openDemocracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/ en Call for applications: Syria Facilitator, Middle East Forum https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/opendemocracy/call-for-applications-syria-facilitator-middle-east-forum <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="direction-rtl" style="text-align: right;">يبحث موقع openDemocracy عن ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط&nbsp; لسوريا.</p><p>openDemocracy is looking to hire a facilitator for the Middle East Forum for Syria.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/middle-east-forum">Middle East Forum</a></span> is a project that encourages emerging young voices to express themselves, exchange views and be heard. The project provides participants with a series of workshops to develop writing skills, media presence, and digital security as well as a free discussion space where they have the capacity to debate constructively. Participants in the forum host speakers, acquire skills, share knowledge, and give feedback to one another. </p><p class="western" lang="en-GB"> We are currently looking for a facilitator to coordinate a group of 7 participants from Syria. openDemocracy has a standard of expectation from our participants as well as from each individual facilitator. </p><p>This is a freelance role, 35 days of work spread over 11 months with a salary of $109 per day. </p><p><strong>In general, facilitators will be expected to:</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB">- Ensure a safe space for all the participants to express themselves freely;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Host debates but allow for the creative process to take its due course;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Cultivate a good working relationship with the participants, and serve as their mentor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Maintain a good line of communication with the participants, and be available for any questions;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Be responsible for training the participants, providing them with the tools necessary to complete the program successfully, and the ability to organise other professional trainers where needed;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Outline learning objectives for the group;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Oversee and support the participants’ work, and assist where necessary;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Provide constructive feedback and suggestions to enhance the participant’s learning experience.</p> </li></ul> <p><strong>Requirements</strong></p> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> We are looking for people who are passionate about journalism and its potential to change the world, and have:</p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Expertise in the specific region of the program;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Experience in debate moderation;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Prior experience of digital publishing and social media;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - A background in journalism and journalistic writing;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Fluency in both Arabic and English - able to write and edit;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Knowledge of online security, computer systems and office-related software;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.</p> </li></ul> <p><strong>Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Finding, screening and selecting seven candidates for the program;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Meeting the commitment of 15 sessions;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Actively developing an online space for debate;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Developing a working relationship with the participants, such that you can adequately serve as their mentor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Actively moderating debate;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Managing communication with participants;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Ensuring that notes for each session are being taken. Share notes with all participants;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Editing articles written by the participants in both Arabic and English;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Liaising with the project coordinator and editor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Writing progress reports;</p> </li></ul> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> <strong>Who can apply?</strong></p> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> You can apply for the position if you fall under any of the following:</p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB">- Previous experience as a journalist or editor</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Currently completing or recently completed post-graduate studies in related field</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Possess expertise in the specific region of the program</p> </li></ul> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> <strong>How to apply?</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> Send in a sample piece of <strong>1000 words</strong> in Arabic or English of why you believe you are suitable for this role and your resume </p></li></ul> <p>Please send your application documents to <span><a href="mailto:arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net">arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net</a></span> by the <strong>15th of March.</strong> </p><h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>دعوة إلى تقديم الطلبات لمنصب ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط لسوريا</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">يبحث موقع <strong>openDemocracy</strong> عن ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط&nbsp; لسوريا.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">منتدى الشرق الأوسط هو مشروع يشجّع الأجيال الصاعدة الشابّة على التعبير عن نفسها وتبادل الآراء وإيصال صوتها. يقدّم المشروع للمشاركين سلسلة من ورش العمل لتطوير مهاراتهم في الكتابة والحضور الإعلامي والأمن الرقمي كما يوفّر المشروع فضاء للمناقشات ويمنح المشاركين فرصة التحاور بطريقة بنّاءة. يستضيف المشاركون في المنتدى متحدثين ويكتسبون مهارات ويتشاركون المعلومات ويعبّرون عن رأيهم بعمل زملائهم.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">نسعى إلى توظيف ميسّر لتنسيق عمل مجموعة من 7 مشاركين من سوريا. </p> <p class="direction-rtl">ثمة معايير يتوقع موقع <strong>openDemocracy</strong> من المشاركين ومن كلّ ميسّر احترامها.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">هذا منصب حرّ (<strong>freelance</strong>) يتضمّن 35 يوماً من العمل ممتدّ على فترة 11 شهراً. </p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>بشكل عام، تضمّ مهام الميسّر التالي:</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تأمين منبر آمن لجميع المشاركين للتعبير عن آرائهم بِحرية؛ <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; استضافة مناظرات والسماح للعملية الخلّاقة أن تأخذ مجراها المناسب؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; بناء علاقة عمل جيدة مع المشاركين وتأدية دور المرشد؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الحرص على تأمين التواصل السليم مع المشاركين والتوفر للإجابة عن جميع أسئلتهم؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تحمّل مسؤولية تدريب المشاركين ومدّهم بالأدوات اللازمة لإتمام البرنامج بنجاح وبالقدرة على تأمين مدرّبين محترفين آخرين، إذا دعت الحاجة؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; وضع أهداف التعلّم للمجموعة؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الإشراف على عمل المشاركين ودعمهم ومساعدتهم لدى الحاجة؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تقديم تعليقات واقتراحات بنّاءة لتحسين التجربة التعلّمية للمشاركين.</p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>متطلّبات الوظيفة:</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">نبحث عن أشخاص شغوفين في مجال الصحافة ويؤمنون بقدرتها على تغيير العالم. يجب أن يتحلّوا بالمهارات التالية:</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;إطّلاع واسع على شؤون المنطقة المحدّدة للبرنامج؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; خبرة في إدارة المناقشات؛ </p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; خبرة سابقة في النشر الرقمي والتواصل الاجتماعي؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تخصّص في الصحافة والكتابة الصحافية؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; طلاقة في اللغتين العربية والإنكليزية والقدرة على الكتابة والتنقيح في اللغتين؛ </p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; معرفة في أمن الإنترنت وأنظمة الكمبيوتر والبرمجيات المكتبية؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; امتلاك مهارات متقدمة في التواصل والتعامل مع الآخرين.</p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>تضمّ مسؤوليات الميسّر التالي، على سبيل المثال لا الحصر:</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; إيجاد 7 مرشحين للبرنامج وفحص مهاراتهم والاختيار من بينهم؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; القدرة على الالتزام بحضور 15 جلسة؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تطوير فعلي لفضاء إلكتروني للمناظرات؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تطوير علاقات عمل مع المشاركين للنجاح في دور المرشد؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; إدارة المناظرات بشكل نشط؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; القدرة على التواصل مع المشاركين؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الحرص على تدوين الملاحظات في كلّ جلسة وتشاركها مع جميع المشاركين؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تنقيح المقالات التي يكتبها المشاركون باللغتين العربية والإنكليزية؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; التنسيق مع مدير المشروع والمحرّر؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; صياغة تقارير عن سير العمل وتقدّمه.</p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>مَن </strong><strong>المرشّحون لهذه الوظيفة؟</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">يمكنك التقدّم بطلب للحصول على الوظيفة إذا:</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; لديك خبرة سابقة كمحرّر أو صحافي؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; أتممت دراسات عليا في مجال مرتبط أو إذا كنت في طور إتمام هذه الدراسات؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; لديك إطّلاع واسع على المنطقة المحددة للبرنامج.</p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>كيف يمكن التقدّم للوظيفة؟</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">أرسِل نصّاً من 1000 كلمة باللغة الإنكليزية أو العربية تفسّر فيه الأسباب التي تجعلك مناسباً لهذا المنصب، بالإضافة إلى سيرتك الذاتية. </p><p class="direction-rtl">الرجاء إرسال جميع الطلبات والمستندات المرتبطة بها إلى موقع <a href="mailto:arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net"><strong>arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net</strong></a> والموعد النهائي للتقديم هو 15 مارس. </p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/opendemocracy/call-for-applications-for-program-expansion-consultant-at-opendemocracy">Call for applications: Middle East Forum Program Expansion Consultant </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/arab-awakening/call-for-applications-egypt-facilitator-middle-east-forum">Call for applications: Egypt Facilitator, Middle East Forum</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Arab Awakening Middle East Forum Arab Awakening Opportunities at openDemocracy openDemocracy Mon, 27 Feb 2017 10:50:50 +0000 openDemocracy 109094 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Call for applications: Middle East Forum Program Expansion Consultant https://www.opendemocracy.net/opendemocracy/call-for-applications-for-program-expansion-consultant-at-opendemocracy <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">openDemocracy is looking for a Program Expansion Consultant to advise and support the expansion of the Middle East Forum project. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">This is a freelance position for initially 10 days at $109 per day, with the possibility of more work for the wider <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening">Arab Awakening</a> project. </p><p dir="ltr">The Program Expansion Consultant will be tasked with providing guidance and advice on how to expand the project, both in terms of seeking funding to cover more countries in the future, but also in playing an oversight role of the project to ensure its success. This would involve helping openDemocracy with outreach to new partners, offering feedback on the programme and content, and providing ideas and contacts to help make it a success in each of the countries it is implemented in.</p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/middle-east-forum">Middle East Forum</a> is a project that encourages emerging young voices to express themselves, exchange views and be heard. The project provides participants with a series of workshops to develop writing skills, media presence, and digital security as well as a free discussion space where they have the capacity to debate constructively. Participants in the forum host speakers, acquire skills, share knowledge, and give feedback to one another.</p><p dir="ltr">The ideal candidate would be someone who has</p><p dir="ltr">* Experience in working as a journalist and/or editor in the region
</p><p dir="ltr">* Experience in cross-regional projects in the Middle East and North Africa
</p><p dir="ltr">* A wide network of contacts within civil society, media and funders in the region
</p><p dir="ltr">* Experience in running large projects and ability to advise on expansion of the MEF project
</p><p dir="ltr">* Fundraising experience
