Thursday, 26 April 2012

European Youth Forum “Pilorama Lab“

Starting now, applications for the participation in the European Youth Forum “Pilorama Lab“ will be accepted, which is going to take place from July 25-28, 2012 in the City of Perm and on the territory of the Memorial Centre of the History of Political Repressions “Perm 36“ (www.perm36.ru).

The major distinctions of the “Pilorama Lab“ are, first of all, three factors – invitation of young professionals at the age from 25 to 35 years old, who obtained positive working experiences in the fields of socioeconomic, political, cultural questions and in the realm of civic education and initiatives; carrying-out of interdisciplinary master classes and discussions, as long as many problems in the globalizing world can’t be solved by using knowledge and tools of one branch only; European dimension (equal attendance of participants and experts from Russia and European states in the event – 40 participants as well as 8 experts from each party accordingly). The themes of the anticipating master classes within the EYF “Pilorama Lab“ will be “Urban Space. Ecology. Civic Participation“, “Ethnic Minorities. Access to Natural Resources. Human Rights“, “Historical Legacy. Political Education. Design“ as well as “Social Entrepreneurship. Businesses and NGOs“.

An additional synergetic effect of the Forum will be corresponded by its carrying-out in Perm, the Eastern-most city of Europe situated on the foothills of the Ural Mountains and called the civil capital of Russia, as well as on the territory of the Memorial Centre of the History of Political Repressions “Perm 36“ – the only museum from the GULAG times, located 90 km from Perm, which had been serving as a camp for political prisoners from 1946 until 1987. Since 2005, the International Civil Forum “Pilorama“ (http://pilorama.perm36.ru) has been held here, which attracts politicians, human rights activists, journalists, artists, actors, musicians, and the general public and which will take place from July 27th-29th this year.

Application form and detailed information on the event will be available at the website of the European Youth Forum “Pilorama Lab“: www.piloramalab.org. Applications should be submitted before May 15, 2012.

Co-organizers of the Forum are ANO “Civic Engagement Institute“ (Perm. Russia), Memorial Centre of the History of Political Repressions “Perm 36“, MitOst Association (Germany), Association “German-Russian Exchange“ (Germany-Russia) supported by the Civil Society Forum “Russia-EU“, the Ministry of Culture, Youth Policy, and Mass Communications of the Perm Region as well as Ombudsman for Human Rights in the Perm Region.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Shaping Europe - Civic Education in Action - Call for Applications – Closing date: May 31st 2012


A Scholarship Programme for Young Professionals Active in Citizenship Education from Central and South-Eastern Europe (Closing date: May 31st 2012)

Our purpose
The German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung are awarding 16 scholarships to young professionals from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. We are looking for people at the beginning of their careers who wish to work internationally. We expect applicants to be already engaged in civic education and promoting democracy and social responsibility in their home countries.

What we offer
We offer the opportunity to work in a German educational institution and to participate in the network of European citizenship education. The programme aims to strengthen and develop efforts in civic education in Central and South-Eastern Europe. The programme language and the working language in the institutions is German.
We offer three different programmes (duration: 10-12 weeks). You need to choose one programme. Details are found in the German version of our application forms on www.bpb.de/inaktion.

A: Joining an existing project
You will contribute to an existing project in a German educational institution.

B: Implementing an own project
You will work on your own project in cooperation with a German educational institution.

C: Planning a study trip
In cooperation with your German host institution you will prepare a short study trip to your home country.

Your profile
You want to promote democracy in your own country. You are active in civil society and you work for a NGO, a civic education institution, an initiative or a network dedicated to supporting civil society. You are interested in international, cross-border cooperation. You want to expand your professional horizon and improve your skills.

Then we want to get to know you!


Programme and Application in detail
Before applying please check if you meet the following prerequisites:
- You have good German skills in order to communicate with your German colleagues.
- You are a citizen of Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia or the Czech Republic.
- You are working as a free-lancer or full time in the field of civic education.
- You hold a university degree or have comparable qualifications and are at the beginning of your pr ofessional career.
- You are committed and can work independently.

