Thessaloniki, Greece 4–6 Dec 2017
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Workshops on the role of youth work in the process of inclusion and participation of young refugees

Realities of young refugees in Europe and the current political debates and approaches have made it important to develop several types of activities at European level with the aim of supporting the inclusion of young refugees, reaffirming theirs rights and recognising the good practices on the local levels. Starting in 2016, the Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe has developed initiatives related to the role of youth work for the inclusion of young refugees.

From these initiatives, a need to go further, give recognition and learn from good practices has been indicated both as a need, but also as a means for advocating for further action in the youth policy, youth research and youth work practice fields in regards to the inclusion and rights of young refugees.

In 2017, the EU – CoE youth partnership organised two learning workshops, based on local practices by the youth sector of inclusion of young refugees. Local practices that tackle the challenges that young refugees face in their lives exist and they can serve as inspiration for policy makers, youth workers, youth organisations, young people and researchers from other countries and regions in Europe.

The main aim of the workshops was to create a space for learning about approaches that youth work and youth policy use for supporting the inclusion and participation of young refugees.

During each workshop, the group of participants:

  • Identified challenges related to youth work with young refugees and ways to address these challenges, particularly on the following themes: intercultural dialogue and learning, access to social rights, involving young women, participation in local life, autonomy
  • Analysed a local practice of youth work and/or youth policies supporting the inclusion and participation of young refugees
  • Had the space to exchange views with young refugees and with other youth sector’s practitioners and network
  • Identified support measures needed for youth work with young refugees.

The workshops aimed to enhance the creation of knowledge about practical approaches youth work can adopt in supporting the inclusion and participation of young refugees. A publication based on the workshops’ outcomes is foreseen for 2018.