</p><p dir="ltr">If you are interested in applying please send your CV and a brief letter of motivation to arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net by the 15th March 2017.</p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Arab Awakening Opportunities at openDemocracy openDemocracy Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:45:54 +0000 openDemocracy 108931 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Call for applications: Egypt Facilitator, Middle East Forum https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/call-for-applications-egypt-facilitator-middle-east-forum <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="direction-rtl" style="text-align: right;">يبحث موقع openDemocracy عن ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط&nbsp; في مصر.</p><p>openDemocracy is looking to hire a facilitator for the Middle East Forum in Egypt.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/middle-east-forum">Middle East Forum</a></span> is a project that encourages emerging young voices to express themselves, exchange views and be heard. The project provides participants with a series of workshops to develop writing skills, media presence, and digital security as well as a free discussion space where they have the capacity to debate constructively. Participants in the forum host speakers, acquire skills, share knowledge, and give feedback to one another. </p><p class="western" lang="en-GB"> We are currently looking for a facilitator to coordinate a group of 7 participants from Egypt. openDemocracy has a standard of expectation from our participants as well as from each individual facilitator. </p><p>This is a freelance role, 35 days of work spread over 11 months with a salary of $109 per day. </p><p><strong>In general, facilitators will be expected to:</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB">- Ensure a safe space for all the participants to express themselves freely;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Host debates but allow for the creative process to take its due course;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Cultivate a good working relationship with the participants, and serve as their mentor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Maintain a good line of communication with the participants, and be available for any questions;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Be responsible for training the participants, providing them with the tools necessary to complete the program successfully, and the ability to organise other professional trainers where needed;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Outline learning objectives for the group;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Oversee and support the participants’ work, and assist where necessary;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Provide constructive feedback and suggestions to enhance the participant’s learning experience.</p> </li></ul> <p><strong>Requirements</strong></p> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> We are looking for people who are passionate about journalism and its potential to change the world, and have:</p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Expertise in the specific region of the program;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Experience in debate moderation;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Prior experience of digital publishing and social media;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - A background in journalism and journalistic writing;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Fluency in both Arabic and English - able to write and edit;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Knowledge of online security, computer systems and office-related software;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.</p> </li></ul> <p><strong>Specific responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Finding, screening and selecting seven candidates for the program;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Meeting the commitment of 15 sessions;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Actively developing an online space for debate;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Developing a working relationship with the participants, such that you can adequately serve as their mentor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Actively moderating debate;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Managing communication with participants;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Ensuring that notes for each session are being taken. Share notes with all participants;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Editing articles written by the participants in both Arabic and English;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Liaising with the project coordinator and editor;</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Writing progress reports;</p> </li></ul> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> <strong>Who can apply?</strong></p> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> You can apply for the position if you fall under any of the following:</p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB">- Previous experience as a journalist or editor</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Currently completing or recently completed post-graduate studies in related field</p> </li><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> - Possess expertise in the specific region of the program</p> </li></ul> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> <strong>How to apply?</strong></p> <ul><li> <p class="western" lang="en-GB"> Send in a sample piece of <strong>1000 words</strong> in Arabic or English of why you believe you are suitable for this role and your resume </p></li></ul> <p>Please send your application documents to <span><a href="mailto:arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net">arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net</a></span> by the <strong>1st of March.</strong> </p><h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>دعوة إلى تقديم الطلبات لمنصب ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط في مصر</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">يبحث موقع <strong>openDemocracy</strong> عن ميسّر لمنتدى الشرق الأوسط&nbsp; في مصر.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">منتدى الشرق الأوسط هو مشروع يشجّع الأجيال الصاعدة الشابّة على التعبير عن نفسها وتبادل الآراء وإيصال صوتها. يقدّم المشروع للمشاركين سلسلة من ورش العمل لتطوير مهاراتهم في الكتابة والحضور الإعلامي والأمن الرقمي كما يوفّر المشروع فضاء للمناقشات ويمنح المشاركين فرصة التحاور بطريقة بنّاءة. يستضيف المشاركون في المنتدى متحدثين ويكتسبون مهارات ويتشاركون المعلومات ويعبّرون عن رأيهم بعمل زملائهم.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">نسعى إلى توظيف ميسّر لتنسيق عمل مجموعة من 7 مشاركين من مصر. </p> <p class="direction-rtl">ثمة معايير يتوقع موقع <strong>openDemocracy</strong> من المشاركين ومن كلّ ميسّر احترامها.</p> <p class="direction-rtl">هذا منصب حرّ (<strong>freelance</strong>) يتضمّن 35 يوماً من العمل ممتدّ على فترة 11 شهراً. </p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>بشكل عام، تضمّ مهام الميسّر التالي:</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تأمين منبر آمن لجميع المشاركين للتعبير عن آرائهم بِحرية؛ <strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; استضافة مناظرات والسماح للعملية الخلّاقة أن تأخذ مجراها المناسب؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; بناء علاقة عمل جيدة مع المشاركين وتأدية دور المرشد؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الحرص على تأمين التواصل السليم مع المشاركين والتوفر للإجابة عن جميع أسئلتهم؛<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تحمّل مسؤولية تدريب المشاركين ومدّهم بالأدوات اللازمة لإتمام البرنامج بنجاح وبالقدرة على تأمين مدرّبين محترفين آخرين، إذا دعت الحاجة؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; وضع أهداف التعلّم للمجموعة؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الإشراف على عمل المشاركين ودعمهم ومساعدتهم لدى الحاجة؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تقديم تعليقات واقتراحات بنّاءة لتحسين التجربة التعلّمية للمشاركين.<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>متطلّبات الوظيفة:</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">نبحث عن أشخاص شغوفين في مجال الصحافة ويؤمنون بقدرتها على تغيير العالم. يجب أن يتحلّوا بالمهارات التالية:</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;إطّلاع واسع على شؤون المنطقة المحدّدة للبرنامج؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; خبرة في إدارة المناقشات؛ <strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; خبرة سابقة في النشر الرقمي والتواصل الاجتماعي؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تخصّص في الصحافة والكتابة الصحافية؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; طلاقة في اللغتين العربية والإنكليزية والقدرة على الكتابة والتنقيح في اللغتين؛ <strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; معرفة في أمن الإنترنت وأنظمة الكمبيوتر والبرمجيات المكتبية؛</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; امتلاك مهارات متقدمة في التواصل والتعامل مع الآخرين.<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>تضمّ مسؤوليات الميسّر التالي، على سبيل المثال لا الحصر:</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; إيجاد 7 مرشحين للبرنامج وفحص مهاراتهم والاختيار من بينهم؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; القدرة على الالتزام بحضور 15 جلسة؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تطوير فعلي لفضاء إلكتروني للمناظرات؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تطوير علاقات عمل مع المشاركين للنجاح في دور المرشد؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; إدارة المناظرات بشكل نشط؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; القدرة على التواصل مع المشاركين؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; الحرص على تدوين الملاحظات في كلّ جلسة وتشاركها مع جميع المشاركين؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; تنقيح المقالات التي يكتبها المشاركون باللغتين العربية والإنكليزية؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; التنسيق مع مدير المشروع والمحرّر؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; صياغة تقارير عن سير العمل وتقدّمه.<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>مَن </strong><strong>المرشّحون لهذه الوظيفة؟</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">يمكنك التقدّم بطلب للحصول على الوظيفة إذا:</p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; لديك خبرة سابقة كمحرّر أو صحافي؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; أتممت دراسات عليا في مجال مرتبط أو إذا كنت في طور إتمام هذه الدراسات؛<strong></strong></p> <p class="direction-rtl">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; لديك إطّلاع واسع على المنطقة المحددة للبرنامج.<strong></strong></p> <h2 class="direction-rtl"><strong>كيف يمكن التقدّم للوظيفة؟</strong></h2> <p class="direction-rtl">أرسِل نصّاً من 1000 كلمة باللغة الإنكليزية أو العربية تفسّر فيه الأسباب التي تجعلك مناسباً لهذا المنصب، بالإضافة إلى سيرتك الذاتية.<strong></strong> </p><p class="direction-rtl">الرجاء إرسال جميع الطلبات والمستندات المرتبطة بها إلى موقع <a href="mailto:arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net"><strong>arabawakeningteam@opendemocracy.net</strong></a> والموعد النهائي للتقديم هو 1 مارس. </p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Middle East Forum Arab Awakening Opportunities at openDemocracy Mid-East Forum openDemocracy Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:41:10 +0000 openDemocracy 108840 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Uncertain, cold, and disempowered – healthcare in Greek refugee camps https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/sarah-walpole/uncertain-cold-and-disempowered-healthcare-in-greek-refugee-camps <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> How can we heal the wounds of refugees in these circumstances,asks a volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society. </div> </div> </div> <p class="western"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/549093/07-08-SyriaWomen.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/549093/07-08-SyriaWomen.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span><em>Image: UNHCR</em></p><p class="western"><span>In the last few weeks, hundreds of people have been moved out of refugee camps in Northern Greece into hotels or similar accommodation. </span><span>Snow has been falling, and </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/10/greece-severe-weather-places-refugees-at-risk-and-government-under-fire"><span><span><span>te</span></span></span><span><span><span>mperatures hit minus ten</span></span></span></a><span> at night. </span><span>Frustration and dis-empowerment is everywhere. After months of waiting, th</span><span>ose who remain in the camp knowing that when they are </span><span>relocated,</span><span> it will be without warning or explanation.</span></p><p class="western"> <span>When the time comes to move f</span><span>amilies or individual </span><span>refugees</span><span> </span><span>out of the camp, they </span><span>are often told late one evening that a van will be moving them the next day. They are given only hours to pack their belongings. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>During one of my days volunteering for the </span><span><span><a href="https://www.sams-usa.net/greece/"><span>Syrian American Medical Society</span></a></span></span><span>, I spoke to </span><span>refugees</span><span> and families who were about to be taken by bus to the next place that would serve as home. Not one could tell me the name of the street, town or even the region that they were about to be driven to. Only a couple knew which organisation was taking them. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>Coming as I do from a health service and a society where we place a high value on </span><span><span><a href="https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ppf-1314-1516.pdf"><span>‘patient engagement’, ‘patient autonomy’ and ‘patient choice’</span></a></span></span><span> the lack of engagement, autonomy or choice afforded to refugees here seems derisory. There’s little I can do to counteract the sense of helplessness that many feel under these circumstances. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>Gaining the trust of Syrian refugees who access NGO services or Greek healthcare services is difficult. Before the breakdown of the </span><span><span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697421/"><span>Syrian healthcare system</span></a></span></span><span>, Syrians were used to relatively easy access to specialists and to many treatments, including antibiotics, that are used more judiciously in Europe. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>The intricacies of good communication to build a relationship with a patient are hard to access in overcrowded clinic rooms via translators who have had no formal training. The vast majority of the volunteer organisations working in Greek refugee camps </span><span>rely on</span><span> ‘local translators,’ meaning members of the refugee community. Few of the translators have received more than basic education, </span><span>though </span><span>many have worked very hard to teach themselves English. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>Managing any long term health condition is difficult without access to medical records, </span><span>without</span><span> well-established organisations and structures for coordination between agencies. The systems to support migrant populations will need to </span><span>work better and more flexibly</span><span> to </span><span>cope with the </span><span>frequent and unpredictable changes for many years to come. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>Supporting</span><span> people</span><span> with mental health or social problems in a refugee camp is particularly challenging. A plethora of mental health problems, from depression to psychosis, are more common in those who have been forced to migrate. A lady I saw in clinic has suffered from increasing pains, confusion and anxiety since she arrived at the camp eight months ago. </span><span>She </span><span>recently started to express hopelessness and difficulty being a mother without her husband here in Greece. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>Defining ‘normal’ mental health, appropriate behaviour and good care for children in this setting is not straightforward. Cold conditions, a poor diet and a lack of education and stimulation are the norm. </span><span>F</span><span>rustration and depression may result in parents giving less of the right kind of attention to their children.</span></p><p class="western"> <span>When I ask patients who come to clinic what their worries are, they </span><span>most often</span><span> tell me that it is ‘the situation’ that causes their troubles. “What can we do?” They feel trapped and without control over their lives. Their children haven’t been at school regularly for months or years. </span><span>T</span><span>hey have no work or prospect of work. They may have had </span><span><span><a href="http://w2eu.info/greece.en/articles/greece-asylum.en.html"><span>one or both of their asylum interviews</span></a></span></span><span> but they are invariably </span><span>facing months of waiting to </span><span>receive the date of, </span><span>and then</span><span> the outcome from, an interview. