Today NIEM - All In For Integration partners met online to discuss how the current situation of COVID-19 outbreak and restricting measures implemented influence on the situation of asylum seekers, beneficiaries of international protection and migrants in Greece, Bulgaria, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, France and Poland.
Thank you all for such interesting discussion!
Looking forward to see you soon!
We, the signatories, call on the world leaders meeting at the General Assembly of the United Nations*, to dramatically reduce military spending in favor of healthcare and all social and environmental needs.
*Signatures will be brought to the United Nations General Assembly on the 1st day of the next session opening on September 15th 2020
Health Care Stress
Together with the International Peace Bureau, the world’s oldest peace organization and Nobel Prize winner, we are witnessing the consequences of irresponsible political decisions that have led to dramatic under-investment in healthcare. All over the world, health systems are reaching the limits of their strength and heroic front-line staff are under massive pressure. The coronavirus emergency shows the weakened state that our societies find themselves in: a world driven by financialization, shareholder value, and austerity has weakened our ability to defend the common good and placed human life in danger on a global scale.
Employees fearful of job and income loss are tempted to go to work sick. The elderly are vulnerable and need help. The virus hits the weakest hardest. Privatization, austerity measures, and the neoliberal system have brought local, regional and national health services to the brink of collapse.
We can already draw lessons for the future – healthcare is a human right for young and old, for all people in all parts of the world. Healthcare must never be slashed or subordinated in the pursuit of profit through privatization.
Time for a global social contract
The ILO reports on the labor market consequences with a potential loss of 25 million jobs, more than during the 2008 financial crisis. Working poverty is expected to increase significantly, affecting up to an additional 35 million individuals.
We support the efforts of the trade union movement globally and locally, in their call for a new social contract. We support their call for economic measures and resources to protect jobs, incomes, public services, and welfare.
The world spends US$ 1.8 trillion on military expenditure every year and is scheduled to spend 1 trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons in the next 20 years.
Militarization is the wrong path for the world to take; it fuels tensions and raises the potential for war and conflict. It aggravates already heightened nuclear tensions.
World leaders must put disarmament and peace at the center of policy making and develop a new agenda for disarmament that includes banning nuclear weapons. We reiterate our call for governments to sign up to the TPNW treaty.
Disarmament is a major key to the great transformation of our economies, to ensure that human beings and not profit are most valued; economies in which ecological challenges will be solved and global social justice will be pursued.
With disarmament, the implementation of the SDGs, a global social contract, and a new global green peace deal, we can address challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic.
We are calling the world leaders, meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, to act for a culture of peace. A peaceful path means that we need a global strategy, a global social contract, and global cooperation to ensure planet-wide support for people. This will be the human solidarity of the 21st century – for and with the people.
Our full statement is available on our website with translations in Spanish, French, German, Swedish, and Finish.
How do you choose who will live or die? At this time, when we all wear masks for our protection, it seems like many "masks" are falling. Being a migrant in Greece means not an equal citizen of the country. We, the migrants, do not have the right to live as Greek citizens live. We do not have the same rights, neither in health nor in welfare, nor in work, nor in education, nor in society and culture, nor in life, not even in death.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the government of Portugal has taken measures, with the spokeswoman of Internal Affairs Ministry, Claudia Veloso, announcing this: "People cannot be deprived of their basic right to health and welfare simply because their asylum procedure has not been completed. In these particular circumstances, the rights of refugees and migrants will be protected...". In a difficult time for humanity, even temporarily, migrants and refugees whose residency permits or asylum applications are pending respectively, both will be recognized as permanent residents of Portugal.
So we urge the institutions and the State of Greece to do the same, or even take it one step further. Let the Greek state acknowledge that we are permanent residents of Greece, and as equal citizens, we should finally have the right to protection, health and care, ALL of us, regardless. We should all have this right, both migrants and refugees who are pending applications for residence or asylum permits, as well as the irregular migrants, the invisible ones: undocumented women working indoors, in houses or hospitals, workers, also undocumented, in construction, catering services and restaurants, farming, etc.
We immediately demand the right to the protection, health and welfare of all people.
Athens, 01 April 2020
The Greek Forum of Migrants
ANTIGONE, COGAMI (Spain), ATA (Romania), and VRC (Lithuania) just completed the 2nd partner meeting of the project Artability+ that took place in Thessaloniki on the 4th and 5th of March 2020.
Artability+ is a three-year project aiming to empower persons with disabilities and increase their self-confidence through their participation in workshops on artistic techniques, creation and guiding of an art exhibition. The Project is financed by Erasmus+.
