This year marks the 70th anniversary since the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. It is in this context that the Ninth International Forum of NGOs, in partnership with UNESCO, took place in Tunis, from 26 to 27 September. The Conference was hosted by the Arab Institute for Human Rights, with the theme ‘Another perspective on Migration’, which aimed to discuss human mobility and its impacts on building sustainable peace and development.
These topics were discussed with particular attention placed on vulnerable groups such as children, and the importance of retaining the dignity and respect of migrants in their new societies. The Conference was attended by over 200 people, and included the participation of the Ministry of Education of Tunisia.
Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director of Arigatou International – Geneva, along with academics, researchers and humanitarian workers, took part in a panel discussion on ‘Education and Resilience’, which highlighted the importance of formal and informal education in the acceptance, protection and inclusion of migrants and refugees in host societies. In particular, the panel highlighted the rights of the child and the situation of minor refugees and migrants, and aimed to raise awareness of the fact that only 2% of emergency humanitarian aid is directed towards education, and 75% of children of age to be in school are unable to do so. There was a unanimous belief in the role of education in building resilience for migrants and refugees, and in the idea that NGOs can provide quick and demand-oriented education opportunities. Global citizenship education and intercultural education were particularly discussed as crucial to peaceful intercultural and interreligious societies:
‘84% of people in the world consider themselves religious or spiritual, so we cannot deny that religion has an important role to play when it comes to education and learning to live together’, said Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Arigatou International – Geneva.
The panel discussion ended with a reaffirmation of the importance of education in resilience, in particular for more vulnerable groups of refugees or migrants.
We thank the Arab Institute for Human Rights for hosting this event, and all the partners of the NGO forum and those who took part in the panel discussions for this enriching experience.
The live recording of the forum in Tunis can be viewed here.