Several public initiatives will take place throughout Geneva in the lead-up and during the first Global Refugee Forum.

These activities involve refugees and residents alike to illustrate the vital role the city and civil society organizations play in welcoming and integrating refugees and highlight Switzerland’s engagement as a co-host of the forum in bringing the spirit of solidarity of the Global Compact into action.

The programme


  • at the Christmas Market, Noël aux Bastions, 4-21 December
  • at Bongénie-Grieder store, 6 December-4January

Powerful stories and incredible craftsmanship are at the heart of MADE51, a global brand of artisanal home décor and accessories that are crafted by refugees. These beautiful products, which merge contemporary design with traditional skills, will be on sale at the Noel aux Bastions’ Christmas market for the first time. 

Go to full programme

Pont du Mont-Blanc

  • 16-19 December

Flags of the Global Refugee Forum will be placed on the Pont du Mont-Blanc, along with Swiss and Geneva flags, to highlight the City’s involvement and the role of Switzerland as a co-host of the Forum, supporting local refugee integration and humanitarian principles worldwide.

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Jet d’Eau Lighting

  • Quai Gustave-Ador
  • 17 December

Geneva will mark the first day of the Forum with the spectacular lighting of the city’s iconic Jet d’Eau in blue in the evening of 17 December.

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Les Bains Solidaires

  • Lunch at Bains des Pâquis
  • 16 December, from 12:30 pm onwards

A popular eat-out, the Bains des Pâquis opens its doors to refugees by offering them lunch on the occasion of the Forum. Join them on 16 December for a friendly lunch break.

Event in collaboration with the Hospice général

To book a table, call: +41 22 738 16 16

Refugee art in Pâquis

  • Bains des Pâquis
  • 15 & 19 December, from 7:30 pm onwards

Two cabins of the Bains des Pâquis, decorated by refugee artists and students, will be inaugurated on 15 and 19 December for the Advent Calendar. Both cabins will be opened at 7:30 pm.

Welcome glass offered by Bains des Pâquis.

Event in collaboration with the University of Geneva and the Hospice général.

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Solidarity Train

  • 16-18 December

A train will be travelling across France to spread a message of solidarity and refugee inclusion. The train’s mobile exhibition is meant to foster action around the refugee cause. Activities involve school visits and exchanges around the topic of forced displacement at every station where the train will stop. The train will reach Geneva on the eve of the Forum on 16 December and will be open to visitors until 18 December.

See the programme in France

University Forum

  • University of Geneva, Uni Mail
  • 16 December, 1:30- 5:30 pm

This event dedicated to refugee higher education as one of the Forum’s areas of focus will showcase interventions and lectures along three stands: the first one will explore the point of view of refugee students; the second one will showcase European student initiatives and the third stand will focus on the engagement of civil society.

Event organized in collaboration with Unige’s Horizon Academic, In Zone, and the European Student Association.

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‘Art Stands with Refugee Women’ Exhibition

  • Place de Neuve and Rue du Mont-Blanc 18
  • 16-18 December

On the occasion of the first-ever Global Refugee Forum, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, presents a series of posters in collaboration with internationally acclaimed and socially engaged artists including Alfredo Jaar, Tania Bruguera, Miriam Cahn and François Burland – and many others, at Place de Neuve and Rue du Mont-Blanc 18. The series, originally produced for World Refugee Day 2019 at the Art Basel fair, features several refugees among participating artists and aims at raising awareness about the strength and resilience of refugee women and girls.

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‘Messages of Hope’: Play, Learn and Share

  • Place des Nations
  • 17-18 December

A live experience, brought by the Lego Foundation on the occasion of the Forum, will showcase stories and inspire on the power of learning through play. The experience will be combined with writing, drawing and illustrating messages of hope for millions of forcefully displaced children. Join the activation in Place des Nations on 17-18 December from 10 am to 4 pm and share your message of hope.

Find out more


GRF football flyer

Football Event

  • Ecole Internationale, Nations Campus, Geneva.
  • December 16 2019 - h 18:00 - 21:00