Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM) organised the International Conference „Toward social cohesion through social inclusion of migrants“. The International Conference is part of the project “ALL IN: Pathways to belonging: From interculturAL dialogue to sociaL INclusion”, which CEDEM implements under the Programme Europe for Citizens of the European Commission. The International Conference was held on 22nd and 23rd of March via ZOOM platform.
In order to analyse current migration challanges that European society faces with and to discuss social inclusion of migrants and ethnic minority families, as well as to enhance the role and contribution of the civil society organisations in the migration time, CEDEM gathered representatives of national institutions, international organisations and civil society organisations.
“The great mobility of the population has conditioned our societies to become increasingly multicultural, as well as to question the national identities of relatively homogeneous nations. The new wave of multiculturalism has shown a very pronounced polarization on migration issues in public discourse, with the expression of great intolerance, xenophobia and disrespect of human rights,” said Milena Bešić, director of CEDEM, within the opening remarks.
Kristina von Petersdorff, the UNHCR’s Senior Protection Officer, stated that refugees, like all of us, are primarily human beings, but are forced to live in specific conditions. The vast majority of refugees use every opportunity to integrate and concluded that “countries like Montenegro, by taking on the responsibility to accept and integrate refugees, not only save lives – but also contribute to their social, cultural and economic development.”
The first panel discussion „New Europeans – Social Inclusion of migrants and ethnic minority families“ was focusud on social inclusion of migrants and ethnic minority families and gathered representatives of Directorate for Reception of Foreigners Seeking International Protection of the Ministry of Interior, Ms. Marina Grba, Head of Office of the International Organisation for Migrants and UNHCR representative, Ms. Danka Minić.
During the second day of the conference participants heared the experiences of direct support providers in various fields and raised discussion with representatives of CSOs, notably Ms. Aleksandra Vukčević from Civic Alliance, Ms. Marija Ružić, Director for capacity building of CSOs and public institutions in Juventas NGO, Ms. Jelena Dubak, Secretary General at Red Cross Montenegro, Ms. Sabina Talović, director of Bona Fide and Aleksandra Grujović from Art of Living.
Additionaly, during two-day Conference were organised two workshop for CSOs representatives from partner countries. The first workshop was run by Mr. Nenad Koprivica regarding fightining stigmatism and promotion on human rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers. Within the second workshop Ms. Tereza Vujošević and Ms. Milena Šćekić introduced participants to current methods and possibilites that enhancing migrants inclusion, while participants had an opportunity to discuss methods and possibilities to improve treatment of migrants and to share good practices regarding.
The movie „From intercultural dialogue to social inclusion“, produced within this project premiered during the event and it is available to the following link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEHjcEGScEs.