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WHO WE ARE


ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Center on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence is a non profit organisation that was established in 1993. ANTIGONE’s main offices are located in Thessaloniki with its branch in Athens. ANTIGONE develops activities on anti-racism and non-discrimination, human rights, social ecology, peace and non violent conflict resolution.

The aim of the organisation is the promotion of equal opportunities for all without any discrimination -e.g. on the basis of sex, race, national origin, social/economic/educational status, disability, age, religion etc. Through its activities that are based on solidarity and active participation, ANTIGONE targets to awareness raising and sensitisation of the society on issues of non discrimination, human rights, ecology, non violence and interculturality.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

إعادة اللاجئين السورين في قبرص إلى تركيا
د 2020    أيار/مايو15في   أرسلت إ ة ، ار جمه   ي 100 ً ورية شمال قبرص التركية قسريا لاجئ سور ، بمن فيهم أطفال  غير مصحوبين،  إلى مرسين، تركيا. وقد تم نقلهم الى مدينة كيليس بالقرب من الحدود السورية اين ن يتواجدون الآ . معظم اللاجئين السوريين    - هم من الأطفال وتشكل النساء والفتيات الأغلبية . 56 - شخص 100البالغ عددهم
 كانت قد  ،2020 نيسان/أبريل 24في  ً أرسلت إدارة  75 جمهورية شمال قبرص التركية قسريا بمن فيهم أطفال غير  ،ً سوريا ً لاجئا
   حيث تم نقلهم من هناك إلى مخيم في محافظة كهرمانماراش. وقد أعر ، تركيا ، إلى مرسين ، مصحوبين ب اللاجئون البالغ عددهم 175  ً لاجئا  عن عزمهم على طلب اللجوء والحصول على الحماية في دولة عضو في الاتحاد الأوروبي. يواجه السوريون الذين
   إلى تركيا خطر الإعادة القسرية إلى سوريا . ً عيدوا قسرا ُأ
    لاجئ175 نة من ّ وصلت هذه المجموعة المكو  ث 20  بالقوارب في ًا آذار/مارس حي  ت م   دفع قواربهم  إلى البحر من قبل خفر السواحل  في جمهورية قبرص أثناء اقترابها  من الجزء الجنوبي من الجزيرة  الخاضعة للولاية القضائية لحكومة جمهورية قبرص وسيطرتها.   و  وهي عضو في الاتحاد ، كان الكثير من هؤلاء اللاجئين يحاولون الانضمام إلى أسرهم التي سبق أن استقرت في جمهورية قبرص
   وتم إنقاذ اللاجئين من قبل "الإدارة القبرصية التركية" التي تسيطر بشكل فعال على ، وانقلب ً الأوروبي. اتجه القارب شمالا 14 الجزء الشمالي من الجزيرة. تم إيواء اللاجئين في مجمع سكني لمدة  من الحجر الصحي بسبب وباء كورونا المستجد. وفي ً يوما
    -   استمر احتجازهم ، نهاية فترة الحجر الصحي  في انتهاك لقانون "الإدارة القبرصية التركية" الذي يجيز احتجاز ،ً هذه المرة تعسفا المهاجرين غير الشرعيين لمدة ثمانية أيام قابلة للتمديد فقط بأمر من المحكمة.   
نحن،  ه عة أدنا ِّ المنظمات الموق ندين إرجاع القارب  من المياه القبرصية من قبل حكومة قبرص، الأمر الذي يصل إلى حد  ،
الإعادة  
القسرية  1951  في انتهاك لحظر عدم الإعادة القسرية المنصوص عليه في اتفاقية جنيف لعام وقانون الاتحاد الأوروبي بشأن    3  المادة ً وما ينتهك أيضا ، اللجوء من الاتفاقية الأوروبية لحقوق الإنسان.  ً عة أدناه ِّ  المنظمات الموق ، نحن ً 175 ندين أيضا إعادة اللاجئين البالغ عددهم ، لاجئاإلى تركيا والاحتجاز التعسفي المستمر  لهؤلاء الأشخا ص   من الاتفاقية  3 والمادة 1951 من قبل "الإدارة القبرصية التركية".تنتهك هذه الأفعال اتفاقية اللاجئين لعام  بشأن 37 و22 و10 و9  ولا سيما المواد ، الأوروبية لحقوق الإنسان. كما أن احتجاز القاصرين ينتهك اتفاقية حقوق الطفل
   شمل أفراد الأس ّ والحق في لم ، احتجاز الأطفال رة وحق كل طفل في أن يكون مع كلا والديه. الدول ملزمة بتوفير الرعاية المناسبة   نيسان/أبريل، ذكرت اليونيس ف أنه 13للأطفال غير المصحوبين. في   على ً اختياريا ً يتعين على كافة الحكومات أن تفرض وقفا احتجاز الأطفال وإطلاق سراحهم على وجه السرعة حيثما ت   وذلك بسبب المخاطر المتزايدة للإصابة ، كون البدائل ممكنة
 بفيروس كورونا أثناء الاحتجاز.
التوصيات
 