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>The humanitarian organisations working here are also in the dark about what the future holds, both short term and longer term. Rumours circulate that the camps will be cleared and more refugees will be brought here from the islands, but no one seems to know when. Part of the reason that refugees are not being moved from </span><span><span><a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/concern-spate-deaths-greek-refugee-camps-170130180746859.html"><span>the exposed camps on Lesbos, Chios and the other Greek islands</span></a></span></span><span> may be the EU-Turkey deal. </span><span>Under the deal, </span><span>‘irregular migrants’ (including those who haven’t claimed asylum yet, or have claimed asylum in another country and then moved on) are not to be moved to the Greek mainland, but instead to be returned to Turkey and ‘swapped’ for a migrant in a Turkish refugee camp who will be resettled in the EU. </span> </p><p class="western"> <span>I wondered during my days in Northern Greece what effect the noxious mix of uncertainty, cold and </span><span>dis-empowerment</span><span> will have on those who are growing up with the title of ‘refugee’. How will they process the traumas and challenges of their long journeys? Some refugees tell me that they can talk to a friend </span><span>and</span><span> some receive psychological support from one of the humanitarian organisations. </span><span>But</span><span> many don’t. </span> </p><p><span>Those refugees acting as translators have a particular burden. “They tell me so many stories, but I have my own story,” one translator said to me. Though ‘the migrant crisis’ is such a large scale calamity, it is important that we don’t overlook the horrors that individuals have faced. It will take time and courage to examine and heal their wounds.&nbsp;</span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ournhs/joy-clarke/from-iraq-to-tilbury-migrants-health-and-borders">From Iraq to Tilbury: migrants, health and borders</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ournhs/alex-langford/health-is-right-not-reward-for-being-born-in-right-place">Health is a right, not a reward for being born in the right place</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> ourNHS ourNHS refugees Sarah Walpole Tue, 28 Feb 2017 13:07:41 +0000 Sarah Walpole 109126 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The cold heart of ICE https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/cold-heart-of-ice <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is arresting immigrants in a number of US states. The agency insists that it is only targeting dangerous criminals, but many have no criminal records.&nbsp;<strong><em><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/el-coraz-n-helado-de-la-polic-de-inmigraci-n-en-estados-unidos">Español</a></em></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/PA-30156080.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>A demonstration was held on February 16th, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Varick Street Federal Building) in New York City. Erik McGregor SIPA USA/PA Images. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p class="blockquote-new"><em>We’re going to deal with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)</em> <em>with heart.</em></p> <p class="blockquote-new">-- President Donald Trump at a press conference on February 16, 2017.</p> <p>The future of a North Carolina nursing student rested in the hands of immigration officials on Valentine’s Day. It’s hard to believe anyone could turn away the gentle and sincere 25-year-old, who embraces each of his supporters with an extended hug and a big smile. But he was there expecting to be deported.</p> <p>Felipe Molina Mendoza travelled from Durham to Charlotte, NC, this morning, prepared for what he thought would be his last moments as a free man in the United States. Brought to the US when he was 8, Felipe attended middle and high school in Durham. He felt compelled to return to a barely known Mexico upon graduation, when he, a straight-A student, could not continue his education because he was not a legal resident of the United States.</p> <p>Unable to pass the subtle manoeuvres a young gay man in his new community must make, the American-bred-if-not-born teenager was subjected to taunts and assault and became seriously depressed. He was strip-searched and ridiculed by Mexican police for lodging a complaint after being threatened with gang rape. “Growing up here, I always thought the police would do something,” he explained last week in Durham. When his grandmother died after his first semester, he needed to come home.</p> <p>Turned back at the US border in 2013, Felipe tried again and petitioned for asylum in 2014. He was further traumatized by a stay in the infamous “ice box” and a harrowing time in a privately-run immigration detention center. “They put chains on my hands and feet just to take me to court,” he said, his voice breaking as he relived the experience. But he passed his “credible fear” interviews and was allowed to return to Durham and his family after they raised a $7,500 bond and an American citizen, now his boyfriend, came forward to sign as his sponsor. Felipe began to study for a career in nursing and has been working in a Chapel Hill restaurant to pay for it, his hard-won work permit in hand.</p> <p>“The only thing I’ve done is try to be a good citizen and a good student and make a life for myself… It’s not true what they say on TV, that they only want to deport people with criminal records. My work permit runs to November next year.”</p> <p>Agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, aka ICE, the US government’s immigration police, were out in force in a number of states on Thursday morning, February 10, 2017.&nbsp; According to ICE’s own confirmation, 160 immigrants were arrested in Southern California, 200 in Georgia and the Carolinas, with ICE admitting to 680 apprehensions nationwide. The agency insists that it is only targeting dangerous criminals and avoiding sensitive locations with children, but numerous community reports show that its agents are using racial profiling, making arbitrary stops of construction vans, and casing work sites and, in at least two cases, elementary schools. The raids, not unlike the ones that wracked the immigrant community under the Obama administration last year, took place in or near the perceived sanctuary cities of Charlotte, Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Seattle and Atlanta.</p> <p>Many of the people being arrested by ICE have no criminal records. A salient aspect of their stories is how many were in the process of residency or asylum petitions, such as Daniel Ramírez Medina, a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient in Washington State. In other words, despite the government’s insistence that it is arresting only the worst of criminals, it is apparent that ICE is abusing the list of immigrants who are “waiting in line” and “playing by the rules”.</p> <p>ICE contends that Daniel is a gang member, which he denies, based on a tattoo they say he sports that reads “La Paz BCS”. La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur, is the city in Mexico where Daniel was born. If he indeed were in a gang, however, he would be an American-made member, since he came to the US when he was 7. He has never been a suspect or accused of any crime.</p> <p>In its executive order prioritizing criminals for deportation, the Trump administration has effectively re-categorized misdemeanours such as traffic violations and working and paying taxes without or with a false social security number as felonies for undocumented immigrants, and gives ICE agents the authority to arrest immigrants they suspect could be a criminal or, “in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”</p> <p>People like Felipe, who have made more than one attempt to rejoin loved ones in the US, are called repeat immigration offenders, even if they are later found to have a credible claim. When the police racially profile drivers, the number of tickets, DWL’s (driving without a license) and DUI’s (driving under the influence) become higher for Latinos and people of color. When local attempts to provide driver’s licenses to the poor and undocumented are banned, driving without a license may be the only alternative to get to a job, take care of children or in an emergency. Driving violations are misdemeanours, if you’re leaving a party at Mar-a-Lago – but not if you’re an immigrant.</p> <p>Nestor Ávila Miranda had a prior DUI. Like Felipe, he was brought to the US when he was only 8 years old. The star athlete and Appalachian State graduate is now in Stewart Detention Center, in a makeshift hospital bed because the driver of the ICE van he shared with other arrested immigrants collided after engaging in a road rage race with another vehicle. His right foot is swollen and, because of lack of care, a bone infection has set in and it may have to be amputated. DACA and now U-visa eligible, he remains incarcerated.</p> <p>Natalia Quintana-Rondón, a 46 year old mother, had just married a US citizen a week before her arrest on February 1. She and her new husband were in the process of adjusting her status when the car she was driving was pulled over in a traffic stop in Fort Mills, SC, outside of Charlotte, NC. Her daughter was present and attempted to reason with officers until Natalia’s husband could arrive with proof of his ownership of the car. Natalia, who speaks little English, was driving with a Venezuelan license, and is now awaiting transfer to an ICE detention center in Georgia. Her family is hoping that she will be released on bond.</p> <p>It was the Obama administration that started this epidemic of arrests, beginning with an operation specifically targeting Central American unaccompanied minors and women with small children who were seeking political asylum in the United States, especially over the summer of 2014. One of them, Ingrid Portillo Hernández, was learning English in the 11th grade in Durham. She had fled El Salvador after her father, a community activist, was assassinated during a period of increased violence in their home country. She was arrested walking to her new school in May, accompanied by two younger relatives, a little more than a month after she had turned 18. Ingrid was swiftly deported in September, despite the intercession of a U.S. Congressman from North Carolina, G.K. Butterfield, who has also interceded on behalf of Felipe and many others.</p> <p>As February’s round of raids is taking place, North Carolina’s House of Representatives passed the Citizens’ Protection Act, defining it as:</p> <p>“An act to reduce identity theft by increasing penalties for the possession, manufacture or sale of counterfeit documents; to create a rebuttable presumption against the pre-trial release of certain undocumented aliens; and to enact a penalty for cities and counties that violate state laws related to sanctuary cities.”</p> <p>Using another person’s social security number (SSN) to get a job and work would not only be a victimless crime, but also a benefit to the original owner in that another person is paying into their retirement. But usually, the “fake social” undocumented immigrants use is an Individual Tax-payer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is provided by the government for financial transactions, akin to an SSN except that it does not convey the right to work. Using an ITIN, undocumented immigrant employees pay taxes and Social Security but cannot claim tax deductions or reap benefits if they are injured on the job, become disabled or retire. In the recent past, ITIN’s were routinely converted into SSN’s upon approval for residency, and working on an ITIN was evidence of being a model immigrant at an immigration hearing.</p> <p>Arresting compliant, previously registered individuals is an easy way to boost ICE’s numbers. And people who have good cases are a windfall for private, for-profit detention center corporations GEO, based in Boca Raton, Florida, a half-hour’s drive from Mar-a-Lago, and CCA – which has “rebranded” its name to CoreCivic -- headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, The longer one’s case takes, the more money is to be made in their facilities, which detainees themselves maintain for a dollar a day. Families need to send money to pay the prison corporations’ extortionate prices for toiletries and phone calls.</p> <p>Felipe never had a DUI or committed any other infraction, he has only worked with permission, he should have been DACA-eligible, yet he has spent three years on the brink of deportation. His Valentine’s Day hearing ended in a reprieve, but only until March 5.</p> <p>This is Felipe’s page on Facebook, hosted by AlertaMigratoriaNC and Education Not Deportation:</p> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/">https://www.facebook.com/events/369839710061503/</a></p> <p>And here is more information and a petition on behalf of Nestor:</p> <p>http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/mexican-president-is-adding-fuel-to-fire">Mexican President is adding fuel to the fire</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/obama-keeps-on-deporting-central-american-teens-what-will-trump-do">Obama keeps on deporting Central American teens. What will Trump do?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democraciaabierta/danica-jorden/women-and-children-first-homeland-security-targets-family-units-for-">Women and children first: Homeland Security targets “family units” for deportation in May and June</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta United States Civil society Democracy and government Ideas International politics north america mexico latin america Danica Jorden Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:37:40 +0000 Danica Jorden 109125 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The far right must stop talking about the death penalty in Europe https://www.opendemocracy.net/openjustice/oliver-robertson/far-right-must-stop-talking-about-death-penalty-in-europe <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>From Marine Le Pen to Paul Nuttall, the far right has resurrected the idea of the death penalty in Europe. But it’s wrong – even for the most heinous crimes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/559248/PA-29528619.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/559248/PA-29528619.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="313" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>The death chamber of the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California. Photo: Press Association/Eric Risberg. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>Thank God, I’ve never had a child murdered. I hope I never do, and I hope that nobody else ever does. But tragically this is an occasional feature of our world, and of the people I’ve met who have lost children, the overwhelming sense I get is that it never leaves them. They learn to ‘live around it’, but they never ‘get over it’. And nothing, short of the impossible ask of bringing the child back, can ever fix it.</p> <p>Which is just one of the reasons why the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Channel4NewsDemocracy/videos/1128238817254060/?pnref=story" target="_blank">call by UKIP leader Paul Nuttall for the death penalty for child killers</a> is wrong. Execution doesn’t take away the pain and it doesn’t provide closure. Speak to <a href="http://www.mvfr.org/mvfr_voices" target="_blank">families of murder victims</a> <a href="http://mvfhr.org/victims-stories">in the USA</a> and, while different families want different things, one consistent thing is that the <a href="http://mvfhr.org/sites/default/files/pdf/gallery%20-%20Brancato.pdf" target="_blank">wrongs are not righted by killing a killer</a>, <a href="http://mvfhr.org/sites/default/files/pdf/gallery%20-%20Gayle.pdf">even if justice is said to be done</a>. For families who hoped it would be the end of their ordeal, the aftermath of execution can be bitter new stage of grief. </p> <p><a href="https://www.penalreform.org/resource/the-death-penalty-myths-realities/" target="_blank">Many of the arguments about the death penalty</a> have been repeated time and time again; prominent among them is the question of innocence. No justice system gets it right all the time, but you can’t release someone from death the way you can release them from prison. Indeed, of the <a href="http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/DPP-50-Years-on-pp1-68-1.pdf" target="_blank">three controversial cases that helped to end the death penalty in the UK</a>, two of them involved men (<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Evans" target="_blank">Timothy Evans</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Bentley_case" target="_blank">Derek Bentley</a>) whose were later found to be innocent, while in America, for every ten <a href="http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/views-executions" target="_blank">people executed since the 1970s</a> (when new safeguards were put in place), <a href="http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-cases" target="_blank">one person has been exonerated</a>. Less mentioned, but crucial for any victim-centred approach to the issue, is that wrongful executions mean the victim’s family will also have to live knowing that an innocent person died in the name of their loved one. </p> <p>A central consideration of any issue of criminal justice, in fact of any issue full stop, should be: “What will do the most good and the least harm going forward, given where we are now?” The death penalty is not the least harmful response to murder, because of <a href="http://ohchr.org/EN/newyork/Documents/Death-Penalty-and-the-Victims-WEB.pdf" target="_blank">all the people it affects</a>. The ripples spread far wider than just the killer, the victim and the victim’s family.