Migration Margins in Serbia: Youth self-organising for refugee support

16th to 21st April 2014
Novi Sad, Serbia

This youth exchange brought together young refugees and solidarity activists from Central/Eastern Europe to share experiences, develop inclusive group processes, exchange knowledge & skills, take symbolic community action and discuss further European-wide collaboration.
What happened?
In the first days participants introduced themselves with the local context and given time to get to know each other as well as exchange experiences with a number of refugees / local migrants.

As the meeting continued, numerous workshops helped to increase participants knowledge of European-wide context in claiming refugee rights and improved local community engagement and inter-cultural understanding.

Towards the end young people managed to create a network with hope to work together in the future. Many parts of the program aimed to hand participants practical tools in refugee support work, while at the same time exchanging experiences with local refugees.

Participants also spent one whole day working together for the local community in a public action. Together, participants and locals, with support from an expert, designed and built a recycled playground for children. The goal was to make visible the presence of migrants and positive influence they can have when only given a chance.

  • Facilitate self-empowerment of young refugees and youth solidarity activists from Central/Eastern Europe to strengthen their initiatives in claiming refugee rights
  • Increase participants knowledge of European-wide context in claiming refugee rights
  • Improve local community engagement and inter-cultural understanding
  • Network young people active in claiming refugee rights across borders
  • Advocate positive models for organizing in groups with a diversity in backgrounds and individual privilege

novi-sad3 Outcomes

  • Many refugee support groups and solidarity activists met and networked with each other, laying a strong basis for further cooperation
  • Refugees present in Novi Sad shared experiences with other participants and activist exchanged their experiences in solidarity work
  • Everyone involved in the activity got a deeper understanding of EU migration, refugee and asylum policy and practice
  • Being based in South-Eastern Europe, this activity was also a relevant experience in Serbia and the neighboring countries as they indicate a relative low number of human rights defenders in the region

This project was made possible with the financial support of the European Youth Foundation – Council of Europe

Council of Europe color