PROMOTING REFUGEE INTEGRATION SUPPORT THROUGH YOUTH ENGAGEMENT: 1951 CONVENTION AND NOWADAYS’ REFUGEES
The project aims to promote better acceptance of European decisions for refugees in host communities through:
- creation of discussion forums around key concerns in Europe due to refugee emergency, and
- development of tools for youth engagement in refugee integration at (trans) national level.
The need for the project stems from the changing environment in Europe to the application of the 1951 Convention since the time of its adoption to address the plight of the World War II refugees. In 2015, Europe faced a refugee movement unprecedented since the WWII. Only the exodus resulting from war and suffering in the former Yugoslavia presented similar challenges for Europe. While these movements originated from Europe, the current ones are non-European and met with raising intolerance towards refugees and proliferation of a variety of new restrictions in European countries, some raising concerns in the context of the 1951 Convention. Furthermore, these developments hinder and not facilitate the integration of incoming refugees. In addition, recent EU decisions to help refugees were opposed from several new Member States.
This situation calls for a need to:
- raising remembrance of the 1951 Convention and creating awareness on its crucial importance in the context of nowadays’ needs, and
- mobilize mutual understanding on refugee protection in Europe and spread tolerance at local communities through youth.
Our main message with this project is our PROMISE
- to host societies – to explain why it is important to protect refugees;
- to refugees – that we will support them;
- to youth – that their role is important and they shape their societies they want to live in;
- to politicians – that the meaning of the 1951 Convention is not lost in today’s Europe and its remains as a crucial instrument in ensuring access to asylum and rights of refugees.
The project will employ a combination of public debates and European conference on most pertinent refugee issues and the meaning of the 1951 Refugee Convention today, creation of (trans)national network of youth motivated to support refugees, tools for municipalities and engagement of youth in integration of refugees. The project will bring together research institutions, local authorities, youth organizations and NGOs from six countries (involving those most opposed to the European solutions for today’s refugees), which will also ensure the European dimension of the project. Overall, it will employ a combination of public debates, creation of networks and development of tools that will ensure the sustainability of the project beyond its actual duration and dissemination beyond the project countries. Furthermore, in a long run this will promote tolerance, mutual and better understanding of refugee plight between citizens from different EU Member States and foster more welcoming conditions for refugees in the EU.