Policy meetings and seminars
Consultative Meeting - Supporting Young Refugees in Transition to Adulthood through Youth Work and Youth Policy
Online meeting 16-17 June 2020
The Youth Department organised this consultative meeting to identify, prioritise and further organise the ways to support the implementation of the measures proposed by the Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)4 through youth policy and youth work.
The consultative meeting, and the resulting report, has outlined the needs and challenges faced by young refugees and youth organisations working with young refugees, highlighting the exacerbation of many already complex challenges as a result of the ongoing pandemic. The report has also provided a range of good practice examples to inspire increased action to support young refugees and newcomers during the transition to adulthood and the pandemic. Finally, the report has laid out proposals to the Council of Europe, Member States and youth organisations working with young refugees to ensure the successful implementation of the Recommendation.
Conference " Taking young refugees and asylum seekers seriously"
Brussels, Belgium - 14 February 2020
Youth work, volunteer work, sports activities are among the best answers to support young refugees and migrants – newcomers in the city – to develop and expand their social networks. Social networks are key to overcome isolation and loneliness of newcomers, especially minors. This applies both to accompanied and unaccompanied minors, as communicated by Minne Huysmans, Free University of Brussels, in a study about attitudes, supporting networks and projects for newcomers in Belgium.
Taking young refugees seriously is about looking at them as young people, with resources and potential, and not just as refugees in need. “We need to implement what the Council of Europe Recommendation on Protection of Refugees in Transition to Adulthood proposes”, stressed Drahoslav Štefánek, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on Migration and Refugees. He echoed the call of Julie Bynens, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Flanders, that social inclusion of refugees is a task for the whole society.
The conference Taking Young Refugees Seriously was co-organised by the Council of Europe Youth Department with the Vrij Universiteit Brussel and the Flemish Department of Media, Culture and Youth as part of the project Youth.Together.
- Young newcomers at the crossroads of new beginnings, by Minne Huysmans
- Policies and practices in the Council of Europe, by Rui Gomes
Summer school: Young refugees as actors for social inclusion and intercultural dialogue
Braga, Portugal - August 2017
Co-organised with the Global Platform for Syrian Students, in cooperation with Kiron - Open Higher Education for Refugees and Voice of Young Refugees in Europe.
The Summer School follows on the experience and proposals of the 2016 seminar to develop the capacities of young refugees as actors and agents of change in their communities. It is based on the principles of empowerment and participation of young refugees and it aims at reinforcing resilience and leadership skills. It supported social inclusion of young refugees in Europe by developing participants’ competences in their role as multipliers for youth participation, democratic citizenship and intercultural dialogue.
The specific objectives included:
- To share and reflect on the situation and challenges faced by young refugees in Europe
- To strengthen participants understanding and practical knowledge in the areas of democratic citizenship, dialogue, conflict transformation and leadership
- To enhance participants motivation and abilities for entrepreneurship and social/youth projects in their communities
- To provide participants with a wide range of soft skills that can enhance the creative and innovative capacities of young people in ways that are relevant to building resilient societies and not just in relation to employability
- To support networking among refugees and other students and youth organisations
- To enhance the credibility, visibility and sustainability of youth work with refugees and provide input to the policy of the Council of Europe and partners in this respect.
Seminar Social inclusion of refugee students and their role in intercultural dialogue
Strasbourg - France – 11-16 July 2016
Social inclusion of refugee students and their role in intercultural dialogue is the focus of the seminar which took place at the European Youth Centre. This joint initiative by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and the Global Platform for Syrian Students gathered participants from youth and refugees’ organisations across Europe who discussed the challenges that refugee students face and ways of addressing them.
What Rights and Responsibilities at age eighteen?
Regional Seminar to develop inter-sectorial cooperation in assisting refugees and asylum-seekers in transition to adulthood.
The regional seminar “What Rights and Responsibilities at age eighteen?” held in Budapest (Hungary) in November 2015 was co-organised by the Youth Department of the Council of Europe and the UNHCR Representation to Central Europe.
It brought together twenty-five participants from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia including young refugees, representatives of state agencies, national civil society organisations and international networks, locally based service organisations for young asylum-seekers and refugees and the Council of Europe and the UNHCR. The regional seminar focused only on the situation in the above-mentioned eight countries in Central Europe.
The regional seminar aimed to develop inter-sectorial cooperation between State Agencies, NGO’s, young refugees and asylum-seekers from eight Central European countries to support Unaccompanied and separated Asylum seeking or Refugee Children (USASRC) in transition to adulthood.