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Progress in the European Parliament towards protected status for T/Is
On January 31, 2018, our international language coalition was fully represented at a cross-party hearing in the European Parliament on how to protect former interpreters in conflict zones. Linda Fitchett, chair of the AIIC Conflict Zone Interpreter Group (who was instrumental in organizing the hearing), and Maya Hess from Red T spoke on behalf of the coalition and advocated for a UN Resolution as well as better protective policies for linguists left behind in war zones or stranded across Europe.
Maya Hess (Red T) and Linda Fitchett (AIIC) listen as MEP Ana Gomes opens the hearing. Photo credit: European Parliament
Our coalition is grateful that the next big step has been taken towards achieving protected-person status for linguists at risk. We would like to express our gratitude to MEP Marisa Matias for spearheading the hearing and advancing our cause. We also want to thank MEPs Ana Gomes, Carlos Coelho, and Ernest Urtasun for their commitment. MEP Ana Gomes, who cohosted the hearing, noted that “it is amazing interpreters are only trying to get the same low level of fragile protection as journalists” and acknowledged the “great responsibility to steer through the European Parliament a Human Rights urgency resolution asking EU governments to get them UN protection status.” MEP Carlos Coelho closed his address by exclaiming, “It is time Europe delivers!”
To listen to the hearing, click on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfV612v_ddk&feature=youtu.be