ندعو "الإدارة القبرصية التركية" وتركيا إلى:
. احترام مبدأ  1
عدم الإعادة القسرية
    ، بما في ذلك الاتفاقية الأوروبية لحقوق الإنسان ، والقانون الدولي لحقوق الإنسان من خلال وقف الإعادة القسرية للاجئين وطالبي اللجوء إلى تركيا و/أو سوريا ؛
 
ندعو حكومة جمهورية قبرص إلى: . س 1 التقيد بالتزامات الاتحاد الأوروبي والالتزامات الدولية باحترام الحق في التما اللجوء ومبدأ
عدم الإعادة القسرية  ،
  في البحر من خلال تنفيذ عمليات البحث والإنقاذ؛ ً وتقديم المساعدة إلى القوارب التي تواجه خطرا 2.  التعاون مع الأمم المتحدة و"الإدارة القبرصية التركية" من أجل السماح لطالبي اللجوء بالدخول إلى الأراض ي الخاضعة لسيطرة حكومة جمهورية قبرص للتقدم بطلب اللجوء ولم شملهم بأسرهم ؛ 3.  إنهاء تعليق الوصول إلى طلب اللجوء من قبل أولئك الذين يصلون عن طريق البحر إلى أراض ي جمهورية قبرص  . لوباء كورونا ً استجابة
 
 قائمة الموق عين الرابطة ا لأ ف وروبية للد اع ع ن حقوق الانسان مركز أمل للمناصرة والتعافي منظمة مساعدة اللاجئين في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقي ا أنتيغون -  ف مركز المعلومات والتوثيق حول العنصرية والإيكولوجيا والسلام واللاعن الشبكة العربية لحقوق المهاجرين منظمة النهضة العربية للديمقراطية والتنمي ة
 مركز القاهرة لدراسات حقوق الإنسان  مركز المساعدة القانونية -  ا ي صوت في بلغار لجنة احترام الح ر س يات وحقوق الإنسان في تون
 المركز الكرواتي لدراسات السلام مركز دمشق لدراسات حقوق الإنسان
 الأورومتوسطية للحقوق المجلس اليوناني للاجئي ن جمعية "ساعد اللاجئين" / متجر "اختر الحب " هيومن رايتس ووتش  360 منظمة حقوق الإنسان
 جمعية حقوق الإنسان منظمة العمل من أجل  المساواة والدعم ومكافحة العنصري ة
الرابطة الهولندية لحقوق الإنسان الرابطة التونسية لحقوق الإنسان الفريق المتنقل لمعلومات اللاجئين مؤسسة حقوق اللاجئين في أوروبا منظمة الدعم القانوني للاجئي ن
 مركز تمكين للمساعدة القانونية وحقوق الإنسان
 


JOINT STATEMENT

Syrian refugees in Cyprus pushed back to Turkey

On 15 May 2020, the administration of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) forcibly sent 100 Syrian refugees, including unaccompanied children, to Mersin, Turkey. They have been transferred to Kilis, near the Syrian border, where they are now. Most of the 100 Syrian refugees - 56 - are children and women and girls are in the majority.

 

On 24 April 2020, the TRNC had already forcibly sent 75 Syrian refugees, including unaccompanied children, to Mersin, Turkey, from where they have been reportedly moved to a camp in the province of Kahramanmaraş. All 175 Syrian refugees have expressed their intent to apply for asylum and find protection in an EU member state. Syrians forcibly returned to Turkey face a risk of onward refoulement to Syria.

 

This group of 175 refugees arrived by boat on 20 March and were pushed back to the sea by the coastguard of the republic of Cyprus as the boat was approaching the southern part of the island, which is under the jurisdiction and control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. Many of these refugees were trying to join their families already settled in the Republic of Cyprus, which is a member of the European Union. The boat went north, capsized and the refugees were rescued by the “Turkish Cypriot administration” which has effective control over the northern part of the island. The refugees were housed in an apartment complex for a 14-day quarantine period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of the quarantine period, they continued to be detained – this time arbitrarily, in violation of the law of the “Turkish Cypriot administration” which authorises the detention of irregular migrants for eight days extendable only by a court order.