During the meeting the partners discussed about the flow of the activities and the next steps of the project
NIEM - procurement for researchers
Since March 2017, ‘ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Center on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence’ (ANTIGONE) is a partner of the European project “National Integration Evaluation Mechanism” (NIEM). NIEM is a six-year long transnational project which ends in September 2021, and aims to prepare key actors in the integration field in 15 EU Member States in order to better tackle current challenges and improve the integration outcomes of beneficiaries of international protection. Conflict situations tend to last longer and, currently, it takes on average 17 years before refugees fleeing war and conflict may have a chance to eventually return to their home country. Hence, the long-term integration of newly arrived beneficiaries of international protection is without alternative and presents an immediate challenge for European societies.
The Project Leader is the Foundation Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) (Poland) and the funding is from the European Union, Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).
ANTIGONE is looking for two (2) Researchers to support the NIEM Research activities.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to the participation in:
- Research activities (gathering & updating information, implementing & updating qualitative research and online surveys)
- Drafting contacts with relevant stakeholders
- Presenting research findings to high-level decision-makers, practitioners, media and the public
- Ensuring the dissemination of research results
- Preparation of reports based on the research findings
- One person with BSc, MSc and preferable PhD degree in Social Science or at least 10 years of relevant professional experience.
- One person with BSc, MSc and preferable PhD degree in Political Science or at least 10 years of relevant professional experience.
- Proven oral and written skills in English (preferably Proficiency in English)
- Strong communicational skills
- Capable of multi-tasking and well-organized
- Effective skills in working with colleagues at all levels
- Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work in changing environments
- Proven oral and written skills in another European language
The original contracts will be for March-April 2020. The contracts might be renewed according to the projects specific needs.
All interested candidates should bring a cv and fill in an application in the offices of ANTIGONE, on the 6th floor of 29A Ptolemaion street, Thessaloniki, Greece till Friday 28th of February 2020.
On December 16th, 2019, the teams of ANTIGONE and USB in Greece held their 1st Community Meeting within the BRIDGES Project, with the school community of the 12th Vocational School of Thessaloniki. 90 teenagers, from Afghanistan, Greece, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Guineen, Kourdistan, Albania and the Roma community, with their teachers, school principal and members of local organizations participated in the meeting.
The 12th Professional Vocational School of Thessaloniki (12th EPAL) is a school to the west of the city that embraces within Roma teenagers. Teenagers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Greece and other countries, refugees, immigrants.
We asked the children to work together, to engage in meaningful dialogue and to decide on joint creative work activities that they would like everyone to participate in.
Early results have shown that through this convergence begins the foundation of a communication bridge that helps in understanding and respecting one another.
Lefteris, a Roma boy from Dendropotamos, the largest Roma settlement in Greece, where 4,000 inhabitants live, confronting many and varied problems (delinquency, illiteracy, school leaks, drugs) was looking for a Professional School. He decided to be registered in the 12th EPAL, since his friends and brother are there and there is not professional school in his neighbourhood. He had heard that the teachers and the school community try their best, have experience and know how to behave to children who may have learning and language difficulties. Lefteris said for his involvement in BRIDGES: “It’s a great program because it helps us get even closer with the kids, to get to know each other better and to do activities together. I participated in all the actions, meetings that have taken place so far. I would like to do football together because I grew up with this sport and I like it, and of course with music because I enjoy playing music”.
Paschalis went to the 12th EPAL for the first time this year too, because of his friends and because they told him that it is a more accessible school. He also heard that the teachers help the students a lot.
“We have a nice atmosphere, the teachers are great, they help us understand the lesson. We have refugees who are very friendly with us and we have a good time in the classroom. Some of the refugee children understand Greek and speak the language very well. There is also a teacher who supports them in Greek and I can see that they are evolving as they go. The BRIDGES program is great because with this program we will more easily understand what refugees like, what they can do, what they like to do, we will be more attached to them. I dream of going on excursions, doing even more activities. I think they want it very much. It is very useful to learn another culture, another religion, I really want this, we can have a much better friendship between us. I am on the football team, I would love to do music too”.
Lazaros is in his second year at the 12th EPAL and is waiting to finish high school to open his wings. He plays basketball and participates in the BRIDGES program.
“It’s a very nice project, I’m so happy with everything we started doing. I will be involved in theater and definitely in some sport. It is good that we come close to the refugees. The Greeks and the refugees must put down racism together and push it on, to work together. Through these actions we come closer to them and they come closer to us”.
Abdul Khale and Amin, refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan want to play football, do boxing, swimming and cycling. They really like sports because they are letting pressure go through them.