The scholarship
In joining the programme you will profit from our long-standing experiences and international contacts. Beyond that, the programme includes:
- An internship in a civic education institution in Germany
- Introductory, intermediate and evaluation seminars in Germany (compulsory)
- Accommodation, food and spending money
- An optional family allowance
- Health, accident and liability insurance
- The opportunity to attend training events
- Travel expenses to Germany and back, and to the seminars and training events within Germany
- Participation in the NECE Conference 2013 including travel and participation costs (for details see German FAQ pdf)
- A certificate for successful completion of the programme
- Opportunity of networking with people working in other programmes of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Information can be found in the German FAQ pdf on the website. The introductory seminar is held in September 2012, the evaluation seminar takes place in May 2013. The exact date if internship in Germany is coordinated between the participant and the host organization.

How to apply

Are you interested? Then please apply by 31st May 2012 and include the following documents:
- A European CV (for details see German FAQ pdf)
- A letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) (in German, for details see German FAQ pdf)
- A project outline (in German, for details see German FAQ pdf)
- Name of the programme for which you apply (A, B or C)
- Short presentation of your home institution (for details see German FAQ pdf)
- Proof of experience in a civic education institute in the applicant's home country (in English or German)
- If you are in a permanent employment contract: a letter of support from the institut e where you are employed indicating you will be released from work for the duration of the programme and the compulsory seminars
- If you apply for programme C, a confirmation of your home institution that they are interested in supporting you organising a study trip
- Please indicate on the application how you heard about the programme

Further information and application forms: www.bpb.de/inaktion
Programme coordinator Mrs. Christiane Toyka Seid
E-mail: bpb-inaktion@gmx.de


Please send your application by e-mail before 31 May 2012 to:
Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education)
Mrs. Christiane Toyka-Seid
Programme coordinator
Email: bpb-inaktion@gmx.de

If you have further questions, please go to www.bpb.de/inaktion, where you will find answers to the most common questions about a European CV, Aktionstage Politische Bildung (Civic Education Campaign Days) and the application forms.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Humanity in Action Teams Up With U.S. Peace Corps Moldova and NGO MilleniuM to Bring Simulation Games to Moldova

Humanity in Action alumni and staff recently teamed up with U.S. Peace Corps volunteers and staff, Moldovan university students, and the Moldovan NGO MilleniuM for a conference designed to explore diversity and democracy and develop innovative simulation games to teach human rights and active citizenship in the small post-Soviet country.

From March 20-25, twenty-five participants gathered in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau to explore current political conflicts, minority issues, and intercultural challenges in the region. The conference was the first phase of the project “Simulation Games for Teaching Human Rights and Active Citizenship in Post-Soviet Moldova”, and produced two draft simulation games to be facilitated throughout Moldova during phase two of the project.

The first simulation is focused on the frozen conflict in the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnistria, which fought a short war with Moldova after its self-proclaimed independence in 1991. Today, the region remains unrecognized by any other country, but exercises de facto autonomy. Transnistria is inhabited by a mix of ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Moldovans. The simulation game strives to introduce participants to the various dynamics of the conflict, and increase mutual understanding of the issues involved.

The second simulation aims to teach about local social and political processes, and was specifically designed to help aid Peace Corps Volunteers’ intercultural integration and youths’ understanding of local governance. The game is set in a fictitious Moldovan village where 11 diverse stakeholder groups must come together to negotiate the design of a community project in order to win an important grant competition.

The kick-off conference in March was hosted by Peace Corps Moldova and co-organized by the MilleniuM together with Humanity in Action Germany. The conference was financially supported by Humanity in Action Netherlands, through a grant of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS). The participation of simulation experts from HIA Germany was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.

Both simulations will be published as ready-to-use manuals including scenario outlines, background information, role cards and guidelines for facilitators. Translations from English into Romanian and Russian will be available from mid-May. Civics education in Moldova is predominantly lecture-based, and interest from teachers is already high. Project coordinators already plan to facilitates the games 10 times until by end of June and 24 times by the end of 2012. This is the first major attempt to introduce simulations as a broad-based teaching tool in the country.

6th European Patients'Rights Day-Active Ageing citizens at the center of EU health policy (Brussels, 15-16 May 2012)

Active Citizenship Network is glad to invite you to attend the European event of the 6th European Patients' Rights Day: "Active Ageing citizens at the center of EU health policy" on the 15-16 of May 2012, in the EESC, Brussels (Van Maerlant Building, Room VM3 - 2nd floor 2, rue Van Maerlant).

