Welcome to MYAN's December eNews, our final newsletter for the year!
Thank you for your support and interest in MYAN's work throughout 2019. 2020 is shaping up to be a busy and exciting year for MYAN, with lots to look forward to including: welcoming our new YAN, releasing our 2020 policy platform and the updated version of the National Youth Settlement Framework and strategic advocacy on issues important to young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds, including education and employment.
As we reflect on the end of 2019 and prepare for 2020, MYAN would like to thank our our fabulous Governance Group, staff, state and territory partners, our Youth Ambassadors Network, MYAN's State and Territory Advisory Network, our funding bodies and everyone else in our networks across Australia for making it happen! And of course, a huge thank you to the young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds across Australia who are at the centre of everything we do.
From all of us at MYAN, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season.
Read on to catch up on the latest national and international news and activities, opportunities and resources.
2019 NGO FORUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS
The 2019 NGO Forum on Human Rights, co-convened by the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Attorney General, was held in Sydney on the 12th of December. The forum is part of an ongoing national conversation on human rights that will guide government action and community partnerships to fully realise human rights and advance equality in Australia.
Shannon White, MYAN's Policy and Advocacy Officer attended this annual NGO Forum on Human Rights to join some of Australia’s leading civil society groups for a discussion on new and emerging issues in the protection and promotion of human rights and to reflect on Australia’s first year as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
During the forum, attendees were able to discuss and feedback on the submission of Australia's periodical national report to the UN Human Rights Council third Universal Periodic Review, a UN Human Rights Council peer-review process, in which the human rights record of each UN Member State is considered every five years. The Review will examine the extent to which Australia is complying with its international human rights obligations under the UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international treaties and other commitments.
There was a lot of lively conversation around a broad range of human rights issues, including: the age of criminal responsibility, how new technology can infringe of the rights of vulnerable people and the impact of policy changes to vulnerable children and young people seeking asylum and living in the Australian community.
Australia will submit the report to the UN in August 2020.
MYAN ACHIEVEMENTS REPORT 2018-19
Our Achievements 2018-19 Report is out! The report provides a snapshot of all the goals we’ve been kicking the past year including: an overview of our submissions, our research and publications, our international engagement, and all the work being done in the youth leadership and engagement space including, of course, an overview of our fabulous FUSE 2019 conference.
Global Refugee Compact
Geneva, Switzerland Dec 16-17
The first Global Refugee Forum took place on December 17 and 18 in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum was a critical opportunity to build momentum towards achieving the objectives of the historic affirmation of the Global Compact on Refugees, a framework for more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, in recognition that a sustainable solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation through a global refugee response.
MYAN was delighted to have a representative at the Forum, with Nadine Liddy, MYANs National Coordinator attending to share good settlement practices from Australia. MYAN previously made submissions to UNHCR in 2018 commenting on various drafts of the GCR and were pleased to see the ongoing focus on youth in the adopted text of the Compact.
The forum brought together world leaders and thousands of change-makers to focus on:
arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing,
education, jobs and livelihoods,
energy and infrastructure,
One Young World is asking young leaders across the world to help shape the One Young World Summit agenda. The annual summit convenes the brightest young talent from every country and sector, working to accelerate social impact. Delegates from 190+ countries are counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders.
The themes and topics discussed at the annual One Young World Summit are driven by a Global Consultation Process with the wider One Young World network. One Young World is keen to ensure that their 2020 Summit is a true reflection of young people's interests and concerns, and are asking young people to share these by completing this quick survey.
Read more about One Young World and the 2020 summit here .
WEBINAR SERIES-HARMONY EMPOWERS
An initiative of the Harmony Alliance, Harmony Empowers brings together information resources, inspirational talks, and personal and professional development opportunities to help migrant and refugee women achieve their aspirations and goals. It also includes a leadership and personal development webinar series designed to enhance migrant and refugee women’s personal and professional development and participation, as well as their leadership skills.The first webinar in the series, Connecting with the self: Identity, belonging, and leadership is available for viewing on the website, with more to follow.
In November 2019, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a new plan designed to protect unaccompanied migrant minors who have arrived in Greece. According to the latest UNHCR figures, there are 36,400 refugees and migrants on the Aegean islands. Children account for 34% of the population and 17% of those are unaccompanied. In an effort to highlight what the situation at Moria camp is like for young people, UNICEF have made a short film entitled 'Life in Limbo.' The filmmakers followed several young people from Afghanistan, Syria and West Africa as they went about their new lives in the section of the camp reserved for unaccompanied minors.
FORCED MARRIAGE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Good Shepherd Australia have released an issues paper titled 'Opportunities to respond to forced marriage within Australia's domestic and family violence framework.''The report explores opportunities to prevent and respond to forced marriage within domestic and family violence laws and policies, rather than through a criminal justice framework. It discusses the relationship between forced marriage and family violence, the drivers and impacts of forced marriage, policy and legislative responses, and the possible use of intervention orders.
RACIALISED DISCOURSE IN THE MEDIA
All Together Now's report Social Commentary and Racism in 2019presents findings from 12 months of monitoring racialised discourse in the media. Over the period, All Together Now found that 57% of opinion pieces discussing race involved racist language or themes. The study, which analysed 281 media pieces from the six most popular newspapers and television shows, found that Muslim Australians were the most frequently targeted.
ISLAMAPHOBIA IN AUSTRALIA The 2019 Islamophobia in Australia report suggests that hate incidents are not just a problem for Muslims, but will need national engagement if Australia is to maintain social cohesion and live up to its multicultural legacy. The report cites 349 incidents reported in 24 months (2016-17). This and previous reports indicate only the ‘tip of an iceberg’, as under-reporting of hate crimes and related incidents is an ongoing problem worldwide. The report shows that experiences of Islamophobia start for children in pre-school years,and continue in school years through multiple perpetrators, such as school peers, teachers, school administration, or other students’ parents. The presence of children was not a deterrent for many perpetrators, the report found.YOUNG REFUGEES IN THE EU
Based on interviews with over 160 refugees and 400 frontline workers, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)'s Integration of young refugees in the EU report identifies serious obstacles in existing migrant integration approaches for young people aged between 16 and 24. It also highlights good local policy initiatives from each country including: fast-track integration support to enter the labour market in Sweden; a Youth Guarantee financial assistance scheme available for young refugees in France and a mobile app in seven languages on life in Germany.