</p> <p>If you execute a child killer, then clearly somebody has to do the execution, but that also means someone has to carry the weight of doing it, of putting a fellow human to death. While there are <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p036bk5b" target="_blank">some executioners who cope with their job</a> (usually by focusing on it as ‘just a job’ that they try to do well), others do not. One former executioner in Kazakhstan, who was ‘<a href="https://cdn.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/PRI-Prison-guards-briefing-paper.pdf" target="_blank">initially chosen as an executioner because of his strong psychological coping capacity, reported frequent nightmares and deterioration into “a lonely and secluded life</a>”’. American prison staff have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of their role in executions, while in Indonesia, prison guards who participate in executions <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/06/death-penalty-in-indonesia-an-executioners-story" target="_blank">get three days of mandatory spiritual guidance and psychological assistance</a> afterwards, to help them deal with it. Prison systems come up with ways to try to stop people feeling like it was ‘their fault’: in Japan, three different staff press identical buttons to hang the prisoner, but only one button is live and they never find out ‘who did it’; in the USA, this diffusion of responsibility goes even further, with guards given apparently trivially small tasks such as tying down one leg of the prisoner to the lethal injection gurney. But when you have to work so hard to make something okay, maybe that’s a sign that it’s not okay. </p> <p>Lawyers are also affected; as <a href="https://cdn.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/fighting-for-clients-v3-web.pdf" target="_blank">one from India</a> put it in a report by Penal Reform International: </p> <p><em>“I specialise in end-stage death cases … I dread these cases, and shudder every time a new one comes my way. Having taken it on, I feel I am living with a coffin tied to my back. It takes over my life, dominates my thoughts during the day, corrupts all pleasure and invades my dreams at night. I habitually have nightmares of executions, some of which I imagine are taking place in my apartment or just on the ledge outside the balcony where a scaffold has been erected, and the prisoner is being dropped from the balcony ledge with a rope tied to his neck. While preparing the case, I sometimes get so afraid that I am unable to work, and have to curl up under a blanket and go to sleep. Alcohol has a soothing effect on my nerves, and I have to stop myself from having more than one drink in the evening, or beginning the day with a gin and tonic. Ever since I started doing this work, people have been telling me that I age six years in six months.”</em></p> <p>And then there is also the other family: the family and <a href="http://quno.org/sites/default/files/resources/English_Children%20of%20parents%20sentenced%20to%20death%20or%20executed.pdf" target="_blank">children of the person sentenced to death</a>. <a href="http://quno.org/sites/default/files/resources/Lightening%20the%20Load.Web_.EN_.pdf" target="_blank">Speaking to these children and the people who work with them</a>, you get a sense of a group who are themselves innocent of a crime but suffer because of the crimes of others. They are traumatised, by the crime, by the death sentence and (if it happens) by the execution; they face the stigma of being related to a killer, which can remain long after the execution; and they have to live knowing that their parent will be put to death, and while they often recognise that the parent has done wrong, they still love them and would rather the parent was alive, even if in prison. When the child is related to both the killer and the victim (such as when the mother kills the father), it becomes even harder. A parental death sentence stays with a child for their whole life.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, people want the harshest sentence for the worst crimes. But that doesn’t mean the sentence should be as harsh as you can possibly imagine. We don’t need to kill to show how much we disapprove or how sad we are that a child has died. We should be asking for sentences that allow something better to come out of a horrible, tragic situation. We cannot undo what has already happened, but we can work to make a better future, to try to ensure there are no more crimes and no more victims.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/drugpolicy/kirsten-han/logic-of-singapore-s-death-penalty-for-drugs-is-untenable">The logic of Singapore’s death penalty for drugs is untenable</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/can-europe-make-it/ahmet-ceran/turkey-eu-and-death-penalty-chequered-history">Turkey, the EU and the death penalty: a chequered history</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-kaner/death-penalty-is-commonwealth-problem">The death penalty is a Commonwealth problem</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openJustice Can Europe make it? uk openJustice Oliver Robertson Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:17:01 +0000 Oliver Robertson 108306 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Should domestic abuse have its own law? https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/sian-norris/should-domestic-abuse-have-its-own-law <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In the UK, there is no specific offence for 'domestic violence'. Is the law failing women seeking justice?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p class="BodyA"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/535193/domestic violence.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/535193/domestic violence.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="296" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Tricia Bernal, whose daughter was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, looks across a line of silhouettes on Potter's Field in London, representing the death toll taken by domestic violence. Credit: Johnny Green / PA Images</span></span></span></p><p class="BodyA">“When the police told me they wouldn’t charge my ex, I felt like there was no justice for women,” Naomi* explains.</p> <p class="BodyA">Like most survivors of domestic abuse, 31-year-old Naomi didn’t go to the police the first time her boyfriend kicked her. She didn”t go to the police the first time he broke her finger, the first time he punched her, the first time he tried to strangle her. Only after she found the courage to leave him, and had begun to process the trauma of enduring 18 months of emotional and physical abuse, did she turn to the police and ask for justice.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">“I spent over five hours giving a statement,” Naomi tells me. “They didn’t offer me a glass of water or a cup of tea. They asked me why I hadn’t gone to the police before. Weeks later I learnt that because the ‘common assaults’ were committed more than six months before I reported, my ex wouldn’t be charged with them. That there’s a statute of limitations on common assault, and it had run out.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">“As a result, I felt like the state agreed with what my ex used to tell me during the abuse - that being punched, strangled, and having things thrown at me was all okay, was normal, and that I should just shut up and forget about it.”&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body">So is Naomi’s situation the exception? Or is the law as it stands failing survivors of domestic abuse? Currently there is no specific offence for ‘domestic violence’. Instead, offenders who commit violence against their partners are prosecuted under existing laws prohibiting rape, grievous bodily harm, attempted murder etc. What I want to understand is whether this lack of a specific law is hindering enforcement and leaving women like Naomi struggling to access justice. Or is the problem facing survivors that the existing laws are simply not being enforced correctly or effectively.</p> <p class="BodyA">Let’s start with the statistics. Women are overwhelmingly the victims of sustained and repeated domestic abuse. In fact, women make up 89% of victims who endure <a href="http://www.refuge.org.uk/about-domestic-violence/domestic-violence-and-gender/">more than four incidents of abuse</a>. &nbsp;Meanwhile, men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators - in cases of domestic violence between 80-90% of violence against the person reported is by women assaulted by men. On average, a woman experiences <a href="https://kareningalasmith.com/2013/04/29/this-thing-about-male-victims/ ">35 incidents of abuse</a> before calling the police.</p> <p class="BodyA">These incidents may have gone on for months or even years. Many of them will be <a href="http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/offences_against_the_person/#a07">classified as the ‘common assault’</a> experienced by Naomi - defined as a crime that’s committed when a person either assaults another person or commits a battery. Because common assault is a <a href="http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/summary_offences_and_the_crown_court">summary-only offence</a> normally dealt with in the magistrates court as opposed to in trial with a jury, it has a statute of limitations that expires after six months. As a result, men who assaulted their partners more than six months before the incident is reported to the police cannot be charged under the current law.</p> <p class="BodyA">To classify assaults committed by a partner as “common” and therefore under a six month statute of limitations is to misunderstand the dynamics of domestic abuse. It’s to ignore the fact that many women wait before they report abuse for a multitude of reasons - including fear, the belief that he’ll change, distrust of the authorities, panic that their children will be taken away, or simply because they have no where safe to go. Surely when a woman finally turns to the police for help, she should not be told that the crimes committed against her will never be heard in a courtroom, just because they happened seven months, a year, five years, before?</p> <p class="BodyA">I spoke to Olivia Piercy from the organisation <a href="http://rightsofwomen.org.uk/">Rights of Women</a>, who offer legal advice to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. I wanted to better understand the law as it currently works.</p> <p class="BodyA">“You’re right that there isn’t a specific law on domestic abuse,” she explains. “However, all the incidents that constitute domestic abuse are already crimes. So grievous bodily harm, sexual violence, actual bodily harm and harassment are already illegal and a perpetrator who commits those crimes against a current or former partner should be charged with and convicted of them.”&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">This has been strengthened since 2015 with the introduction of the coercive control law which recognises emotional and financial abuse as criminal behaviour. However, the coercive control law only applies to incidents committed since December 2015, when the law entered the statute books.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">“For me the problem isn’t that domestic abuse isn’t a specific crime,” Piercy goes on to say. “It’s that the current law is not being applied properly. We still have an issue in this country where policing is a postcode lottery. Women can end up with an officer who is sympathetic and will go after her abuser. Or they can end up with an officer who doesn’t take domestic abuse seriously - one who doesn’t equate a serious “domestic” assault as constituting ABH, for example. So rather than seeing more laws introduced, we need to work harder to make sure the existing laws are understood and enforced so that women have better access to justice.”&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">This lack of understanding of the current law, or lack of enthusiasm for enforcing it, could account for the low rate of prosecutions for coercive control. In the first six months of being introduced, the law was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/31/police-failing-to-use-new-law-against-coercive-domestic-abuse">only used 62 times</a>. Considering there are an estimated 1.2 million incidents of domestic abuse in England and Wales every year, we can be fairly certain that 62 uses of the law is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jul/22/domestic-violence-conviction-rate-high">devastatingly low number</a>.</p> <p class="BodyA">Harriet Wistrich, founder of <a href="https://www.justiceforwomen.org.uk">Justice for Women</a> as well as the newly-launched <a href="https://www.facebook.com/centreforwomensjustice/">Centre for Women’s Justice</a>, agrees with Piercy that the problem isn”t the lack of laws, but attitudes within and beyond the police.</p> <p class="BodyA">“One of the concerns I have,” Wistrich explains, “is that we still live in a society where domestic violence is not taken seriously. We still have news articles refer to a man murdering his partner as ‘<a href="http://everydayvictimblaming.com/responses-to-media/when-is-a-murder-not-a-murder/">a domestic incident</a>’. I worry that if we introduced a specific law for domestic abuse, then unsympathetic police will take the incident less seriously - will see it as ‘just a domestic’ rather than ABH, rape, assault etc. and therefore not pursue it with rigour.”&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">Wistrich’s concerns also relate to the application of the coercive control law, in relation to abusers.</p> <p class="BodyA">“We know that perpetrators often accuse their partners of emotionally abusing them, and there’s still a narrative of the “nagging wife” bringing abuse on herself,” she says. “There is a concern that the coercive control law will be used by abusive men as another way to victimise their partners, and the same could be true of a specific domestic abuse law.”</p> <p class="BodyA">Both Piercy and Wistrich are unanimous in their assessment that what needs to change are attitudes, rather than laws. That it is the <em>current</em> law that needs to be enforced, not a <em>new</em> law added to the statute books.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">“You see it again and again in what police tell victims,” says Piercy. “They don”t understand the current laws. They don’t identify it when a crime is clearly reported and evidenced. That’s what needs to change - and it doesn’t change by bringing in new laws that in turn won’t be understood or applied properly.”