The number of ageing citizens is rapidly increasing (Europeans aged 65+ is expected to increase by 45% between 2008 and 2030, and even further to over 30% of the population by 2060) the issues of their access to health care services and the respect of their rights as patients are becoming central and extremely challenging.
The objective of the conference is thus to demonstrate that part of the solution resides in a change of perspective vis-à-vis ageing citizens, from weak patients into "empowered users" of health care services, able to contribute to a better implementation of their rights.

As the places available are limited, the registration is needed, please fill in the registration form and send it by e-mail to: a.puddu@activecitizenship.net

Friday, 13 April 2012

Erasmus for All – points from the DARE network that should be considered


• The DARE network highly welcomes the envisaged increase of the budget for a new Educational program of the EU 2014-2020.

But before deciding on a new program structure we would prefer a proof from the side of educational content rather than to conjure with easily digestible financial figures. The DARE network has huge problems in accepting that the EC has not published any realistic idea how to finance the increased EFA budget. The EC´s proposal to generate new EU income by deducting a financial transaction tax to the EU appears in regard to the current development of the financial markets and the financial cutbacks in the member states not realistic. We ask the members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council of Minister when discussing this budget to insist on a sound strategy for refinancing the proposed budget for EFA. Higher investments must be based on a sound refinancing strategy and at least be accompanied by visible savings of money in other fields of EU policy making!


• The newly to be established system of one-stop-agencies is a risk to fall behind the standard established.

The EC´s communication on EFA includes a streamlining and reduction of administration by introducing a system of one-stop-agencies. The idea to create synergies between the different actions and reduce the administrative costs is tempting.

DARE points out that the current highly decentralized administration via national agencies is a basic condition for high quality program outputs in all current programs. Therefore the envisaged reduction of administration should be an administrative reduction for all involved parties: The EC, the national Agencies and most important the thousands of educational organizations/institutions carrying out the programs.

We fear that the reduction of administrative costs from side of the EC will have the consequence that transaction costs for potential applicants will increase as they require more expertise and knowledge to run successful projects. A real reduction of administration can only happen if civil society organizations get better access to the European level. A sound institutional funding of European networks, umbrella and platforms via operating grants following the needs of ALL learners needs to be included in the new EFA program. The EFA proposal so far does not even mention the instrument of operating grants for these networks.

As network of educational providers in Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education we see an urgent need to have a possibility for the EU to generate political impact on the national education systems, especially in the field of youth policies in order to implement the European Fundamental Rights Charter, the European youth Strategy and the new Agenda for Adult Learning. All evaluation results especially of the current Youth in Action program show that the decentralized model of agencies has proven to generate this impact and is evidently a basic condition for the sound implementation of EU policies: be it the EU youth strategy or recently the establishment of new national coordinators for the Agenda for Adult learning – both give evidence that there is a need to do more than just to program administration on the national level.

Out of the perspective of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education pluralism in Education, Educational Systems and Educational programs is a public good, worth to be valued all over Europe and especially to be considered valuable by the EU. The current plan to establish a new educational program named Erasmus for all is an attempt to establish a one-size-fits-all instrument, which unnecessary risks to meet the different needs and challenges of learners and educational providers on both national level and educational strands levels. We see especially the work with the community of disadvantaged learners jeopardized. The established program structure with Erasmus, Comenius, Leonardo and GRUNDTVIG is a label for high quality as it best corresponds with the needs of the different educational strands in the member states.

The new program should build upon this fundament and at least keep a separate strand for each of the target groups.


• No competition between different sectors of education! Education is not a field that follows a simple economical logic.

DARE as a network of providers of non-formal Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education wants to point out that there is several important educational fields in both youth and adult education that until now have limited access to EUROPEAN UNION POLICIES and programs and accordingly are in need of sound support mechanisms to participate in any European activities and to contribute to the implementation of European policies.

There are huge infrastructural differences between the stakeholders being summarized under the new ERASMUS for ALL-program. In a new program we fear that large providers of “mobility” such as higher education institutions backed with a strong infrastructure will have a structural advantage to easily generate high benefits for their educational field. They can much easier produce success stories as small providers working with hard to reach target groups can. There is especially a threat for the field of non-formal education as 44% of the EFA budget are not yet assigned to any specific actions and will be divided upon experiences with the running program. Even worse: If the envisaged 70% increase of the budget will not happen we risk to facing a boomerang effect that will wash away all positive results gained so far in the smaller sectors of adult education and the youth field.

