Refugees and asylum in Europe

How do we uphold the fundamental rights of people seeking safety in Europe? How can we bring different perspectives to a debate that draws from fears of a loss of sovereignty and political control in the context of borders, migration and asylum?

Seminar on refugees and asylum in Europe

Worldwide, almost 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes. The EU Asylum Course provides multiple perspectives on forced displacement and European and international refugee law. After an introduction on reasons to leave one’s country and a small quiz to buzz myths on migration and refugees, the trainers focus on the Geneva Refugee Convention as magna charta in international protection. The peer-trainers contribute to the debates in the classroom by challenging the homogenous group image of refugees and promoting an understanding of the transnational human rights regime that has shaped the European Refugee Law.

In three parallel workshops the pupils work with material that leads them though the steps of an asylum procedure. To produce the workshop we worked together with asylum seekers in Berlin who gave their personal perspective from being forced to flee their home, to the journey to Europe, the arrival and the insecurities and hopes that accompanies the process of waiting for the pending asylum procedure.

One of the three workshop looks into the history of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Another group of pupils takes on different roles and perspectives from civil society actors, and representatives of European institutions and members of national government to debate solutions and responsibilities.

The seminars are currently offered in Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg Northrhine-Westphalia and Saxony and are supported by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth within the federal programme ‘Live Democracy!’.

In Berlin/Brandenburg: Seminar day with subsequent discussion

After the seminar, in Berlin and Brandenburg, an optional discussion can be organised with asylum seekers in a Berlin refugee accommodation. In this moderated discussion, the topic of the seminar can be further dealt with, including personal perspectives. For a course with discussion, a total of five to six hours should be scheduled.

For general questions on the seminar, please contact us via e-mail: europa-verstehen@schwarzkopf-stiftung.de.