 

We, the undersigned organisations condemn the push-back of the vessel from Cypriot waters by the government of Cyprus, which amounts to refoulement in violation of the prohibition of non-refoulement set out under the 1951 Geneva Convention and EU law on asylum, and infringes Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights

 

We, the undersigned organisations also condemn the return of 175 refugees to Turkey and the arbitrary detention of these persons by the “Turkish Cypriot administration”. These acts also violate the 1951 Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The detention of minors additionally violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular Articles 9, 10, 22 and 37 on detention of children, the right to reunification with members of the family and the right of every child to be with both parents.  States are obliged to provide appropriate care to unaccompanied children. On April 13, UNICEF said that all governments should impose a moratorium on detaining children and urgently release children where alternatives are possible, due to heightened risks of Covid-19 in detention.

 

Recommendations

 

We call on the “Turkish Cypriot administration” and Turkey to:

 

  1. Respect the principle of non-refoulement and international human rights law, including the European Convention on Human Rights, by stopping the forced return of refugees and asylum seekers to Turkey and/or Syria;

 

We call on the government of the Republic of Cyprus to:

 

  1. Abide by EU and international obligations to respect the right to seek asylum and the principle of non-refoulement, and provide assistance to boats in distress at sea by carrying out search and rescue operations;
  2. Cooperate with the UN and the “Turkish Cypriot administration” with a view to allowing the asylum seekers access to territory under control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to apply for asylum and reunify with their families;
  3. Terminate the suspension of access to asylum by those arriving by sea to the territory of the Republic of Cyprus in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

List of Signatories


AEDH  European Association for the defence of Human Rights

Amals Healing & Advocacy Center 

AMERA International 

ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence 

Arab Network for Migrants’ Rights

ARDD Arab Renaissance for Democracy & Development

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)

Center for Legal Aid - Voice in Bulgaria

CRLDHT Comité pour le Respect des Liberté et des Droits de l'Homme en Tunisie

Croatian Centre for Peace Studies

Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies 

EuroMed Rights/EuroMed Droits

Greek Council for Refugees

Help Refugees / Choose Love

HRW - Human Rights Watch

HumanRights360

İnsan Hakları Derneği / Human Rights Association (IHD)

KISA – Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism

Liga voor de Rechten van de Mens / Dutch League for Human Rights 

LTDH – Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l’Homme

Mobile Info Team 

Refugee Rights Europe

RLS - Refugee Legal Support

Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights

 

 

 


 

BRIDGES

We keep on building BRIDGES for communication (now online…)

 

The new and sudden social conditions we live in do put a barrier to our in person meetings but they cannot stop us from staying in contact realizing all that links us. In March, the ANTIGONE’s team attempted the first online meeting with Thessaloniki’s 12th Vocational High School student participants of BRIDGES. All children expressed their need, will and intention to keep on sharing and creating together under the BRIDGES project. Since then, our meetings take place on a weekly basis via webinar tools. Under those difficult and peculiar circumstances children find themselves with much of time to spare but with only few chances to contact and communicate between them. This is why they find BRIDGES an ideal chance for them to discharge from problems and stressful thoughts, to reflect and to relax.      

The ANTIGONE’s team together with the students came up with the program that is followed in the weekly meetings. Through various photography activities aiming to self-expression, self-knowledge, sentimental well-being and sensitization on various social issues, the group members share thoughts, feelings and ideas, learn each other in depth and jointly build the bridges that connect them.  

In order to run the online meetings, the students who live in the Refugee Camp of Diavata connect all together in one PC supported by the educator of “Arsis” NGO who is responsible for their education and well-being. In parallel, the rest students and the educational team of ANTIGONE connect from home. Overall, the group is consisted by students of Roma origin and students with origin from Albania, Russia and Bangladesh.  

The team and the workshops of the project enable children enjoy qualitative time with their classmates facilitating them to stay focused on common aims and desires they initially set with BRIDGES launch and they had already started realizing. ANTIGONE supports them and their efforts to manage succeed those aims.  

We continue shaping our school and our neighbourhood together! We stay in touch!!

 

 


 

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.

Prioritize Disarmament
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.

https://www.change.org/p/general-assembly-of-the-united-nations-invest-in-healthcare-instead-of-militarization?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=0f6da750-6f76-11ea-8b46-e11fa24c8aa4


Do it like Portugal

 

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


#ArtabilityPlus


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

Required Qualifications

  • 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)

Desired Qualifications

  • 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
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#WordsAreStones #noHateSpeech #StopHateSpeech
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International Report
National Report


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.

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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