December eNews (copy 02)

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Welcome to MYAN's December eNews, our final newsletter for the year! 

As we reflect on our work in 2019 and prepare for 2020, MYAN would like to thank our fabulous staff, Governance Group, state and territory partners, Youth Ambassadors Network, State and Territory Advisory Network, our funding bodies, and all those in our networks across Australia for ​working with us to promote the rights and interests of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. And of course, a huge thank you to the young people from across Australia who are at the centre of everything we do. ​
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 updated edition of the National Youth Settlement Framework and some focused policy and advocacy work on education and employment. 
From all of us at MYAN, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday season, and look forward to working with you all in 2020. 
Read on to catch up on the latest national and international news and activities, opportunities and resources. 

International News 

Nadine Liddy , MYAN National Manager at the opening plenary of the Global Refugee Forum

Global Refugee Forum
Geneva, Switzerland December 17-18

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 Global Compact on Refugees

MYAN was represented at the GRF by Nadine Liddy, National Manager.

The forum brought together world leaders, the private sector, refugees, civil society and hundreds of other change-makers to bring the Global Compact on Refugees to life and make a difference in the lives of all refugees. Pledges were made on:
  • arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing,
  • education, jobs and livelihoods,
  • energy and infrastructure,
  • solutions, and
  • protection capacity
MYAN shared good practices in 'Welcoming and Inclusive Societies' at a 'marketplace' stall in partnership with Settlement Services International (SSI), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the University of Virginia.

MYAN also pledged to share its expertise in youth focused settlement and integration, and joined the SSI and Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI) pledge for an Australian community sponsorship program and the Global Youth Advisory Council's pledge.

Nadine Liddy , MYAN National Manager with Sonia Vignjevic and Carmen Ghaly from SSI
at the 'Marketplace', Global Refugee Forum

National News

Sydney, December 12

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. This forum was 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 forum 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 forum included dynamic discussion around a broad range of human rights issues, including: the age of criminal responsibility, how new technology can infringe on the rights of vulnerable people  and the impact of policy changes to vulnerable asylum seeker children and young people living in the community. 

Australia will submit its report to the UN in August 2020.


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.

Read the report here.


One Young World is asking young leaders across the world to help shape the One Young World 2020 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 .

Amina of Zaria presents #ColourFULL
Amina of Zaria is a digital platform and exclusive online tribe to help women of colour  succeed in business, career and life. In 2020, they are holding Australia’s first leadership and entrepreneurship conference and awards night by women of colour for women of colour and allies.

The conference will focus on programs and initiatives such as sponsorship, mentoring, coaching and an aim to create a membership-based community and private network for the advancement of women of colour in leadership and entrepreneurship via Amina of Zaria. The event will feature an awards ceremony, recognising remarkable women of colour who are taking the lead socially, culturally and professionally, highlighting them as inspiring role models and are encouraging  young women of colour to nominate themselves for an award.

For more information and to find out how to nominate yourself or someone you know for an award, head to the website here .

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.

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.

Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell has released a scorecard  assessing outcomes for children rights across Australia. One of the scorecard’s most significant pieces of commentary is that there is no good rationale for detaining children under the age of 14, in any form of detention.  “All Australian governments need to recommit to the principle of child detention as a measure of last resort, because placing children behind bars amounts to taking away their childhood and disrupting their healthy development,” Commissioner Mitchell said. “While most Australian children live in safe, healthy environments and do well, there are some groups whose rights are not well protected, which impacts negatively on their wellbeing and ability to thrive. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disability, children in care, children in rural and remote locations, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and LGBTI children,” Commissioner Mitchell added.

All Together Now's report Social Commentary and Racism in 2019 presents 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.

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.

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.

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.

Here are some great refugee-related reading lists for all ages. Happy reading
Seeking safety in a new land- 20 books about mighty girl refugees (for kids and teens)
16 Books about Refugees (for Kids & Adults).
100 must-reads (for adults)
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