More than 70 delegates from sport and football organisations, human right NGOs, public insitutions and universities met to today in Budapest to discuss ways of using sport to integrate migrants and refugees.
The conference is held at the Central European University Conference Center and is hosted by the migrant-led NGO, Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization (MGHRO) and marks the final event of the project “European Sport Inclusion Network (ESPIN)”. The two-day event is focusing on questions and issues concerning the social inclusion of migrants. In face of the recent influx of migrants, many actors of the organized sport movement and new grassroots initiatives, have started to organize sport and leisure activities for the newly arrived migrants to facilitate and fuel their social inclusion.
In his opening statement Chairman grassroots, fair play and minorities committee at Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ), Tibor Vámos thinks that sport, especially football is a great tool to create connection among people, as he told in his speech “football makes friendships”. The former FIFA referee stresses also the “Zero Tolerance” policy of his organsiation when it comes to racism.
Gibril Deen, chair of Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organization underlined the importance of such cooperation and events, which are bringing together the different actors and strengthening the partnership between them.
Kurt Wachter, ESPIN coordinator from the fairplay Initiative in Vienna, Austria said that “sport is a tremendous power, which brings people together, such people who are in difficult situations, the ones who are hard to integrate. We can show up good examples and we can prove that integration of refugees, Roma people or other minorities is possible with using all the forms of sports”.
The event is continued in different working groups and it is ending on Saturday.
The overall vision of the project “European Sport Inclusion Network – Promoting Equal Opportunities of Migrants and Minorities through Volunteering in Sport” is to involve those who are at risk of social exclusion. This will be attempted by increasing sports participation of disadvantaged groups by promoting equal access to organized sport. A key objective is to increase volunteering of migrants and minorities through the establishment of equal partnerships and training of mainstream sport organizations. The ESPIN initiaitve is a partnership of organsaitions in 7 EU-countrties is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
To learn more about this conference, please contact
fairplay – VIDC
Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation
A-1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel +43 1 7133594 93
Fax +43 1 7133594 73