Background and context
At present, school education in the law and basic rights that would allow young people to lead their lives equally in modern European societies is almost non-existent. However, research supports that when people are given the basic legal knowledge to deal with everyday situations not only they stand a better chance in society, but also avoid consuming public services unnecessarily (IARS, 2010). The question of what make us legally capable becomes particularly timely in the current financial climate where more and more young people are struggling to cope, and the demand for legal advice is ever increasing. For young people, a legal problem – let that be crime or debt related, domestic violence or employment – will have a bigger impact. Starting out in life presents young people with enormous new challenges. Marginalised youth are even less likely to receive help or want to engage with the system and what is available to the mainstream population.
However, communicating law related information through formal education or training to marginalised youth and those servicing them is not an easy task. International projects (e.g. Street Law, PLENET, Youth Empowerment Project) have shown that to achieve basic legal literacy among the public, including young people, it must be carried out organically and in a user-led fashion. Therefore, in Europe, a gap is identified in the field of training, education and youth that could be filled through the free dissemination of a youth-led programme for service providers and young people with the aim of increasing their legal capability.
The intersection of race and gender inequalities means that young minority ethnic women are a particularly marginalised group in European societies. Over the past 10 years, it has become widely acknowledged that women are particularly vulnerable to gender-related forms of persecution, including rape and sexual violence, domestic violence, adultery, female genital mutilation, trafficking, discrimination, forced marriage, forced sterilisation and forced abortion (Querton, 2012). Young women are also trafficked in Europe without their consent and primarily for sex work (Craig et al, 2007). Trafficking for sex work is a form of gender-related persecution as laid out by the UNHCR (2002). Trafficked young women have often experienced physical and emotional violence including rape, torture and beatings (Zimmerman et al, 2006). The mental and physical health problems often associated with forms of gender-related persecution also means that the needs of ethnic minority women are often multiple and complex.
Therefore, increasing legal literacy of these young women as a core social and social skill in Europe is of paramount importance and a gap that is yet to be addressed in the field of education, training and youth.
The Abused no More (AnM) project will help to bridge this gap by focusing on increasing legal capacity in the areas of gender-based discrimination, exclusion and abuse against some of the most marginalised youth groups and in particular those who tend to be disadvantaged due to their gender and cultural differences (e.g. immigrants, refugees, descendants from immigrant families) and other social obstacles e.g. sexual orientation and ethnicity.
Inspired and motivated by the priorities of the EU Youth Strategy, the AnM project will bring together young people and professionals to establish a cross-sector, transnational Strategic Partnership in order to design and implement innovative practices and come up with a set of reference documents (online & in print) that will: (a) empower marginalised youth (b) increase the capacity of service providers, notably in the areas of integration, equity and inclusion, gender-based abuse and discrimination.
Focusing on the Europe 2020 Strategy, AnM aims to foster, migrant integration, social equity and inclusion through a two-tier approach i.e. by empowering and involving directly marginalised youth in its delivery, while at the same time increasing the capacity of organisations servicing them. In line with the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty to “encourage the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe”, through non-formal learning activities and the development of an evidence-based training programme, AnM will promote innovation, exchange of experience and know-how between different types of organisations providing services to youth with fewer opportunities.
AnM will be carried out in key EU locations (UK, Poland, Italy, Romania and Cyprus) but its learning will benefit the entire European Union. The project is coordinated by the IARS International Institute under the leadership of Dr. Theo Gavrielides.
The project will:
- Map and analyse key concepts in the areas of marginalised young people’ legal literacy, focusing on gender-based discrimination and exclusion
- Identify relevant innovative educational and training practices in the participating countries and produce a free report
- Organise seminars with partners to exchange learning and to perform cross-training activities
- Design a free, user-led, face-to-face training package and pilot them in the participating countries
- Involve young people directly in the design and piloting of the programme engaging at least 20 young volunteers in each country
- Design and deliver an elearning course reaching at least 1000 organisations and individuals across Europe
- Set up and facilitate a wider network (database) in order to disseminate its practical results, exchange further best practices and ideas and ensure multiple effect and sustainability.
- Publish a book (online and in print) bringing together its 3 year learning and practical results, launch it at an international conference and disseminate internationally.
The project will not only help the employability and social inclusion of the young people directly involved, but also bring positive and long-lasting effects on the participating organisations. Moreover, through the transfer and implementation at national and European levels of its innovative practices and training programme we expect to help bring about EU-wide institutional and cultural change, improve services provided to marginalised youth experiencing exclusion and discrimination, while fostering social equity and inclusion.
Abused no More: the Theory of Change
ABOUT THE PROJECT – CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE
ITALIAN – Il progetto Abused No More
POLISH – Informacje o projekcie