On 12th and 13th June an international conference concerning education about refugees and migrants was organised by The Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center in the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.
The conference was attended by approximately 45 national and international participants interested in refugee and migration issues. During the two days of the conference a number of speakers, experts, scientists, practitioners and representatives of non-governmental organizations from Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia were heard by the audience. Moreover, during the workshop „Incorporating international education in the school curriculum“ participants prepared sample lessons plans for primary school students, secondary school students and university students on various issues related to refugees and migration.
The Halina Nied Legal Aid Center strongly believes that in a world experiencing rapid change, and where cultural, political, economic and social upheaval challenges traditional ways of life, education has a major role to play in promoting social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. Through programmes that encourage dialogue between students of different cultures, beliefs and religions, education can make an important and meaningful contribution to sustainable and tolerant societies.
The conference aimed to bring together experts representing international organizations, NGOs and various educational institutions which are involved in designing or implementing different educational projects centered around the notion of intercultural values and teaching about refugees and migrants. In the course of two conference days both speakers and participants were attempting to bring answers to questions about ways of debunking myths and stereotypes about refugees and migrants through education, the role of different actors in this regard, challenges and opportunities of preventing further polarization of social attitudes towards foreigners. The conference was also an opportunity to present examples of good practices from selected European countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Poland.
The conference was organised by The Halina Nied Legal Aid Center from Poland in frame of the project called “Debating New Phenomena of Refugee Migration in Central Europe” (DRM), which is a Central European initiative coordinated by OPU – Organisation for Aid to Refugees. The project is funded by the EU within the Europe for Citizens Programme.