Migrants Matter

What is Migrants Matter?

Migrants Matter is a European and international advocacy campain aimed at improving the conditions for migrants workers.

How it all started

We are a group of former students from more than 40 different countries who came together during the European Master’s degree programme (E.MA) in Human Rights and Democratisation. We have decided to take action on this by pulling together and launching a campaign for better protection of their rights. Because of our wide network, we are uniquely placed to build pressure across Europe to push for migrants’ rights to be a part of the European agenda. We are starting out by focusing on advocating the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, (ICMW) which has not been ratified by any EU Member States to date. We believe that the ICMW can provide an international framework of protection of their rights and the rights of their families.

Main goals

We aim to improve conditions for migrants iworkers through developing awareness and lobbying for effectual policy, specifically through promoting the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Current activities and status

Migrants Matter has grown considerably during the years. We have carried out a 'Silent Walk for Migrants' along the streets of Venice on 18 December (International Migrants' Day), written and published several articles on our blog on migration-related issues, gathered more than 100 pictures from all over the world showing support for migrants' rights, as well realised an illustrated booklet aimed at explaining the ICMW with a simple and accessible language. All our main achievements are listed here: http://www.migrantsmatter.org/our-accomplishments.html We are committed to building a different kind of European Union, one where the honest work of all people is valued, and where socially conscious words are followed by actions that demonstrate coherence and integrity. We carry out lobbying, blogging, and targeted actions to work towards realising our aims. Widespread ratification of the ICMW would be an important step towards the establishment of an international framework of protection and support, indispensible in an increasingly globalised community.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This project is looking for people who can help with fundraising, translations, writing and editing. If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact the organisers (on the right side) through your GCA profile!

Initiative Hub

ZIKOMO

ZIKOMO

Topic:
Geographical focuss: Based in Austria, with a focus on Africa
Association: E.MAlumni
Status: Ongoing

Accountability Unit

What is the Accountability Unit?

The Accountability Unit is an independent NGO which advances conflict related gender based rights through litigation, advocacy, research and mentoring. We work with partners in countries where there is an urgent need to legally support women, girls and others facing severe human rights violations because of their gender.  

How it all started

My colleague Ms. Şebnem Erener and I (Aarif Abraham) are human rights lawyers. We founded Accountability Unit last year having been compelled by the absence of redress, through legal means, for widespread sexual violence and gender-based harm especially where societal conflict exacerbates such harm. We provide specialist legal assistance for survivors and support those that defend their dignity and human rights locally through legal advocacy, policy-advice and mentoring.

Main goals

Our technology-led network directs and brings together skilled international rights practitioners with local activists, lawyers and policy-makers to: A. Strengthen access to justice for marginalised women and girls by obtaining redress, remedies and reparations for victims through petitioning legal institutions; B. Hold states and individuals accountable for gender-related human rights violations by identifying and monitoring enforcement of rights and court decisions; and C. Enhance gender equality and prevent violations through gender mainstreaming and raising awareness of gender issues among stakeholders and society-at-large.  

Current activities and status

As a new charity and NGO, we have raised awareness about gender-based harm, built a constructive dialogue with ministries and interested parliamentarians, established a professional network of human rights professionals and built an organisational infrastructure to assist survivors who otherwise would receive no help. Over the past year we have made a number of legal submissions on behalf of survivors before the Turkish Constitutional Court, ECtHR, and UN Special Procedures as well as undertaken advocacy work (focusing on international and national stakeholders) both publicly and privately to the benefit of individual survivors. We have reached this far through the goodwill of a number of extremely kind and dedicated volunteers. Whilst the work that we do in places like Turkey is challenging we aim to make our work scaleable and sustainable to address the urgent needs for survivors.  

Would you like to contribute to this campaign?

This project is looking for people who can help with fundraising, translation, writing, editing and social media dissemination. If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact the organisers (on the right side) through your GCA profile!

Apply for Fairness

What is Apply for Fairness?

An online awareness raising campaign directed to employers/organisations offering unpaid internships.

How it all started

We are a group of E.MA alumni, passionate about human and social rights and appalled by the current unfair and discriminatory conditions for young graduates. We are from a generation for which internships became a compulsory intermediary step between studying and getting a job. We consider that unpaid internships can be either a door opener or an obstacle to the job market, depending on your personal financial resources. That is why we believe that being an intern should not mean giving up all our basic social rights – such as getting a minimum living allowance. We think it is time for all relevant stakeholders, especially employers, to assume their social responsibility on this issue. We urge everybody affected and involved in this vicious circle to stand up for our generation and call on employers to promote genuine equal opportunities policies when offering internship positions.

Main goals

To foster a sense of responsibility on the social implications of unpaid internship offers. To make companies/organisations aware that by offering unpaid internships they are generating social inequalities and reproducing elites. To make companies/organisations aware that through unpaid internships they are not getting the most skilled or qualified person for the position (lost candidate), but the one who can afford it.

Current activities and status

The campaign has been endorsed by a number of youth organisations, has good presence in social media, and has received feedback (positive and negative) from employers in reaction to our criticism. We have recently started a partnership with Brussels Interns NGO, with whom we cooperate by providing dissemination and social pressure against unpaid internships.