</p> <p class="BodyA">I agree that social attitudes need to change - that we need to see violence against women and girls taken more seriously. We need to improve sex education so that young people grow up knowing what is and isn’t acceptable in a relationship; we need to stop the victim blaming narrative that leads to headlines proclaiming ‘<a href="http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/368712/Nagged-to-death-Man-strangles-annoying-wife-and-buries-her-in-concrete-tomb">Man killed nagging wife</a>’; and we need to ensure that men who choose to abuse women are charged, prosecuted and convicted. When a man is convicted of assault against his partner, the sentence must be severe and work as a deterrent. None of these things are currently the case.</p> <p class="BodyA">More than bringing in new laws, we need to have a police force that is fully trained in dealing with domestic abuse, and end the lottery that means one woman may receive help and support, while another woman is told (as one anonymous source informed me) that “I’m just not interested in domestic abuse cases.”</p> <p class="BodyA">But we still have this problem of the statute of limitations applying to summary-only offences like common assault and harassment. For victims of domestic abuse who may not report an assault until months after the event, they can be left with the feeling that the violent acts committed against them have somehow been excused by the state. </p> <p class="BodyA">This was the case for Naomi, who was left feeling that the state had colluded with her ex when they didn’t pursue her allegations against him.&nbsp;</p> <p class="BodyA">“It was as though he knew the law and knew he would get away with it,” she said. “He never took the police seriously because he knew they would never charge him.”</p> <p class="BodyA">So what happens next? Clearly the statute of limitations on crimes such as common assault obstructs justice for women like Naomi. But as Piercy and Wistrich point out, bringing in new laws could worsen the situation for women who already struggle to be taken seriously by the police and the criminal justice system. Personally, I want to see more training for the police and the CPS on domestic abuse, so that every woman reporting a violent partner is listened to and the crime committed against them taken seriously. I also believe that in cases of domestic abuse, the statute of limitations on common assault and harassment should not apply. After all, to put a time limit on this crime is fundamentally to ignore the specific dynamics of gender-based violence and the multifaceted reasons that prevent women from reporting after the first punch is thrown.</p> <p class="BodyA">Naomi is now waiting to see if her ex will be charged with one count of ABH. The realisation that her abuser would not be charged for numerous common assaults simply because she had not reported the incidents within a six month period added to her trauma.</p> <p class="BodyA">“I am beginning to believe there is no justice for women in this situation,” she told me. “That it’s effectively legal in the UK to assault, beat and harass women. What happened to me affected my life in so many ways and now I have no hope for justice. I just want to feel I’ve done enough so that I can walk away from all of this without feeling responsible for what he does next.”</p> <p class="BodyA"><strong><em>*Names have been changed&nbsp;</em></strong></p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> 50.50 50.50 50.50 newsletter Sian Norris Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:56:02 +0000 Sian Norris 109114 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Might Trump lead US activists to rediscover international human rights? https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/mark-philip-bradley/might-trump-lead-us-activists-to-rediscover-international-human <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/BradleyFeb.jpg" alt="" width="140" /></p><p dir="ltr">Recent social justice struggles in the US have largely eschewed the language of global human rights. But, Trump might lead US activists to seize human rights again. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/trump-and-human-rights" target="_blank">Trump series.</a>&nbsp;<em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/mark-philip-bradley/trump-pourrait-il-amener-les-militants-am-ricains-red-couvrir-l" target="_blank">Français</a>.</strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/08/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban-defense/">“Even a bad high school student</a>,” President Donald Trump told a gathering of law and order officers on 8 February, could understand the language and intent of his Executive Order 3769 that suspended entry of all refugees into the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and prohibited entry of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States for 90 days. One day later, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals thought otherwise and refused to reinstate the Order in a <a target="_blank" href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2017/02/09/17-35105.pdf">carefully reasoned opinion</a>. While the ultimate fate of the Muslim ban remains in limbo, it seems clear the Trump presidency is unlikely to be remembered for its vigorous championing of human rights. But it has already produced powerful forms of resistance that may put human rights center stage in the United States again. Why, again?</p><p dir="ltr" class="mag-quote-center">The United States has been slow to embrace international human rights treaties and norms.</p><p dir="ltr">The place of the United States in the making of a global human rights order had in fact significantly diminished long before Donald Trump appeared on the political scene. Beyond the culpability of the Bush administration in the practices of torture in the wake of 9/11, the reticence of the American state to engage in the global human rights order has a deep history. Since the 1950s, the United States has been slow to embrace international human rights treaties and norms. The US Senate ratified the Genocide Convention only in 1988, some 40 years after it was adopted by the United Nations. In 2017, the United States remains the only country in the world that has not signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is among only seven countries that have failed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The United States is also not a participant in the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes individuals for crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The United States was only the 22nd country to legalize gay marriage.</p> <!--Image/Credit/Caption Begins--> <div style="color: #999999; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-style: italic; text-align: right;"> <img width="444" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/BradleyFeb.jpg" style="max-width: 100%; background-color: #ffffff; padding: 7px; border: 1px solid #999999;" /> <br />Flickr/Justin Norman (Some rights reserved) </div> <p style="color: #666666; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal;"> Anti-Torture activists hold a demonstration outside Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.</p> <hr style="color: #d2d3d5; background-color: #d2d3d5; height: 1px; width: 85%; border: none; text-align: center; margin: 0 auto;" /> <p dir="ltr">Perhaps even more surprisingly, the reluctance of the American state to fully embrace global human rights is mirrored in contemporary civil society. Most of the major American social movements of the last decade—among them the Occupy protests, the Fair Immigration Movement, the Fight for $15 (minimum wage), the Marriage Equality Movement, and Black Lives Matter—took primary inspiration from alternative political and moral lexicons. In challenging the mounting chasm in wealth and income between the top one percent of Americans and the rest, the mass incarceration of African Americans, escalating detentions and deportations of immigrants, and growing racial disparities in policing, education, and income, these movements could have turned to the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It promises universal guarantees to economic and social rights, to asylum, and to live without racial and gender discrimination. Yet, even though at times these movements have made rhetorical gestures to the lexicon of human rights, their energies and tactics on the ground have operated largely around a domestic space in which structural arguments about economics and race at home seem to gain better traction than oppositional political discourses that draw on global human rights norms and practices.</p><p dir="ltr">It was not always so. In the 1940s, the United States was fully present at the creation of a global rights order and African American, Japanese American, and Native American activists embraced UN human rights norms to fight dozens of cases of domestic discrimination. For instance, in 1946, African American homeowners Orsell and Minnie McGhee turned to human rights guarantees in the United Nations Charter when a whites-only restrictive covenant threatened to remove them from their Detroit home.</p><p dir="ltr">Three decades later, some 400 US-based human rights organizations were established as human rights became part of American professional practice. Doctors, lawyers, journalists, physicists, bankers, accountants, chemists, university and high school teachers, students, senior citizens, social workers, ministers, librarians, grants officers at the nation’s leading foundations, psychologists and psychiatrists, dentists, and even statisticians—all found human rights in the 1970s.</p><p dir="ltr">To some extent they never let go. If the 1970s marked the beginning of human rights as vocation, the professional turn has only intensified in the 21st century. Human rights are now deeply embedded in the curriculums of most professional schools, from schools of medicine and law to business. There is a proliferation of undergraduate and graduate programs in human rights at US colleges and universities, with many of their graduates going to work in what is now considered “the human rights field” at nonprofits or in business. Indeed the quotidian spread of human rights into the fabric of contemporary American society has been quite remarkable.</p><p dir="ltr">What changed between the 1940s and 1970s, however, was the location of American human rights concerns. In the 1940s, human rights were seen by many as doing political work both inside and outside of the United States. Campaigns against domestic and international rights abuses were deeply entangled. But when human rights were recovered and remade by a variety of Americans after 1970, the focus narrowed. Human rights offered a lens to understand problems far from American shores—in Brazil, Chile, the Soviet Union, Poland or China. Only rarely did global rights norms play a role within social movements in the United States itself.</p><p dir="ltr">A month into the Trump presidency, the lines between violations of rights at home and abroad are already increasingly blurred. &nbsp;The nation’s airports became sites of detention. &nbsp;Guantanamo might again be open for business, perhaps to put into practice candidate Trump’s belief that <a target="_blank" href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/17/donald-trump-on-waterboarding-torture-works/?utm_term=.f31aab3c5108">“torture works</a>.” As the necessary resistance begins to an administration’s policies that gravely threaten the physical and mental well-being of the most vulnerable peoples among us, global rights norms potentially offer a set of vocabularies and practices that could mobilize Americans to once again make human rights a central tool for political action—just as they did for Orsell and Minnie McGhee in Detroit more than 70 years ago. </p><p dir="ltr">The language of human rights remains there for the taking today. Indeed the era of Trump could ultimately be remembered not just for the president’s own disregard for human rights but as the moment that marked the recovery in American civil society of the moral and political power of global human rights for our lives at home and in the world.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="imgupl_floating_none"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/537772/EPlogo-ogr-4_2.png" alt="" title="imgupl_floating_none" width="300" height="115" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights"><img width="140" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/OpenGlobalRights-highlight4English.png" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/trump-and-human-rights" target="_blank" onmouseover="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Trump_Inset_2.png '" onmouseout="document.Imgs.src=' https://opendemocracy.net/files/Trump_Inset_1.png '"> <img src=" https://opendemocracy.net/files/Trump_Inset_1.png" width="140" name="Imgs" border="0" alt="Trump and human rights – Read on" /></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/lisa-hajjar/bringing-back-waterboarding-torture-policy-in-trump-s-america">Bringing back waterboarding? Torture policy in Trump’s America</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/c-sar-rodr-guez-garavito/trump-s-victory-could-push-human-rights-movement-to-transform">Trump’s victory could push the human rights movement to transform</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/david-p-forsythe/death-knell-of-american-exceptionalism-under-trump">The death knell of American Exceptionalism under Trump</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/salil-tripathi/world-is-watching-corporate-action-on-trump-travel-ban">The world is watching—corporate action on Trump travel ban</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/openglobalrights/inga-t-winkler/trump-other-and-human-rights-in-society">Trump, the other and human rights in society</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/openglobalrights/kathryn-sikkink/international-pressure-on-us-human-rights-matters-now-more-than-eve">International pressure on US human rights matters now more than ever </a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> openGlobalRights openGlobalRights Mark Philip Bradley Canada & the US Trump and Human Rights Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:30:00 +0000 Mark Philip Bradley 109116 at https://www.opendemocracy.net A Mexican 'Corruptionary' https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/james-bargent/mexican-corruptionary <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Activists in Mexico have created the world's first "Corruptionary": a wry collection of Mexican lexicon regarding graft that carries a serious message about just how deeply ingrained corruption has become. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/james-bargent/corrupcionario-mexicano">Español</a> <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/james-bargent/o-corrupcion-rio-mexicano-uma-guia-de-vocabul-rio-sobre-corrup-o-no-m-xico">Português</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/16-11-30-Mexico-Corruptionary_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/16-11-30-Mexico-Corruptionary_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="306" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Photo: InsightCrime. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>Ask most Mexicans what a <em>trámite</em> is and they will describe the bureaucratic procedures every citizen has to go through to get by in civic life. However, the team behind the "<a href="http://corrupcionario.mx/" target="_blank">Corrupcionario Mexicano</a>," or Mexican Corruptionary, has a more colorful definition.