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Monday, December 7, 2015

IHL Film Series: Unaccompanied Minors, Human Rights and Dignity in "The Good Lie"


For the Lost Boys of Sudan, the thousands of minors displaced during Sudan's Second civil war, escaping their home country meant surviving dangers like wild animals, starvation, and active war zones. But the challenges don't end for unaccompanied minors once they reach their host nation, as the 2014 film, "The Good Lie," shows. The film, which depicts the travails of several Sudanese Lost Boys as they travel from Sudan to resettle in the U.S., is December's installment of the International Humanitarian Law Film Series, screening Thursday, Dec. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

"The Good Lie" explores the lives of Sudanese refugees Mamere, Paul, Jeremiah, Theo and Abital as they resettle in the United States. Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon) is a career counselor whose experience providing vocational assistance only partially prepares her for the challenges of helping the young men from a village in Sudan adjust to American life. With Carrie's help, the Lost Boys navigate the American job market, youth culture and refugee-resettlement bureaucracy with varying degrees of success and failure.

While the film garnered some criticism for its "Hollywood" treatment of the Sudanese minor refugee crisis, it reveals important insights into the difficulties faced by young refugees in their host nations. As the U.S. faces a continuing need for refugee resettlement services, "The Good Lie" offers enduring lessons for Americans whose communities may soon be home to adult and minor refugees alike.

 Unaccompanied minor refugees are among the most vulnerable refugee populations, and require comprehensive and nuanced support once they arrive in a host country. The International Committee for the Red Cross works extensively with unaccompanied minor refugees to relocate displaced family members, provide shelter and medical care, and offer legal and social services.

The film presentation will be followed by snacks and a round-table discussion on International Humanitarian Law and the preservation of human dignity among those fleeing armed conflict, particularly minor children. To RSVP to the event, click here. For more information, contact Tim Bothe.

Join our Film Club and Receive Free Gifts and Benefits!

Between November 2015 and April 2016, attend at least three IHL film series screenings and receive a free Red Cross first-aid kit. Attend at least five and be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a Red Cross disaster supplies kit!

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