We invite European organisations to join UNITED’s new Europe-wide campaign #LifeSeekers. This online campaign will challenge the populist narrative on migration and refugees by presenting young people with facts and data related to the issues facing society today, showing that scapegoating of migrants and refugees is not the answer.
Through memes and infographics shared via social media, young people will be directed to show their support for the campaign by signing a campaign statement about the situation facing young people in Europe today, and against the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.
We are calling on European NGOs to join the campaign by confirming their support for the campaign statement. You can read the full campaign statement below, and you can support the campaign by filling in the simple online form here.
Joining the campaign does not oblige your organisation to take any further action, though we would appreciate your continued support in promoting the campaign once it is launched on 17 June. Joining the campaign means that not only will your organisation be supporting this important online action, but will also be promoted as an organisation with which young people can take action to build a brighter future and end the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.
The campaign, which UNITED is coordinating with partners from the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, will run online from June to September 2016.
We hope that you will join the campaign by filling in and submitting the online form below.*
*Please note that this page is only for joining the campaign as an NGO. You can join the campaign as an individual by filling in the form at www.lifeseekers.org.
LifeSeekers – Campaign Statement
All across Europe, young people are facing multiple crises, the likes of which have not been seen since the 1930’s. The financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent austerity measures enacted by European governments have disproportionately affected youth, with young people facing high levels of unemployment and an unfair housing market, all while an impending environmental crisis is putting the future of our planet at risk. Despite this complex situation demanding an effective answer, national governments across Europe have instead opted to mirror the position of the populist right: blame the migrants. With the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war and desperate conditions in their home countries, this scapegoating has only increased, with governments and their populist challengers supporting and building upon a narrative that sees “migrants” as a homogenous mass of people who are a threat to our social fabric and the reason for many of society’s problems.
Unlike previous generations, young people in Europe today enjoy unprecedented levels of mobility. Benefitting from open borders and a host of European youth exchange programmes, more young people than ever have themselves lived as migrants, sharing a diverse range of experiences. Yet this mobility has not been matched by empowerment. Youth in Europe today feel disenfranchised and ignored by mainstream politics. For many, the embrace of a populist, migrant-blaming narrative is the closest they can come to empowerment and a sense of self-value – even if they share many of the values, hopes and aspirations with the migrants and refugees that they seek to marginalise; whether or not we are asylum-seekers, we are all Life Seekers, who want the freedom and power to shape our own futures.
We strongly believe that the tragedy of hundred of thousands of people should not be used to cover the failures of policy makers over the past decades. Instead, we call for European governments to promote an honest, transparent and inclusive discussion about the issues facing young people today, avoiding panic, fear, and hate, and actively seeking out new and diverse perspectives and visions. This should be matched with positive action and support for young people to live productive and fulfilling lives. These social challenges can be faced only together and UNITED, with a transparent, meaningful and productive dialogue among all sectors of society. European governments must ensure that young people feel empowered to shape their own futures – and that the human rights and freedom of all are respected.
Join the campaign!
By filling in and submitting the form below, you confirm that your orgnisation supports this campaign, and consent to UNITED listing your organisation as a campaign supporter.
This campaign has been made possible with the financial support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, and the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum. The campaign does not neccesarily reflect the views of the sponsors.