</p> <p>For the authors, a <em>trámite</em> is an "obligatory and often free procedure that the offices of government try to pass off as a favor to the taxpayer. They take away your time, your hope that you'll be able to fix the problem that is concerning you, your money and, on top of it all, they will attend to you with the slothfulness of a bear a long way from the springtime."</p> <p>The Corruptionary is the work of anti-corruption organization <a href="http://www.opciona.mx/" target="_blank">Opciona</a>. According to the authors, the purpose of the book is to shine a light on the numerous ways corruption has taken hold of Mexican society and to challenge its social normalization.</p> <p>"We have compiled these words associated with a phenomena that is as internalized in our society as corruption in order to put a first and last name to these terrible situations, people and actions, which, disguised by their daily occurrence, seem normal to us," they state.</p> <p>The definition of corruption used in the Corruptionary is broad, covering not only actual acts but also the broader corruption of Mexican society, values and attitudes caused by the corrosive influence of organized crime, graft and weak state institutions. It covers three broad areas, which it defines as "corruption of us, corruption of them and corruption of everyone."</p> <p>Many terms describe the everyday corrupt acts of the sort many common citizens will encounter, such as paying a <em>brinco</em> to avoid paperwork and regulations in public procedures. Others refer to the corrupt practices that plague civic life, such as the vote-buying technique of the <em>carrusel</em>, where voters hand over their blank ballots to a vote buyer, who then hands them back the pre-marked vote of another person to place in the ballot box.</p> <p>In addition to the corruption slang, Opciona also uses its definitions to take political jabs at institutions, public figures and attitudes in <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>.</p> <p>Some definitions target scandal-plagued politicians and their inner circles. One example is <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>'s first lady Angélica Rivera, who <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/21/mexican-president-cleared-wrongdoing-mansion-contractor" target="_blank">became embroiled in a scandal</a> over the purchase of luxury properties. Under the term <em>Casa Blanca</em> (White House), the deeply sarcastic definition reads, "Imposing ex-mansion of the first lady, who, with the sweat of her brow, saved millions of pesos for decades so that one day she could unquestionably proclaim herself "The Owner."&nbsp;</p> <p>The collection also include concepts such as <em>Justicia</em> (Justice), which is described as a "nonexistent social construct in <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>. Period". The entry <em>for Justicia por mano propia</em> (Taking justice into one’s own hands) meanwhile, references <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>'s vigilante-militia movement and offers the following definition: "Given the absence of an effective -- don't even talk about trustworthy -- justice system, this describes an empirical method based on the old adage 'an eye for an eye.'"</p> <p>Other targets for the Corruptionary's satirical definitions include state institutions such as Congress, which is described as "a space of simulated popular representation financed by taxpayers so that deputies and senators can sporadically come and take 'selfies' in the house."</p> <p>Some of the definitions also challenge some of the social attitudes that have become common in a country plagued by criminality. It does this through phrases such as "he must have been involved in something," which it defines as "the prejudiced conviction that we usually say with alarming lightness when we find out about the violent death of someone (almost always a youth)" in <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>.</p> <p>"Do you think it's funny?" the definition adds.</p> <p>All across Latin America, countries have seen how the nature of organized crime and corruption lends itself to the sort of linguistic creativity highlighted in the Corruptionary. To have such a broad and commonly used lexicon is often an indicator that a culture of criminality has taken hold.</p> <p>In some cases, the rich and varied vocabulary of organized crime has been subsumed into local slang employed in daily use. One of the most evident examples of this is Medellín, <a title="Link to Colombia landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/colombia-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Colombia</a>, where drug trafficking has been a cultural force since the era of Pablo Escobar and the cocaine boom years. In Medellin, narco-slang has been encompassed into the regional vernacular --&nbsp;<a href="http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=21901803" target="_blank">known as <em>Parlache</em></a>&nbsp;-- and even two decades after Escobar's death, people commonly use terms first coined by 1980s gangsters.</p> <p>However, beyond the linguistic curiosities and amusing definitions, there is, as Opciona points out, a more serious point to the Corruptionary. The project is indicative of just how much crime, corruption and violence have become normalized in <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>New entries in any dictionary only come when the words or phrases are widely used and commonly understood. To have a lexicon for such a range of criminal and corrupt acts suggests a society where these have become not only common but also largely accepted, even if they are not condoned.</p> <p>However, the message of the Corruptionary does not end with its specialist vocabulary. The ironic definitions for terms that essentially represent the functions of the state are indicative not only of a state that is failing in its duties, but of one that in many cases performs the opposite of its designated role: the corrupt judges releasing drug traffickers, or police officers involved in <a title="Link to Kidnapping tag. " href="http://www.insightcrime.org/component/tags/tag/4-kidnapping" target="_blank">kidnapping</a>.</p> <p>In addition, the descriptions of certain attitudes currently prevalent, like the belief that any murder victim must have been up to no good, are also testament to the corrosive social influence of crime and corruption and the hardening of a long-suffering population to its effects.</p> <p>While the Corruptionary finds something to laugh about in <a title="Link to Mexico landing page." href="http://www.insightcrime.org/mexico-organized-crime-news" target="_blank">Mexico</a>'s dark underbelly, its underlying message is stark; the ability to fill a book with terms describing these actions and attitudes is a damning statement on the health of Mexican society.</p> <p>This article was previously published by <strong><em><em><a href="http://es.insightcrime.org/analisis/corrupcionario-brinda-guia-vocabulario-corrupcion-mexico">InsightCrime</a></em>.</em></strong></p><div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta Civil society Conflict Democracy and government Ideas latin america James Bargent Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:00:00 +0000 James Bargent 109101 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Dialog macht Schule: taking dialogue into schools https://www.opendemocracy.net/wfd/rosemary-bechler-siamak-ahmadi-hassan-asfour/dialog-macht-schule-taking-dialogue-into-schools <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A highly innovative German school programme uses dialogue to move beyond the us versus them of our polarised societies. We find out how well this works. Interview.<ins datetime="2017-02-22T13:37" cite="mailto:Rosemary%20Bechler"></ins></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/wfd"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/bannerforarticle.png" alt="wfd" width="460px" /></a></p> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/K_9621.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/K_9621.jpeg" alt="lead " title="" width="460" height="301" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Founders and CEOs of Dialog macht Schule, Hassan Asfour and Siamak Ahmadi. Picture by tagesspiegel(TSP). All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p><i>Rosemary Bechler: Greetings! I’m sorry I missed you in the World Forum for Democracy 2016 last October in Strasbourg. Did you have a good time at this summit on education, inequality and democracy?</i></p> <p><b>Siamak Ahmadi</b> (SA): Very interesting – the only forum I had been involved in before was <a href="http://www.bpb.de/veranstaltungen/netzwerke/nece/227277/nece-conference-2016-zagreb">the NECE conference</a> here in Europe, initiated by the Federal Agency for Civic Education in Germany – so going to Strasbourg and seeing how many interesting projects there are all over the world was really interesting.</p> <p><i>RB: We are in the middle of Brexit: we are just trying to grapple with the impact and significance of Donald Trump's election, with more distrustful, bitterly fought elections in the pipeline. For the many democratic societies that are undergoing this kind of rapid polarisation of views and value systems, I suppose the first thing I wanted to do was to ask you to help me situate the importance of dialogue as such. How central is this to your work?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Definitely and at many different levels.</p> <p><i>RB: OK – so where to start? Maybe you could tell me something about the history behind Dialogue in School? </i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Hassan Asfour and I used to work for the <a href="http://www.bpb.de/die-bpb/138852/federal-agency-for-civic-education">Federal Agency for Civic Education</a> in a pilot project which had as its aim the creation of new formats of civic education for disadvantaged groups. We worked in schools mostly, schools which had a high percentage of young girls and boys who came from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is the case in Germany and I think many other countries as well, that many of them – in our case 90% – also had a migration background. So they were very diverse school cohorts and the aim was to reach out to those supposedly ‘hard to reach’ students.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Hassan Asfour (HA): </b>We worked in the seventh and eighth grade, with 13 – 15 years old, and experimented with how best to interest them in democracy and issues of political topicality. A pilot project has a beginning and an end, but it was a success because we realised that what was needed in such schools was in fact a longterm approach, not just a workshop approach. You need to go and become an integrated part of the school system as an external. So to scale up the pilot project, the idea was born to establish our own NGO, and call it ‘Dialog macht Schule – Dialogue at school’. You can read more about this in our book,&nbsp; “<a href="http://www.bpb.de/shop/buecher/schriftenreihe/236777/beyond-us-versus-them">Beyond us vs. them</a>”.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/dialogmachtschule-01.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/dialogmachtschule-01.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>The chaircircle - an essential element of the dialogsessions. Picture by Dialog macht Schule.</span></span></span><b>SA:</b> So now I can begin to answer you with regards to dialogue. We realised that this doesn’t work on a ‘deductive basis’, which means to say, in a school you have topics: ‘ Politics, biology, mathematics’, and within those topics there are targets that have to be reached, and aims that students have to adhere to. </p> <p>But our approach was on a different, dialogical basis and our aim was to get in touch with the students to build a relationship with them. For us, dialogue is very much based on a relationship that enables you to find out what really interests them. We realised that you don’t find out what really interests students if you just ask them, “What would you like to work on?” If you ask them this, many don’t actually know. So instead, you have to start with their narratives – How do they like to spend their time? What movies do they watch? Gradually, you find out what is specifically of interest to this group, maybe a dominant topic. And then we deepen this topic: and we find a way to connect this everyday issue to a political issue. </p> <p>For example, we had a group that were talking about the movie <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1099212/"><i>Twilight (2008)</i></a>, and they spoke about how they really fancied the actor,&nbsp;Pattinson, but didn’t like the movie. We asked the boys if they had a dream girl, and we worked on&nbsp;this topic until we could start talking about gender equality. Most of these students had a Muslim background, so we asked them how much of a problem it would be getting together with someone not from a Muslim background. There was a lot of discussion, but they decided that if he was as handsome as Pattinson, that would be OK! Then you can say, what if you had a child together, which religion would you raise the child in? The girls argued that since they bore the child, they should decide which religion it was raised in, while the boys said no, they were ‘the men’ and they should decide. So then, we explored how to get a consensus, and this ‘win-win’ skill is of course very much part of the dialogic approach. One girl said: “They should grow up with both religions and then they can decide.” Not everyone was happy with this result, but there were no better arguments in the room, and so this was an important result of their dialogue.</p> <p><i>RB: And did this go on every week?</i></p> <p><span style="color: #008000;"></span><b>HA: </b>Yes. This scaling-up involves us in training university students to become dialogue moderators.&nbsp;They divide a regular class into two ‘dialogue groups’ with a maximum of 13 – 15 students, and each group is supported or supervised by two dialogue facilitators. They work with the kids on a weekly basis for a period of two years. </p> <p>In the beginning they have to build trust as I said before, try to establish the topics of interest to the students and try to deepen those topics until they become projects, maybe some oral history work, or they go and do street surveys, or an anti-racism campaign within the school, or they make their own short movies. We always want to motivate the students to do project work, since ‘regaining self-efficacy’ is one of our underlying aims.</p> <p><i>RB: How do you cope with a range of languages? </i></p> <p><b>HA:</b> It is a huge challenge, particular after the refugee waves that we had in Germany last year. There are students who don’t really understand German, but we soon realised that when we have such a diverse group of students, there are always those students who just naturally become interpreters for the others. </p> <p>Most of the students we work with have a migration background, but were born here. So they can speak German. Nevertheless, we still work on their language skills, and this is another level of dialogue that is important, not only on the formal level. If you make contact with the students, we can also transfer language competencies because dialogue is the essence and language is the tool we need to get at the topics and interests of the students. They ask for this help.</p> <p><i>RB: But are there instances when languages other than German become a real resource?</i></p> <p><b>HA:</b> German is the main language in our dialogue groups. Other languages such as English have become more important, but it is not our main task to teach them that – that’s what their teachers do. What we also do in this regard is to make them understand that we live in an interdependent world. A lot of the kids from diverse disadvantaged backgrounds are quite nationalistic in their thinking, and to help them understand that nations are now very much mutually dependent is something else that we try to bring to the surface in these dialogue groups. It is necessary for all of us to understand the other person from another country as well.