During difficult political times for the UK government and the EU, the IARS International Institute will bring together over 200 delegates from marginalised European communities at its Annual International conference on 12-13thJuly at Middle Temple, Middle Temple Lane, London EC4Y 9AT. 

The conference is titled “European Community Voices Stronger Together: Abused and Stigmatised no More” and will launch the findings of two Erasmus+ funded projects that the Institute has been coordinating over the last three years. 

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS’ Founder and Director and Programme Coordinator, said: “Brexit has had serious and long-term consequences for the UK government and its people. It also raised a number of questions around EU accountability, equality and justice. At the Institute, we have always tried to create a space for dialogue and negotiation using our founding values of restorative justice and power sharing. Our 6thAnnual International Conferencecould not be more timely launching the findings of two equality programmes that aim to empower some of Europe’s most disadvantaged groups. We look forward to working with all those who believe that true power is one that is shared”.

The conference coincides with US President’s visit to the UK and aims to address some controversial statements in relation to migration, security and equality. 

Simon Chambers, Erasmus+ Programme Lead at the British Council, said: “Another reminder from IARS of the difference young people can make, working together on the issues that matter! Both of the Youth projects showcased at the conference also point to the importance of international experience – giving access to new skills and experience, and networks for collaboration.  There’s scope for plenty more projects – as ambitious and as relevant as these – in the two full years remaining of the Erasmus+ programme, 2019 and 2020.”

In fact, the 12thof July is exclusively dedicated on issues facing LGBT+ migrants and refugees who become marginalised both by the local LGBT+ community and public services. Along with our European partners, we will launch the final result of the Erasmus funded programme “Epsilon” project, which highlights existing gaps in service provision for LGBT migrants and those working with this particularly marginalised group.  The eBook features a comparative section reviewing current practice across Europe as well as chapters in Greek, Italian and Dutch.

On the 13thJuly, the conference will launch the cutting-edge findings of the Erasmus+ funded “Abused No More: Safeguarding Youth and Empowering Professionals” programme, addressing existing gaps in the provision of legal education for young women affected by gender-based violence (GBV) including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), rape and forced marriage.  The eBookfeatures a comparative chapter reviewing current practice across Europe as well as chapters in Greek, Italian and Polish. Recommendations for future policy  and practice are formulated to help protect this particularly marginalied group of young people.

Over the last 3 years, professionalsyoung peopleand LGBT migrantshave benefited from freely available, tailored online training tools and resources resulting from both projects. The tools aim to increase users’ knowledge and confidence as well as to strengthen professionals’ capacity in providing tailored and successful services.

Emma Colburn, a young person and member of the IARS Youth Advisory Boardsaid: “Abused no More is such an important project because of the immense need that there is for legal literacy, especially for people from marginalised backgrounds. The access to this knowledge will certainly help these people that are susceptible to unfair treatment, discrimination, and abuse. The goal of this is so that these marginalised people will be aware of their basic rights and responsibilities as equal members of society.”

Ends.

NOTES TO EDITORS

·      The IARS International Institute is user-led and user-focused charity with a mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. Since its inception, the Institute has been providing world-class and cutting-edge educational, research, policy and networking services of local, national and international significance.  We are focused on empowering the most marginalised communities through direct service delivery, while enabling organizations to achieve measure and improve their social impact. We are experts in the fields of Youth | Equalities | Justice. To find out more about the IARS International Institute please follow the link www.iars.org.uk

·      Abuse no More was delivered in partnership with 4 European partners, namely Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej (Poland), KISA - Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism (Cyprus), Anziani e non solo (Italy) and Romanian U.S. Alumni Association (Romania) under the leadership of The IARS International Institute.

·      Epsilon was delivered in partnership with 4 European partners with long standing experience in engaging with marginalized and disadvantaged groups namely; Anziani e Non Solo (Italy), the Family and Childcare Centre (Greece) Movisie, Netherlands Centre for social development and Center for Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) (Cyprus).

·      Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It significantly increases EU funding (+40%) with an overall budget of €14.7 billion (£12 billion) for the development of knowledge and skills and aims to increase the quality and relevance of qualifications and skills. Two-thirds of its funding will provide grants for more than 4 million people to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer abroad in 2014-2020 (compared with 2.7 million in 2007-2013). The period abroad can range from a few days up to a year. In the UK, it is expected that nearly 250,000 people will undertake activities abroad with the programme. Erasmus+ aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. It is open to education, training, youth and sport organisations across all sectors of Lifelong Learning, including schools education, further and higher education, adult education and the youth sector. Erasmus+ provides funding for organisations to offer opportunities to students, teachers, apprentices, volunteers, youth leaders and people working in grassroots’ sport. It will also provide funding for partnerships between organisations such as educational institutions, youth organisations, enterprises, local and regional authorities and NGOs, as well as support for reforms in Member States to modernise education and training and to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and employability. The programme is managed in the UK by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, which is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.

·      To find out more about the Abused No More Programme and to get involved in the activities please follow the link http://www.abusednomore.org/ about-the-project or contact the EU project lead Dr. Theo Gavrielides T.Gavrielides@iars.org.uk

·      To join the Abused No More pan-European network please follow the link http://www.abusednomore.org/join-our-network/

·      Abused No More is co-funded by the European Commission under the Grant Agreement: 
2015-1-UK01-KA205-012555

·      EPSILON is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ - Grant agreement 2016-1-UK01-KA204-024317