The EU should acknowledge that potential applicant organizations/beneficiaries in the various fields of education have different starting conditions to generate success. The GRUNDTVIG program is an example for providing all groups of learners with useful tools to participate in EU programs. The relative low numbers of some GRUNDTVIG actions give evidence for the infrastructural situation of adult learning in a lot of European countries. This should not lead to the conclusion that the actions are ineffective or do not reach a good performance ratio; on the contrary they are an urgent appeal to the EU to put even more energy in this field!

Erasmus for All should be a program for ALL learners in Europe and not a mobility supporting scheme only for highly privileged groups of learners. Especially in times of the current crisis the EU has a political responsibility to react with an inclusive educational program that takes in account the needs of all educational strands and of the individual learners.

We ask the EP and the Council of Ministers to insist for a minimum allocation of funds to each educational sector by fixing at least 80% of the budget in order to secure funding for the disadvantaged groups of learners and their learning institutions/providers in Europe. Fixed budget chapters for the different fields of education are important. Any competition between different fields of education should be avoided.

The EP should insist on co-deciding on any decisions of the EC in regard to the allocation of the not yet assigned 44% of the proposed EFA budget; the proposal of the EC to distribute these 44% via a commission regulation is simply undemocratic!


• A clear orientation on Active Citizenship and participatory learning in the new generation of Educational programs!

In the current situation of the financial crisis Democracy is at risk in many European member states! Out of the perspective of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education long term systemic impact and mutual support for the EU can only be generated in an Educational program that indeed values diversity and pluralism of learning strands and especially focuses on individual learners. There is a clear connection between the economic downturn, unemployment and the increase of anti-democratic attitudes all over Europe. In order to combat incitements to intolerance, racism and xenophobia all over Europe a clear orientation and emphasis of Lifelong learning on active citizenship policies has no alternative.
Especially in a new integrated program the EU is asked to follow the recommendation published by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights to promote priorisation of HRE in the work programmes and funding streams of DG Education and Culture (…)”(see: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: Institutional needs assessment for Human Rights Education, FRA1-CAR-2009-NP01, page 65.)

Non formal learning shapes identity and gives meaning to life; it provides autonomy and the sense of responsibility of people and communities. Non formal education is important as it is based on people's own identity, culture, values and prior experiences which enables and encourage every citizen to be actively involved and to have a voice. To meet the current challenges in education NGO´s as providers of non formal education are much needed especially in the current economical climate and in the rapidly changing world. While all intergovernmental organisations emphasize the urgent political need for more education for democratic citizenship and Human Rights Education the European Union is the only one that is not taking civic and social skills as a priority for the future educational programme.
Education is a fundamental right and it supports also people who lack opportunities, disadvantages and face poverty. In order to enrich a multicultural democratic, participatory Europe of active citizens we believe it is important to have sound support for non-formal education to encourage learning between communities and about different cultures in support of human rights, peace and fundamental freedoms, democracy, justice, liberty, equality and diversity. Non-formal education will not only provide new opportunities to learn throughout life to eliminate discrimination and violence but will shape peoples´ lives to become responsible citizens, which will help transform Europe to a positive future we are all striving to achieve.


• An independent and strong youth program should be maintained!

Out of the perspective of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education DARE is largely concerned about the developments regarding the summarizing of the current Youth in Action program to future Erasmus for All. Note: We generally welcome any approaches to contribute with the creation of the new EFA program to make the European area of Lifelong and lifewide learning become reality. Nonetheless we want to point out that there is European consensus that the success of Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education all over Europe is bound to a strong and youth policy field (see the 2010 Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education). The implementation of European Youth policies in the EU builds upon the pillars of an independent youth program which cannot be summarized just under an educational perspective and shall especially not be reduced to its economical usability. All evaluations of the current Youth in Action program give evidence on the wide impact European youth policies have on level of the member states. This status should be maintained also in the new Generation of educational programs.