</p> <p><i>RB: How are so many dialogue facilitators funded and managed? And how much leeway do you give them over these conversations? </i></p> <p><b>HA:</b>&nbsp; First of all the funding. We are funded by the Ministry for the Family in Germany, by the Federal Agency for Civic Education which is a unique German institution, and we have a social franchise concept which means that each region in Germany which does Dialogue in School also develops a regional funding network.&nbsp;</p><p>Finally, the good thing about having a longterm engagement with the school system means that we can gain a lot of understanding about the processes involved in reaching out to the ‘hard to reach’, such that this equips us to run workshops on these findings for all sorts of other kinds of pedagogical initiatives, on a commercial basis. So we have many funding pillars, including public, private, foundation funding and also by our own efforts in running specialist workshops.</p> <p><i>RB: So it is a fantastic learning opportunity for you and more broadly for any society?</i></p> <p><b>HA:</b>&nbsp; Most definitely. This is also true for our dialogue facilitators. After two years, they gain a lot of experience in a skill that they can also make available by doing workshops etc. This could become a new kind of informal professional skill, since we can see the demand for it is really increasing rapidly. Sometimes the demand is so high, we can’t cover it. So we don’t know what the future will bring, but it could be very interesting for university graduates with a 9 – 5 job who realise that they would like to do something to contribute. They could say, “Why not go once a week to share what I have learned and give my competencies more meaning?” In the non-formal area I think it has a lot of potential. How it could become a profession, I’m not so sure, because professionals also need economic security.</p> <p><b>HA:</b> We work with the teachers also to give them new dialogic skills. As part of their teacher training, they can come and work with Dialogue in School for six months. By sharing with them not exactly our ‘method’ but let’s say our way of doing things, we want to have a longterm impact on the educational system. So if you ask our dialogue facilitators if they see themselves as professional, they do not. But many of them are becoming teachers, and so they are able to take the experience with them into their chosen profession.</p> <p><b>SA:</b> Each year we train 100 dialogue facilitators, and we have expanded now into six German cities so that we reach out into more than 35<span style="color: #008000;"></span> schools and two<span style="color: #008000;"></span> thousand students. We have a network at the moment of 170 active<span style="color: #008000;"></span> dialogue facilitators. </p> <p>How do we train them? We train them first in an academy. We select university students from it doesn’t matter which academic subject. For us what is important is that we have a very diverse group, with regard to gender and cultural background. We look for a diversity of students facilitators that reflects the diversity of the schools in which they will work and the target group.&nbsp;Our academy trains them for six days in the first instance, and here they learn psychological approaches, our dialogical approaches, and the most recent methods in civic education and education in democracy. </p> <p>Straight after that they go into the schools, but in this initial period they are supported by experienced dialogue facilitators – we call them ‘school coaches’. They observe their classes and give them feedback sessions to improve their work. One ‘school coach’ will support around ten dialogue groups, which means they support around fifteen dialogue facilitators. Four dialogue facilitators will sit together with one ‘school coach’ to get their feedback on a regular basis. After one year, the second, ‘deepening academy’ takes place over four<span style="color: #008000;"> </span>days. This increases their skills in how to run projects, learn new methods,<span style="color: #008000;"> </span>how to reflect on their work and the motivation of students, and so on. After the second year, they qualify as dialogue facilitators and receive a certificate from us. We are looking into being certified as an organisation, but meanwhile the bodies that fund us are labels of quality, and over the three years we have gained quite a good reputation in Germany and Dialog Macht Schule dialogue facilitators have acquired a name for themselves as well. We of course are eager to increase the value of that name by promoting the function as such.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/DMS AUSSTELLUNG-6.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/DMS AUSSTELLUNG-6.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Celebrating achievements together - opening Vernisage of the Mein Kiez-Exibit at Kreuzbergmuseum made by pupils of a dialogue group. Picture Christian Plähn. All rights reserved.</span></span></span><i>RB: From the school coaches you must also get a lot of information about what is happening in these schools and how to make advances in this area.</i> </p><p><b>HA:&nbsp;</b> Exactly. This is why we call ourselves a network. We are in six cities and whatever happens in the other cities, we&nbsp;try to gather this data, the report-backs, the topics, what interests the students, the best practise approaches, and we try to evaluate them in Berlin to improve our approach and make those improvements available for everyone in the network. Since 2009, also counting in our pilot, we have four generations of our dialogue programme to learn from. </p><p><i>RB: How unique is this scheme? Do you see yourselves as part of a more general advance of civic educational and democratic initiatives?</i></p> <p><b>HA: </b>Both I would say. We did quite a lot of research to see if anyone else worked on anything like our two-year programmes. But most similar initiatives were based on a few workshops. They might do project weeks and work online. But this two-year commitment on a weekly basis within the regular school schedule – this is pretty unique. Moreover, once the two-year cycle is over, another team is trained to take over in the same school. So it is a very continuous approach.</p> <p>What is also important is that we work in small groups, so that there is very intensive work done on an inductive level – with the facilitators listening very hard for what interests the students. What we might call the psychotherapeutic aspects, trying to understand what really drives the students on their favourite topics, what motivates them and what does not motivate them – that combines with the civic educational aspects: How do I take a stand? How do I formulate an argument? These needs are well addressed in theory, but rarely in practice, because they need this long term commitment to work. A systemic approach that works with relationships at many different levels.</p> <p><i>RB: There must have been so much politics involved in initiating this? Can you tell me about that?</i></p> <p><b>HA: </b>It developed organically in one way, but then it’s also true that we had a rather worked out strategy from the start. I’ve mentioned the Federal Agency for Civic Education before. It is a quite unique body set up after the second world war by the United States actually to de-Nazify the German population. By now, they are a very well-known and respected body that receives a rather substantial budget, millions of euros actually, to promote democracy in Germany. </p> <p><i>RB: Wonderful! </i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Yes it is really wonderful and quite a privilege to be associated with it. I mentioned the pilot where Hassan and I started thinking about our Dialog project. Well, once we had this partner on our side, it gave our approach a legitimacy, and at the same time, it made the project political from the start. But in Germany, educational politics is highly regionalised thanks to the federal system: the educational system in Berlin is quite different from that in Bavaria. So when we began, we first approached political bodies in Berlin and in Stuttgart, to trial somewhere north and south. </p> <p>When we first introduced the project to them, we knew that because of the increase in students with migration backgrounds, the teachers in these two regions felt quite overwhelmed and daunted by the rising challenge to reach out to all these students. We took advantage of these feelings at the time on the one hand, and on the other, convinced a lot of the politicians to promote our work on a regional level. We asked the politicians to invite the school heads to a presentation of our project, and let’s say out of ten heads, two wanted to try the scheme out.&nbsp; We asked these two heads to allow us to present our work to their teachers, so that they could follow the project from the start. Out of ten teachers, again, maybe two wanted to try it out with their classes. And gradually, over time, they realised that rather than being an extra effort or completely different, it was quite a considerable support to what they were doing. </p> <p>So by word of mouth, Dialog <ins cite="mailto:Rosemary%20Bechler" datetime="2017-02-22T13:57">m</ins>acht Schule became rather famous among the school heads and politicians. The school heads in a city will talk to each other and say: “Now we have this great programme we don’t have to set up the administration to run workshops, it’s much easier – they work longterm, also do project weeks, and help us to institute democratic instruments within our school system.” So now we don't have to persuade so much any more, and they come and ask us. It took off by word of mouth because it was built up gradually.</p> <p><i>RB: And has a regional or national reputation would you say?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> It now has both.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/Chancengerechtigkeit ist, wenn man mir auch Gehîr schenkt.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/Chancengerechtigkeit ist, wenn man mir auch Gehîr schenkt.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Building trust - the dialogmoderators take their pupils and their stories seriously. Picture by Christian Plähn. All rights reserved.</span></span></span><i>RB: Tell me more about the psychotherapeutic aspect of this way of promoting democracy.</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> We don’t do psychotherapy per se, but there are core elements of it in our approach. If the core element is building of relationships, then it inevitably has a psychotherapeutic aspect to it. Because in psychotherapy change happens through relationships and not primarily through the methods. And this is very important to us because it emphasises what the famous New Zealand professor, <a href="https://visible-learning.org/john-hattie/">John Hattie’s meta-study</a> confirmed, that the relationship between the teacher and the students is the most important factor in teaching. In therapy, it is the same. Our dialogue facilitators are young role models who are perceived differently from teachers. By asking questions in a non-judgmental way they go on a journey of reflecting a person’s needs, interests, boundaries and finding out their relationship to the world they live in. This is in some way a therapeutic process.</p> <p><i>RB: I have been listening to </i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQhHlpvgXFw"><i>Lynda Stone</i></a><i> about what she sees as the horrible practise of ‘silent lunches ‘ in US schools, and I wondered whether different national cultures are more or less conducive to taking dialogue seriously as a key educational and political approach.</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> It’s a good question. I think because of its past, Germany had to learn quite a tough lesson – that the opposite to war <i>is</i> dialogue. There is no other way if you want peace, and democratic thinking is thinking about how to resolve conflicts peacefully. Germany, I think, has made a lot of advances in this – because of its history, yes – but also in two specific ways.</p> <p>Particularly when we look at the schools, you see that on the one hand there is a desire to construct safe classrooms for dialogue, but on the other hand, if you look at how the system works, it is often not possible. The will is there, but it is not possible to find the free space for dialogue. This goes back to the idea of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment">PISA</a> on the one hand – the need to improve the competencies of the students with an emphasis on cognitive skills: for example, writing at a high standard to equip the students for finding employment later on, reading and so on. This is a very functional stream within the education system, which aims to get students into the job market.</p> <p>On the other hand, there is a traditional humanistic approach in German education which goes back to <a href="http://schillerinstitute.org/fid_91-96/962_humboldt_education.html">Humboldt</a>, and which tries not to confine itself to this level of functionality.&nbsp; You go into action with the students to find out, not how to fill an empty cup with water, but how to give them as vessels the ability to fill themselves, in a sense. The former function-based system takes the information, makes the input and hopes for a good output. The latter humanistic stream is very dialogue-based, and Dialog macht Schule belongs here. We have a very open process and we don’t know where the educational process is going to end.</p> <p>The question of silence in schooling takes us back to these two approaches. If you think there is a set of knowledges that you have to transfer, it can be quite irritating if there is something else coming from the students in the shape of a question for example. You cannot interact because you have to keep your eye on the time and complete your exam syllabus as quickly as possible and so forth. But if you pursue the humanistic approach, it is rather a great thing if students ask you a question, or even say something very irritating!</p> <p>I can give you an example. In one of our dialogue groups, where we always start off with a check-in including a different question when we begin the class – it’s a ritual – we happened to ask what you would do if you had at your disposal millions of dollars? Students gave us various answers, and there was one student who said, “ If I had so many dollars or euros I would buy as many weapons as I could get my hands on, to destroy Zionism.” So of course, immediately our dialogue facilitators were pretty shocked and struggled. Taking Germany’s past into account this is a very sensitive issue, and in particular for the teachers as well. After such a comment it can be very difficult to continue the conversation at this point: comments like “This is something that you should not say!” – you know? </p><p>This response may close doors to further dialogue. From the perspective of the boy one might even ask: Who is hard to reach here? Perhaps the boy wanted to reach out to talk with someone about something he has been dealing with for a long time and finally saw the opportunity to test the waters on this quite controversial issue. For the dialogue facilitators it is key to get into a curious question mode to really understand what is going on here – to reach out. There are many very interesting questions to be asked. Why did he pick out ‘Zionism’ and not ‘Jews’? What does he mean by ‘Zionism’? Is he out to shock or is he serious? What kind of emotions accompany this comment? How can we work with this? And what do the other students think of this? If you silenced him, it would not be worked on and might never reappear. </p><p>Here again is the therapeutic aspect. It could be quite emotional, because this was a young boy with a Palestinian background. You don’t know the family history, what has happened and whether anger has been transmitted to him. Where is the space within the school system to really take this boy seriously, beginning with the emotions? And then if you discover that this really was anti-Semitic in intention, you need to take a pause and develop a proper intervention with your fellow dialogue facilitator to work with the whole group. The great thing is that you would have a basis or topic to start off working on principles of human dignity and rights. We can also explore experiences by inviting experts to help us find more perspectives with which to look at it. If young people can get a space in which to be taken seriously – also their feelings and emotions – then you can really do good civic education!