“We’re fine with each other, we’re having a great time. But mostly, we hang out with “our” kids. This program, the meetings and the activities that started at the school are great, perfect, because they help us get really close to the children from Greece but also the children from other countries who are also refugees and immigrants. We want to be at school together. The school will help us with our future and we are happy when other children accept us. ”
Greece wants to deport a refugee who has become a symbol of solidarity
A call on the Greece to grant Umer Sufyan political asylum
To the Greek Asylum Committee.
In two months time, the future of a young man is going to be decided upon by the
Greek Asylum Service. After the initial rejection of the claim for political asylum,
Umer's hopes of assuring a safe future are dwindling. If he returns to Pakistan, his
life will change dramatically and he will be faced with threats from his past.
During his two year stay in Greece he has learned the language so quickly that he has
obtained work as an interpretor and has been active in many solidarity groups and
organisations that work for human rights.
In a short period of time he has made himself indispensible to these groups by
making an invaluable contrbution to them.He has been an active member of the
Ecoplos Social Space and the Thessaloniki Ecological Movement as well as
volunteering with many other organisations in the city.
On his own initiative , Umer has been instrumental in efforts to set up feeding
programs and other forms of aid to homeless and destitute Greek citizens as well as
refugees in Thessaloniki.
Umer is a fighter and a dedicated activist who has helped hundreds of others in need
through his efforts even while facing numerous difficulties himself. He is a very
sensitive and serious person who embodies the values of humanism, solidarity,
democracy and justice and proves it with every opportunity given.
Political asylum for Umer Sufyan
Umer is one of us
Umer is part of us
We are on his side.
read more here
#WordsAreStones #noHateSpeech #StopHateSpeech
WORDS ARE STONES Five videos for an awareness campaign against Hate Speech The Words are stones campaign is the result of a collaboration that involves six partner organizations from Austria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy and Spain that, after a phase of study and analysis of hate speech in their own countries, reasoned about the common elements and on the necessary and preferable strategies to carry out an effective awareness campaign.
Among the themes that recur within the context of hate speech in these countries, invasion, competition for limited resources (welfare, work, etc.), cultural incompatibility and the loss of national identities are the themes that seem most pervasive and important to address.
A campaign, composed of five short videos that use the most frequent stereotypes, with the objective of raising public awareness on the topic of hate speech, has emerged from the results of a research summarized in the report "Words are Stones, Hate speech analysis in public discourse in six European countries”.
The idea sustaining the campaign is that violent rhetoric is not demolished through the debunking of its narratives: these narratives speak to the emotional sphere and not to the rational one. For this reason, the idea is to focus the campaign on putting the "attention on what you think you believe, what you think, and what you want”. The underlying message is: don't let yourself be manipulated. The primary target that has been identified are the young people that are not clearly positioned within the political spectrum, those who do not have a definite and hostile idea about migration, but are not part of the anti-racist world. In short, those people who are the potential targets of hate speech and of the narratives that accompany these discourses of hatred. The secondary targets that have been identified are the political decision-makers and civil society activists. These have been chosen as targets in order to share and spread the campaign as much as possible and to share the results of the national reports. These actors have also been chosen to receive their recommendations on how to defend / combat discrimination and racism online and offline.
The scope of the campaign will be international and its goal will be to reach the widest possible dissemination through online media. The campaign also has the objective of reaching a large number of people in different European countries thanks to the active collaboration of the different project partners, of other groups that deal with racism and anti-racism and with the media that will be interested in relaunching the videos. In addition to videos, graphics and memes all
the actors involved will re-launch the message and the results of the analysis and of the campaign. Concept: the creative concept of the campaign aims at bringing out the contradictions that arise when what we like collides with common sense, when our ideas and wishes are biased by prejudice and clichés that are propagated in the mainstream and hateful discourse on migration. Two characters are the protagonists of all these videos. They are male and young, struggling with scenes of everyday life in which the narration of hate speech clashes with the reality that surrounds them (e.g. the football match, the food, the bar and an attempt to approach to a girl, first aid, and a party). Each video ends with the overlapping of the numerous stereotyped hate speech phrases that we have identified as recurrent in different languages, followed by a slogan that calls into question the participation of the spectators in the action, inviting them to pay attention to everyday words and behavior, and urging them to behave better than what they has just seen in the video. The videos are made by Stefano Argentero (direction and animation) Juri Fantigrossi (photography and editing), Fabio Fortunato (recording technician) and Riccardo Piretti (dubbing) with the technique of plasticine animation in stop-motion. Dissemination: the campaign will be entirely online, using the most widely used media tools (e.g. facebook, twitter, instagram, whatsapp, telegram, messenger etc.) through the simultaneous activation of the various campaign promoters.
