NGO FORUM
“New multicultural challenges: how can NGOs play their part?”
Istanbul, 24-25 March 2011

Preliminary summary of Workshop 3

Living together: social integration of young people from immigrant backgrounds

The workshop process on 24 March 2011

The workshop was conducted in three phases: the analytical phase with presentations on the situation of young Roma, and on the approach of the UN “Alliance of Civilizations”; the practical phase, with a debate on recommendations for good NGO action to promote the social integration of young people from immigrant background; and a debate of further-reaching strategic considerations for future NGO action in this area.

Recommendations and considerations for good NGO practice promoting the social integration of young people from immigrant background

The workshop discussed a certain number general principles of good NGO practice.

It was emphasised that all projects should involve, and be developed with, young people concerned; NGOs should not receive funding from public sources if this condition is not met. “Let young people tell their own story their own way”. Also, NGOs should be aware of the capacity of second or third-generation migrants to act as a “bridge” between the mainstream society and parent generations. Projects should be developed from the bottom up, not be developed top-down.

The debate then focussed on four major topics:

Changing the narrative

Influencing the policy agenda

Building competencies

Helping young migrants in need

In the second part of the workshop on 25 March 2011 we focused on three themes:

1. Which support is needed and which conditions should be met for NGOs to realise the goals mentioned in the title of the workshop?

2. Why keep the label immigrant alive?

3. Specific NGOs for young people from immigrant background or not?