to consider the prospect of the return of the town’s refugees. This film was made in February 2010.

Voices of Shadows – Ahmed Alkady

Winner of the ‘Al Jazeera Golden Award’, 3rd Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival 2007.

This film was made by Ady El Kady, an Egyptian filmmaker. He can be contacted at, or by Skype: ady_kady. 


 The Refugee Law Project – Makerere University

A Community Video Outreach Project of the Faculty of Law, Makerere University (2007) Refugee Law Project from forced migration  accessible on Vimeo here 

Getting Out – The Refugee Law Project

Getting Out was produced by the Refugee Law Project in 2011 in collaboration with the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law. It is a documentary following the stories of 5 individuals seeking to escape persecution on the grounds of their gender or sexual preference. Shot in Uganda, South Africa, Geneva and London, the film is 60 minutes and is viewable in 2 parts.

“Getting Out” Part. 1 from SRLAN on Vimeo.

Getting out (Part 2) from SRLAN on Vimeo.

World Refugee Day – Student Action For Refugees

This video is a 12 minute presentation of some of the highlights of World Refugee Day. We present it for two reasons. The first being that we hope it will inspire others to organize similar events which allow refugees of all nationalities to present artistic performances to, and share their food with their hosts. Second: we hope students from universities around the world will write  and request permission to use their name to organize similar student clubs. They can take their inspiration from AUC students in Cairo. World Refugee Day only happens once a year. Throughout the year, however, AUC students and refugee members of STAR organize language courses in Arabic and English for refugee throughout Greater Cairo, arrange for refugees to sell handicrafts on the campus, and provide tutoring for children and adults.

113 Feat. Reda Taliani: Partir Loin (2005)

First recorded in 2005 this Algerian rap song exhibits the the desires of young adults from north Africa to travel, despite prevention from attaining visas. The lyrics are provided in French and English.

Welcome to Malaysia – SBS Australia

Produced for SBS Dateline in Australia, this short documentary uncovers the conditions in Malaysia’s notorious refugee detention centres.

Rwanda and the Cessation Clause (2011)

Signed by the governments of Uganda and Rwanda and the UNHCR representative for Uganda the Cessation Clause assumes that ethnic unity and stability in Rwanda is such that refugees will no longer require their status. Left unchanged this will come in to effect on the 31st of December 2011. Note: This date has now be delayed by UNHCR to June 2013. This short film includes testimonies which challenge the assumptions that Rwanda is safe for all refugees to return.

Rwanda and the Cessation Clause (Widescreen)

Refugees – Ruth Diskin Films

A 2008 Israeli film documenting the influx of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border in to Israel in 2007, and the reactions of citizens and politicians. The film focuses on the personal stories of two refugees, both from Darfur and one with his family. The film is an hour and ten minutes long, and is viewable here in three parts. Permission to stream the film here is given by the global distributor  Ruth Diskin Films . Information on this film is available at .

Refugees (Part 1)

Refugees (Part 2)

Refugees (Part 3)

Invisible Citizens – Frontiers Ruwad Association 

This film is about statelessness in Lebanon. It also shows examples of those whose nationality is “under study”, orphans, children of Lebanese women married to stateless persons, children born outside marriage or from marriages not registered.

Frontiers Ruwad Association was established to defend the rights of refugees and stateless persons in Lebanon. The film is in Arabic with English and French subtitles.

The following recommended documentaries about issues affecting refugees are not available to view in full online. Links to trailers and excerpts are provided, along with details of how to purchase the films on DVD.

Needed but Unwanted: Haitians in the Dominican Republic – Susan Farkas

In this film, Producer/Director Susan Farkas tells the stories of people like Wendy Batista, a 17-year-old of Haitian descent who can’t comprehend why, since he was born in the Dominican Republic and has lived there all his life, the government won’t give him papers and allow him to become a citizen. Evelin Perez Matos describes how her Haitian-born husband was abruptly deported last summer, leaving her to raise six children alone. “I don’t know if he’ll return,” she says. “I know nothing.” Others, like Edowane Pierre-Paul, fled to Haiti when the Dominican Republic began clamping down on those without formal status last June and now raise their families in tents in squalid border camps. Experts say the Dominican Republic’s policy amounts to a gross human rights violation, while the government says it has every right to control who is allowed to live in the country. (Source: IRIN)

