A year ago this blog featured an invitation to Experience Life as a Refugee at Davos. Some commentators and myself criticized the Refugee Run as an insensitive fund-raising event by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR listened to the criticism -- and repeated the event this year at Davos. (HT Rex Brynen at PAXSIMS.)
The Refugee Run provides a snapshot of the often terrifying ordeal suffered by people forced to flee their homes because of violence or persecution. In Davos, the unique simulation is being used to help some of the world's most influential people understand the plight of refugees and internally displaced people, empathize with them and support the efforts of UNHCR to help them.
Participants face a range of scenarios, including fleeing a rebel attack, navigating a minefield, .... facing up to potential sex traffickers...
Lord Mark Malloch Brown, the former UN deputy secretary-general and one-time UNHCR staff member, was among those who have taken the run this week.... "this is a compelling way to remind one of what it's like," he said, after completing the hour-long exercise. "I felt helpless all the time, and very exposed," he added.