Even where populists don’t win power through the ballot box, they gain it through shaping policy and public debate. By Benjamin Ward via Open Democracy
Representatives of NGOs and the governments of OSCE member states met in Hamburg last week for the 2016 OSCE Ministerial Council and Parallel Civil Society Conference. NGOs, including UNITED and members of the Civil Solidarity Platform (CSP) presented a set of recommendations to member states highlighting the need for protection and expansion of civil society space in Europe, as well as reaffirming the need to protect the rights of migrants, refugees and minorities.
The European Union’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published data on the violence and harassment faced by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers across the EU.
The List of Deaths, which includes details of over 22,000 refugees and migrants who died due to the fatal policies of Fortress Europe, was included in the exhibition “Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter” at the Museum of Mordern Art in New York.
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has released its latest country reports on Armenia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, analysing recent developments and outstanding issues and providing recommendations to the authorities. Despite certain positive developments, ECRI notes, there are challenges ahead.
At the meeting chaired by UNITED spokesperson Ralph du Long, UNITED programme coordinator Balint Josa spoke about the growing polarisation in European societies regarding attitudes to refugees and the impact of the negative narrative around refugees that is routinely spread by populist media and politicians, as well as giving an introduction to UNITED’s #LifeSeekers campaign.
The German refugee support organisation Pro Asyl is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. The organisation was founded in 1986 by a coalition of asylum centre advisors, church representatives, trade unionists, humanitarians and human rights campaigners. Through means of analysis, legal reports, surveys, lobbying and European networking, Pro Asyl takes part in public and political discussions, as well as helping refugees individually in situations in which they need practical support.
Despite the world’s media focus on the eastern Mediterranean route in the past year due to the high number of arrivals, the central Mediterranean remains the deadliest route into Europe. By Eliza Galos via OpenDemocracy
From June until September, UNITED is coordinating the #LifeSeekers campaign. #LifeSeekers is a campaign for a new approach to problems facing young people in Europe today. We want policy-makers to take positive action to solve these problems and to stop blaming migrants and refugees. Whether or not we are asylum-seekers, we are all Life Seekers, who want the freedom and power to shape our own futures.
The EESC 2016 prize will reward initiatives carried out by civil society organisations and/or individuals and aimed at improving migrants’ lives and fostering their integration in society. Deadline for applications is 9 September.