The Witches of Gambaga – Yaba Badoe and Amina Mama

Directed and produced by British documentary film maker Yaba Badoe and also produced by Nigerian feminist activist Amina Mama. The film documents the story of around 100 women condemned to live as “witches” in a camp in Gambaga, northern Ghana. Women banished from their homes amid accusations of withcraft take refuge in camps run by “Gambarana”, who are beleived to have the ability to cleanse women of wtichcraft so that they may be returned home, all be it under conditons akin to house arrest. The film won best documentary at theBlack International Film Festival 2010 and was on the official selection of the Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou 2011. It is available to buy on DVD from the  website , where there is also a  trailer  to view. A longer excerpt from the film is available at .

Please Don’t Say My Name – Karen Zusman

Journalist Karen Zusman travelled to Burma in 2004 to practice Buddhist meditation, but discovered the side of the country the authorities tried to obscure: the forced conscription of children, and their forced labour. Returning in the aftermath of the uprising in 2007, she found people emboldened to talk, and when she left Burma for Kuala Lumpur in order to interview recent Burmese refugees able to speak more freely about life in Burma, she came across a reality facing many Burman refugees on arrival in Malaysia to be equally as tragic. The Malaysian Government (not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention) denied the existence of any refugees in their country, and its organs were heavily involved in the extortion and trafficking of Burmese refugees and migrants. The audio documentary is  available on the website , as are some  short films of the sale of Burmese refugees in Malaysia , and  ways to help and donate .

In Search of My Home – Infochange Media Fellowships 2009/Centre for Communication and Development Studies, Pune, India

This film focuses on two families struggling to get by in an India that still fails to ratify the Refugee Convention. One has fled Burma and ekes out an existence insufficient to pay for the medical care desperately needed by the sick mother. They have failed to gain refugee status from UNHCR, and consequently live their lives on the fringes, unable to educate their children, and reliant on the charity of church friends to aid their survival. The second are Afghans, the father a former kite seller who was forced to leave Kabul under threat from the Taliban, to find themselves in a country which presumes them to be just that. We see Mohd. Masoud and his large family of ten struggle to get by on so little, facing discrimination in accessing accomodation, working all hours and yet continually behind on the school fees. But the difference is that Masoud and his family have refugee status, and though this has little financial benefit, it does mean he has been assisted in finding a job, and is able to access healthcare for himself and his family and education for his children. With only one attempt at gaining refugee status, and one chance to appeal, the odds are stacked critically against those hoping to claim asylum in the world’s largest democracy. What shines through is the Indian state’s incapacity and apparent unwillingness to address the situation whilst refugees continue to arrive on a daily basis from war-ravaged and despotic countries in the region.

DVDs of the film are available for purchase for two US dollars each and all proceeds from the sales will be shared between the two refugee families in the film. The film also has a  Facebook page  which includes images from the film, trailers and other info about the film.

‘Malaysia: Refugees for Sale’ Unreported World  – Channel 4

First Broadcast: Friday 20 Nov 2009, Channel 4 (UK)

Unreported World reveals shocking evidence that Burmese refugees fleeing the country’s brutal military regime are being detained and then allegedly sold by Malaysian immigration officials to Thai human traffickers. Reporter Aidan Hartley and director George Waldrum travel to Kuala Lumpur to highlight how the refugees are forced to exchange one hellish existence for another. Living in complete fear of the state, the refugees claim they are being rounded up and subjected to bloody whippings and indefinite imprisonment in overcrowded detention camps. As Unreported World reveals, for some this is just the beginning of a horrific journey into the trafficking network, where men, women and children disappear into a world of slavery and prostitution.

Other remarkable documentaries from the  Unreported World series are available on the Channel 4  website though may only be available to UK viewers.

Escape from the World’s Most Dangerous Place – Samira Hashi

This film, Escape From the World’s Most Dangerous Place’, made by BBC, gives a picture of the modern situation in Somalia, Somaliland, and in the surrounding refugee camps in Ethiopia. It does this through the eyes of Samira Hisham, a young Somali fashion model in London who, with her mother and other children, escaped Somali when she was a tiny baby. A short part of the film at the end deals with Female Genital Mutilation as experienced by most Somali women – escaped by Samira Hisham. 

Looking for humanitarian videos? Here are 7 videos collected by UNHCR that will assist you see the plight of refugees and asylum seekers through a different lens, all in one place.