What does it mean concretely to codesign with your community? Bridges’ story: the training in Tortosa
As partners in the BRIDGES project, we strongly believe that meaningful dialogue and active collaboration of third-country and host-country nationals can create more inclusive and cohesive communities. We believe that everyone can play a role in the creation of these communities in their cities and in their neighborhoods, contributing to bring down the barriers of stereotype and exclusion. But what does it mean in practice?
In Tortosa, with a group of committed partners from all over Europe and with energetic and capable community organizers, we tried to explore, discuss and experiment innovative methods for co-creating community events for and with third country nationals, as concretely as possible, with an intensive 3 day training and loads of post its! (As well as reflecting, socializing and laughing).
The 3 days training was designed by Sociolab – the partner working on the development of the project methodology. Day 1 focused on sharing data and information on national needs assessment, a specific tool that each partner worked on to reflect on their local context and ground the co-design process in its specificities. To make presentation time interactive and allow mutual learning, we used an approach derived from appreciative inquiry and active listening: each participant had a specific question to focus on during the presentations (revolving around challenges, improvements and tools), to allow them to explore and capture significant elements. At the end of each presentation, participants read their post-it and composed a mosaic of learnings and shared meanings.
“It was useful to receive questions and feedback from others, it was the first time that the questions where not our own and it allowed us to discover new ideas.“
Day 2 was reserved to co-designing the project’s “call for community champions” and actual community events through the combination of gamification and Art of Hosting. We used a board game to plan our call to community champions where each square had a question to address in small groups in order to create the final “call for participation”: target audience, commitment required, resources needed, inclusion and diversity, dissemination strategy. A pro action café allowed participants to propose ideas, projects and actions they most cared about and to get the support of others in developing them further.
“Very helpful tools to proceed quickly and get results in little time, I really appreciated the concrete dimension to our codesign. “
“The games where very fun and engaging they can be used in many occasions.”
“I am worried about the work we need to do, I now understand more clearly how crucial is the work with the community.“
Day 3 was dedicated to project evaluation as a way of gathering collective knowledge and sharing experiences around an activity or project. The approach chosen is derived from the the most significant change technique, which relies on engaging stakeholders in a process of recording, discussing and analysing stories of change brought forward by a project or action. To prepare for the actual gathering of stories from their local context, the partners and community organized identified “small but powerful changes” in three dimensions: individual, community and in our work, thus confirming the complexity and multidimensional impact that a project like BRIDGES can have.
“I see now more clearly how much we have in common: we have all these visual reminders of our common vision. I feel that more than ever, we are truly partners.”
“I feel I have new tools to do my work as community organizer. More ideas and creativity thanks to the sharing with others and the working in small groups.“
“I am not used to these methods of working together and I see now how effective they are to reach our goals. You create a time and space where you are 100% on focus.“
“We listened to each other, shared our experiences and connected our ideas. Participating was so pleasant and I feel much more conscious.”
“I want to try to implement this way of doing things in my day to day work. “
Read the full training report and the project guidelines to learn more about the BRIDGES codesign approach.
#bridgeseu; #migration; #migrationEU; #EUandME; #integration, #inclusion, #community, #LocalMigrants #codesign #dialogue #inclusivecommunities
In Thessaloniki teenagers of diverse backgrounds join their creative energy together, within the BRIDGES Project
On Friday, November 22nd, the ANTIGONE team carried out an experiential interactive workshop with one group of teenage students of migrant, refugee and national origin (Syria, Afghanistan, Greece) in a Technical Vocational High School in Thessaloniki. During the workshop, 35 students explored the change they can make in their neighborhood and community, by working together in cultural, volunteer and sports activities of their interest and came up with the next steps of their team.
The workshop’s results were positive and promising and it will be repeated with the general population of the school.
The school is located on Monastiriou street, one of the biggest highways of the city in an industrial, rather disadvantaged neighborhood of Western Thessaloniki in close proximity to the regional train station. It is common that tensions and conflicts take place in the region, with the school forming a multicultural meeting space between Greek, Balkan and third country national students.
The workshop has been designed in an interactive way so as to facilitate participants perceive the potential of their cooperation that can lead to joint creative work leaving the boundaries aside. During the workshop, the BRIDGES Project has been introduced to the participant students and they were all invited to become carriers of peaceful and collaborative living together, being their community’s dynamic core.
#bridgeseu; #migration; #migrationEU; #EUandME; #integration, #inclusion, #community, #LocalMigrants #codesign #dialogue #inclusivecommunities
How was BRIDGES Born?