The International Conference “Civil Society for social inclusion of unaccompanied minors in transition to adulthood – learning communities for shaping transition interfaces (CiSoTRA)“ was held on Thursday, March 18, in the ZOOM online environment.
The conference attended more than 200 participants from the project partner countries, as well as from other European and non-European countries. The conference was targeted towards experts working in the field of migration: policy makers; academics; researchers; professionals and volunteers working with young migrants; unaccompanied young migrants and the general public.
The conference was the last dissemination event of the Erasmus + project CiSoTRA, which took place in the period from 31 December 2017 to 31 March 2021 in cooperation with partner organizations from Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Greece and Turkey. The coordinating institution of the project is the International School of Social and Business Studies (ISSBS) from Celje with the project manager dr. Nada Trunk Širca.
The conference participants were addressed by the Dean of the ISSBS, dr. Srečko Natek, followed by an address by Her Highness Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, former President of Malta. In her emotional speech, Coleiro Preca emphasized that migration is a part of the past, present and future, so it is important that we all change our view on migration, that we do not see it as a problem, but as a contribution to our society. She appealed to political leaders who have a duty to ensure that all the children of this world live in a safe and inclusive environment. This was followed by a speech by dr. Gökaya Özerim, Jean Monnet, a professor at Yaşar University in Turkey, who emphasized the importance of the competencies of professionals working with young migrants and that global research shows that professionals generally have little competence to work with this target group.
In three one-hour panels, experts from partner countries discussed the needs of young migrants, the importance of involving various stakeholders in promoting the transition of underage migrants to adulthood, and the importance of competencies for professionals in working with migrants.
The discussion with experts and other participants of the event confirmed the policy recommendations at local, national and EU level, which we prepared within the project and within the CiSoTRA Declaration, which we adopted at the event.
Basic highlights or policy recommendations:
– It is important that different stakeholders work together to support young migrants, so that the support system can be effective.
– It is necessary to support the social inclusion of young migrants, to support inclusion in education and the labor market.
– It is important to continuously train professionals in the field, training should be supported by learning through practice.
– A clear migration policy is needed, and all international and European obligations regarding the protection of unaccompanied minors must be fully respected.
At the same time, the conference participants highlighted the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic in this area. Young migrants face greater bureaucratic obstacles, travel is difficult and the social inclusion of migrants is difficult. The training of experts in working with migrants is also a major challenge.
The conference presented 12 good practices of partner countries (video presentations), and also presented the basic achievements of the project:
– Model of cooperation between organizations and promotion of better social inclusion of minor migrants in the transition to adulthood https://cisotra.eu/cisotra-model/
– CiSOTRA e-platform, through which participants can freely access training for professionals https://elearning.cisotra.eu/
Further information about the project can be found on the official project website https://cisotra.eu/