#YOUACT: YOUth ACTivism shaping our Intercultural Europe 14 - 19 Oct 2015, Budapest, Hungary Call for participants

21 Jul 2015

Europe is facing a moment of great difficulty. Politicians across the spectrum are misusing the difficult economic circumstances to gain votes for populist causes, targeting ethnic minorities and, increasingly, the migrants coming to Europe in search of a better future. As a result, nationalist parties are polling highly, and racist rhetoric and intolerance are on the rise, often disguised as economical arguments.

Traditional anti-racism work is losing ground, and it seems that the majority population is less and less perceptive to the values of solidarity and tolerance. We have to take a deeper look to understand the root causes of racism, and how it is enhanced by the political and social environment, to help us better target majority society.

We believe that achieve this aim, much greater efforts need to be made to mobilise young people. Thus we invite you to explore with us new ways in which youth work and youth activism can be effective in countering xenophobic tendencies.

About the situation in Hungary

In the last few years, Hungary has seen a rise of nationalist-populist sentiment. The ruling government appears unable to oppose these trends, and they themselves regularly victimise human rights defenders and immigrants in their political speeches in order to hide their incompetence in finding alternative solutions. A large number of young people in Hungary have already lost their belief in mainstream democratic parties and are one of the main target-groups for far-right parties. The most oppressed minorities: Roma, the LGBTQ community and Jews, are frequently targets of hate incidents and there is no sign of effective protection or prevention programmes. But all these worrying developments only make us more motivated not to give up, but work even harder for equality and against all forms of discrimination. The lesson that we have learnt is that human rights are not something we have inherited and will be there for us forever: we have to constantly work to protect them.

What can you expect from this conference?

Considering this complex situation, our conference aims to create a platform:
-To explore and reveal the core economic and psychological causes of racism as a step to identify adequate response for them
-To understand the recent developments, risks and challenges in Europe by exploring the local and regional context where youth antiracist work happens
-To exchange and create new methods and good practices in antiracist youth work both offline and online
-To build opportunities for working together more efficiently whilst increasing motivation for innovation and networking through youth work.

Your knowledge, expertise, and input as a participant will be invaluable. Together with around 75 NGO representatives from more than 30 European countries we will work on the promotion and protection of all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. That is why we would like to invite your organisation to nominate a delegate for this conference and join us in Hungary in order to meet, learn, and network. We offer you the opportunity to get connected and build networks across Europe, to share your approaches in youth work and contribute to developing new ways for involving young people in antiracist campaigning. We will tackle questions such as: What can you do against intolerance, racism, and xenophobia? How can you become active on a European level or in your own country? How can you get involved in our European campaigns?

Financial terms & conditions here: http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/conferences/upcoming-conference/conditions/

Application form: 

UNITED is the largest pan-European anti-racist network of more than 550 organisations. Twice a year, at the UNITED network conferences, antiracist and human rights activists from all over Europe meet and discuss effective ways of combating racism and discrimination. At a recent UNITED conference held in May 2015 in Spain participants from 35 countries discussed the topic of Migration and social inclusion in Europe.

For an impression from previous conferences have a look at the posts onfacebook.com/UNITEDnetworkConference