</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/Dialogmoderatoren_HarmsFranquesa_28.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/Dialogmoderatoren_HarmsFranquesa_28.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Dialogmoderators in action - empowering pupils to form their own opinion and voice them. Picture by Franquesa Harms.All rights reserved.</span></span></span><i>RB: At the same time you are giving an opportunity to other youngsters in the class to have an exchange with somebody who expresses those views, which is also important for them isn’t it? Across Europe we have a rapid spread of ‘hate speech legislation’, and professionals being encouraged to be on high alert and report any potential extremist statements to the authorities and so on. <ins cite="mailto:Rosemary%20Bechler" datetime="2017-02-22T14:14"></ins></i></p> <p><i>This involvement in exploratory dialogue which takes feelings into account and gives the dialogue leaders a protocol, and the confidence to deal with it directly, seems like a very different approach. But these trends must also be affecting the German educational space?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> There are different kinds of schools as I was saying and different approaches circulating. Generally in Germany too, we are at a very experimental stage with these questions and a rather alarmist one, I would say. Because a lot of teachers and civic educators are feeling insecure at the moment and fearing doing something wrong.&nbsp; So there is this sense of alarm: “Oh my god, he said something and he could be a radical!” – when maybe the pupil is just out to provoke a response.</p> <p>But it must be important to find a way to really understand and this is where dialogue is crucial, what lies behind the statement of the student. Is it really ‘radical’ – or does the student simply want to have your attention or find out where the permissible borders are. These are pedagogical questions that cannot be answered if we fall into a state of alarm. </p> <p>Words like ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalism’ are now being debated within the civic education field – questions like, is it different being ‘radical left’ from being ‘radical right’ for example. Or, if we are passionate supporters and promoters say of human rights – are we too ‘radicals’? These questions help us to reflect. But within our project, I would use radical to denote an idea that has become so polarised that the person involved is blinded and finds it impossible to see other perspectives.&nbsp; The point of reference that we use to orient ourselves on this question is the human level within the promotion of human rights. Something we can all agree on is that we are of the species, <i>homo sapiens</i>, and we have to look out for different perspectives because we do not have the truth. Radicalism begins when people think they have a certain kind of truth and that there is no other truth. </p> <p>So, there is a lot of discussion but there are also a lot of points that we can agree on.</p> <p><i>RB: So the project is really grounded in a humanist, pluralist endeavour at the heart of education?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> The example I just put forward is important with regard to the dialogue facilitators who work with the emotions of the students and try to avoid silencing within the classroom. It is always a dilemma, because if we hear something like that, “ I want to kill Zionism” – we really try to work on it, but we also have to inform the teachers. We have to let them know that there is a student who may think in this way. But we say, let us find a way <i>together </i>to work on it. </p> <p>It’s important that I stress that, because we can only be successful within the school system if we work together with the teachers and with the social workers within the school as well. We keep them informed at the same time that we try to calm them down, so that they don’t get nervous. It is a huge problem that we don’t have ‘teacher teams’ in our schools. Teachers are loners within the school system and they have so much responsibility, and anxiety as well – alone with all those highly political topics. We try to give them a feeling that they are not alone, and that there are others who also work on those same problems. That can ease their tension and help us to avoid alarmism.</p> <p><i>RB: You are giving them tools, not just a legal responsibility without any way forward.</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Exactly, that’s very important too.</p> <p><i>RB: How does an event like the Cologne attacks and its aftermath in terms of public opinion impact on your dialogue facilitators, and how do they rise to this challenge? </i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> There are again different dimensions to this. It makes a big difference that we are really interested in what our students think about something like this. We follow the news and read around it – students’ taste in topics doesn’t confine itself to football and watching movie<span style="color: #008000;">s.</span>&nbsp;‘Hard to reach’ students are also very interested in the latest news. They may pick up on an item here or there without much sense of nuance. But it really does seem to resonate with these students if we speak about recent events. So it is always a great opportunity for us. </p> <p>It sounds rather ironic, but we might say, “Oh this is something really awful that has happened on the one hand: but on the other, we can take it into the dialogue groups, try and find out what the students think about it and try to get them to take up positions so that we can get a debate going, for example, around what “freedom” means. What does it mean to <ins cite="mailto:Rosemary%20Bechler" datetime="2017-02-22T14:16"></ins><i>you</i>: and what about “gender equality” – why is it important for<i> you</i> ? We try to “elementarise” complex issues, as we say, that is to break it down on a personal level and make it really relevant to the students.</p> <p>What we know is that many of the students that we work with come from conservative Muslim families with a very traditional world view. Also on gender roles. So we have girls who at a very early age have to take care of their younger sisters, have to be in a sense second mothers, or at least prepared for their role as mothers. Most of them on the other hand also have an aspiration to have a job one day, and to be independent as well. But these two different kinds of narratives – a western narrative of individualisation and quite a conservative narrative of collectivism and gender roles – are often in conflict.</p> <p>We can use those really extreme events to speak about these very personal aspects that move our students as well. So what happened in Cologne was a very important topic for us. But at the same time we were very careful not to take sensational readings of those events into the groups and inadvertently label our students. It would be a very dangerous, counter-productive way of opening a debate to say: “ You know we have to talk to you about these events because we have to avoid your becoming like that.”&nbsp; Our approach is much more of a curious one: “What do you think about it?” And if the students want to continue talking about it, we continue down that path. But if they do not want to talk about it, we do not push them.</p> <p><i>RB: What about the parents – do they sometimes want to draw the line?</i></p> <p><b>HA:&nbsp;</b> We are often asked this, and interestingly enough, until now, we haven’t had one intervention from the parents in our dialogue groups over something they didn’t want us to talk about. </p> <p>There was one occasion when there was a huge discussion in a school we were working in. The parents of one girl didn’t want her to attend a classroom with boys, and then many other girls weren’t permitted either. So there was a huge discussion between the parents and the headmaster and the teachers. We were asked to intervene to moderate the discussion. It was really quite a challenge to get a consensus – what to do? We found agreement in the plan that the girls could go, but one of the mothers would also attend just so that they could feel reassured. </p> <p>But it was helpful that we could mediate, because we realised that a lot of the parents, particularly those with a Turkish or an Arabic background, do not intervene so much within the school system.&nbsp; There is the belief that once the student is in school the teacher is responsible, and they don’t take it upon themselves to interfere. German parents without a migration background act quite differently: they feel they also have a responsibility for their sons’ and daughters’ education. And they intervene quite a lot – sometimes too much.&nbsp;It is a different kind of mind set on what it means to educate your children.</p> <p><i>RB: You are saying you’d like to have more intervention from your parents maybe?</i></p> <p><b>HA: </b>Yes – of course that would be great. It would be great to speak more with the parents, and indeed it is one of our aims, if we can extend Dialog Macht Schule – we would like to extend on a level which allows us to reach out to parents. But that needs time. We are still consolidating what we do now.</p> <p><i>RB: One last question. There is a simmering debate currently about fake stories and post-truth eras. Do you discuss the media with your students? Does it come up in their discussions?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Oh yes. It is one of the dominant themes and topics in our dialogue sessions – media and of course new media, and particularly Facebook and YouTube etc. It’s a very important question that you ask because in my opinion, this is one of the biggest challenges to education and particularly civic education that we have, and we still have to work on this much more. </p> <p>A lot of students and I would say even a lot of our dialogue facilitators, sometimes do not know the difference between an opinion and a theory, or an article of faith. These are things that really have to be differentiated, because otherwise everything becomes true and everything becomes relative. And so, if you do not stand for anything, in a sense you can also fall for anything. So it is very important for us to try and train our dialogue facilitators in what the difference is between these discourses. Particularly when it comes to the media. Take for example the conspiracy theories that are all over the place. Students will tell you so many different stories – like Israel implemented ISIS, or the twin towers were destroyed by Americans themselves – there are so many conspiracy theories. </p> <p>There is a huge discussion now about what is the best approach for dealing with conspiracy theories, and one of the most important ways in which we deal with it is in a participative and constructive fashion. We encourage students to develop their own conspiracy theories themselves, and then invite them to try to spread them. They can see how easy it is to develop a conspiracy theory, and how easy it is to make others believe them. Then they work on how easy it is to put together a blog along these lines, and we make them think about what legitimate knowledge is. For us this again is going back to a humanistic approach and this is very important. Evidence-based thinking or scientific literacy in a sense, I think, is not only important for the natural sciences, but it is also important for the social sciences – to take evidence seriously here as well, and to discuss topics and themes based on different evidence-based approaches. </p> <p>Applied to our work, what is discussed critically on a scientific level should also be discussed critically on a dialogue group level. It is also very important for us within the group interaction to demonstrate the difference between an opinion, an argument and what is basically a fact or a theory. Evolution is another example. If a lot of students think, oh it’s just another opinion, then they have failed to understand what a theory is – theory, in this case Darwinism, is based on falsification. Now of course it is very difficult to teach young students that there is a theory that is more than one hundred and fifty years’ old, and that it is still standing. It is not just an opinion. A lot of work has gone into it. But this is one of the biggest challenges that we have to face within civic education today, to break down these complex aspects of epistemology so that we can really explain what it is that we can know. This is a struggle for us to work on.</p> <p><i>RB: It is a challenge. At one level we have to be able to pin down and define the difference between scientific discourse, let's say, and tabloid discourse. But on another level, we dwell in the era of Wikipedia-type authority, where what you do is to encourage more or less informed opinions to pile on side by side and arrive at a provisional working definition that people are willing to live with. The business of entering into a pluralist debate and learning how to listen to other people and maybe change one’s own mind – is also tremendously important, isn’t it?</i></p> <p><b>SA:</b> Oh yes, but these are not opposites – this is not in contradiction with a scientific approach. Look at whatever scientific discipline you choose, and what you will find is a pluralist discourse: some who say this theory is true, and others who say this is not true. And either through experimentation or analysis they will try and arrive at an understanding. I think this is a very modest way of thinking about ‘what we know’. In the end we realise we can’t really know the ultimate truth, but that there are methods, there are ways that we have developed that help us. It is very sad that nowadays science is depicted as itself just another ideology. But rather, science is a method of arriving at an understanding of something. </p> <p>It is very difficult to teach the school students we work with this. But it is very important for our dialogue facilitators that they have an awareness that only with discussion and discourse analysis can we be sure that we are not dealing with an ideology. Only ideology asserts itself with certitude as truth, and here we are back again to our definition of radicalism. Any theory not open to criticism, up for another opinion, for another perspective, is an ideology in the end. </p> <p><i>RB: Thank you very much: that’s a very good place for us to wrap up.</i></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-sidebox"> <div class="field-label"> Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/wfd"><img style="padding-top: 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u548777/edu2.png" /></a>openDemocracy was at the World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between inequality, education and democracy. </p> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> World Forum for Democracy 2016 Rosemary Bechler Hassan Asfour Siamak Ahmadi Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:39:24 +0000 Siamak Ahmadi, Hassan Asfour and Rosemary Bechler 109011 at https://www.opendemocracy.net