DARE is a Europe wide network of currently 52 NGO´s in 27 countries. DARE stands for Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe and is itself a result from GRUNDTVIG network funding.

questions?
Georg Pirker
Secretary of the DARE network
pirker@adb.de
+493040040117


Friday, 6 April 2012

Training course "Human Rights Education in Practices" (Durrës, 11-14 May 2012)

HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION IN PRACTICE
11TH – 14TH OF MAY 2012 DURRËS, ALBANIA

The Training Course is used to reflect approaches, concepts and concrete tools in HRE (Human Rights Education) activities based on non-formal education with a special focus on human rights dealing with ambiguous situations.

At this training course participants will learn, share, and develop practical methodologies and strategies for extending and promoting human rights education in their countries. Participants will also requested more information on specific articles of the conventions, expressing a growing interest in international human rights treaties. Activities will be focused on human rights education.

ELIGIBILITY

Students, AEGEE members, Youth workers, NGOs, volunteers, human rights activists, state institutions and community workers from different youth NGOs

Applications are opened for ALBANIANS and NON-ALBANIANS Participants.

Applicants age: up to 28.

FEE

50€ includes:
Accommodation : KOMPLEKSI XIXAT – Touristic Village in Durrës
Meals : Full Board
Session Material & 1 coffee break per day
Public transportation VENUE PLACE – DURRËS CENTER – VENUE PLACE (as it is provided in agenda)
Travel costs it is not reimbursed.

APPLICATION FORM can be requested from trainingcourse.humanrights@gmail.com

CERTICATION WILL BE GIVEN IN THE END OF THE TRAINING

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 30th OF APRIL 2012

Council of Europe adopts recommendations to protect human rights on search engines and social platforms

Strasbourg, 05.04.2012 – The Council of Europe has adopted two Recommendations in which it calls on its members states to safeguard human rights, notably freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of association and the right to private life, with regard to search engines and social networking services.

In the Recommendation on search engines, the Committee of Ministers invites states to engage with search engine providers to increase transparency in the way access to information is provided, in particular the criteria used to select, rank or remove search results.

The Committee calls for more transparency and respect for users’ rights in the processing of personal data – for example of cookies, IP addresses and individual search histories.

In the Recommendation on social networking services, the Committee of Ministers’ calls on states to work with operators to raise users´ awareness of their rights and the challenges to them, by using clear and understandable language. It also recommends helping users understand the default settings of their profiles - which should be privacy-friendly - and make informed choices about their online identity.

The Recommendation contains a number of actions to protect children and young people against harmful content and behaviour, such as the setting up of easily accessible mechanisms for reporting inappropriate or apparently illegal content or behaviour.

The Committee invites states to work both with search engine and social platform operators to ensure better access to those services for people with disabilities. It also recommends that self and co-regulatory mechanisms are set up in order to contribute to the respect of human rights standards.

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Young people combating hate speech online: Training course for young bloggers and youth activists online - call for participants

The Council of Europe Youth Department is launching a new flagship project 'Young people combating hate speech online' spanning over 2012 and 2013. The project aims to combat racism and discrimination in their online expression of hate speech by equipping young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognise and act against such human rights violations. The project stands for equality in dignity, human rights and diversity. It is a project against hate speech, racism and discrimination in their online expression. Centred around a training course and online campaigning, the project stands for action and intervention. The project places young people and youth organisations at the core of action and initiative. It consists of a series of activities that complement and intertwine. The campaign will have an European dimension, but it is expected to have national and regional focus, therefore increasing the chances for real impact as racist and discriminatory content and speech is often distributed in local languages. The campaign should therefore ensure that the voices, experiences and concerns expressed at local and regional level have visibility and role in shaping the European youth policy agenda.

Essential to the campaign and the project is the training of online activists and bloggers that will be the core group in shaping and carrying out this campaign. The community of online activists gathered by the training course should shape and support the online campaign along with the other different features of the project. The first training course is taking place in the European Youth Centre Budapest between 20-27 May 2012.

We have launched now the call for participants for the first training course and we are calling on you to support us in distributing it as widely as possible through your networks and contacts so that it reaches as many as possible concerned young bloggers and online activists. The deadline for applications is 19 April 2012.

Ruxandra Pandea
Educational Advisor
DG II – DEMOCRACY Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation
Department of Youth - European Youth Centre Budapest
Phone: +36 1 4381032 Email: Anca-Ruxandra.PANDEA@coe.int
http://www.coe.int/youth | http://youthpeace.coe.int | http://act4hre.coe.int