Would you like to contribute to this campaign?

This campaign needs help with social media dissemination and translations, and if you are really committed to the cause feel free to contact the organisers and express your interest in collaborating!

DECADE OF BELONGING – Celebrating Diversity

What is 'Decade of Belonging - Celebrating Diversity'?

Decade of Belonging is a grassroots project with the main goal of improving inter-ethnic relations and celebrating diversity. The project aims at promoting intercommunity relations in the southwest region of Macedonia, by enhancing the cooperation between CSO’s, interethnic councils, decision makers and private sector.

How it all started

Local communities in the southwest region of Macedonia are divided across ethnic lines and do not have opportunities to develop genuine interaction and regain trust among each other. Young people study in different shifts so they do not meet, and cannot understand each other as they do not even speak the others’ language. The CSO sector in the southwest region of Macedonia is weak and also divided by ethnic lines. Multi-sectoral local partnerships and coalitions where CSO’s can join efforts with public and private sector are rare in target region.  

Main goals

  • To improve socializing and dialogue among ethnic groups by initiating joint actions involving different sectors;
  • To enhance the role of the Interethnic councils within the local government and publicly promote it;
  • To improve effectiveness and influence of the CSO’s in the region.

What the initiative has achieved

The project has organized various grassroots multi-ethnic initiatives such as dance theater, vocal ensemble, youth magazine, urban residencies, established social club, public events, study visits to relevant instituions etc.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This initiative is looking for help with social media dissemination, in person volunteering, and fundraising. If you would like to contribute, contact Katerina Vasileska through your GCA profile!

Group of Youth for Interethnic Solidarity

What is the Group of Youth for Interethnic Solidarity?

A platform that unites around 20 minority youth activists from different HR organizations and ethno-linguistic communities.

How it all started?

Group of Youth for Interethnic Solidarity is a platform created with support and initiative of GCA Alumni in Moldova. The platform was launched in December 2016 to promote and defend minority rights through using national and international minority rights mechanisms. The platform is open for any kind of collaboration and is ready to offer its expertise on minority issues in Moldova.

Main goals

To ensure better protection of minority rights in Moldova; To eliminate stereotypes against minorities; To raise solidarity among minority groups.

Current activities and status

As for now, the platform organized the First Minority Youth Forum in Moldova, debates and discussions in regions populated with minority groups. The group sumbitted several alternative reports to the UN Comittee for Elimination of Racial Discrimination and prepares the First Minority Rights Summer Camp wich will be organized in August, 2017 in Moldova.

Would you like to contribute to this campaign?

This project is looking for people who can help mainly with social media dissemination, but any help or contribution is welcome! If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact the organisers (on the right side) through your GCA profile!

Migrants Matter

What is Migrants Matter?

Migrants Matter is a European and international advocacy campain aimed at improving the conditions for migrants workers.

How it all started

We are a group of former students from more than 40 different countries who came together during the European Master’s degree programme (E.MA) in Human Rights and Democratisation. We have decided to take action on this by pulling together and launching a campaign for better protection of their rights. Because of our wide network, we are uniquely placed to build pressure across Europe to push for migrants’ rights to be a part of the European agenda. We are starting out by focusing on advocating the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, (ICMW) which has not been ratified by any EU Member States to date. We believe that the ICMW can provide an international framework of protection of their rights and the rights of their families.

Main goals

We aim to improve conditions for migrants iworkers through developing awareness and lobbying for effectual policy, specifically through promoting the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Current activities and status

Migrants Matter has grown considerably during the years. We have carried out a 'Silent Walk for Migrants' along the streets of Venice on 18 December (International Migrants' Day), written and published several articles on our blog on migration-related issues, gathered more than 100 pictures from all over the world showing support for migrants' rights, as well realised an illustrated booklet aimed at explaining the ICMW with a simple and accessible language. All our main achievements are listed here: http://www.migrantsmatter.org/our-accomplishments.html We are committed to building a different kind of European Union, one where the honest work of all people is valued, and where socially conscious words are followed by actions that demonstrate coherence and integrity. We carry out lobbying, blogging, and targeted actions to work towards realising our aims. Widespread ratification of the ICMW would be an important step towards the establishment of an international framework of protection and support, indispensible in an increasingly globalised community.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This project is looking for people who can help with fundraising, translations, writing and editing. If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact the organisers (on the right side) through your GCA profile!  

Rights!

Rights! aims to be an independent, accessible and egalitarian platform where different views, ideas, approaches, interests and practices meet. It gathers together think pieces, comments from the field, case studies, interviews, critiques and provocations from established and emerging human rights professionals from all regions of the world.

How it all started

Human rights and democratisation are live, active discourses that engage highly passionate responses. By challenging ourselves and others to critique and re-imagine the promotion and protection of human rights and democratisation, our conversations are made all the more interesting and the shared learning enriched. Aware of a gap in multifaceted and multidisciplinary communication and debates about human rights and democratisation, we created Rights! to offer a new avenue for critical engagement.

Main goals

The objectives of the platform are to:
  • showcase quality pieces by academics, practitioners, (inter)governmental officials, graduates and students alike
  • speak on a variety of human rights and democratisation issues to a larger audience than the ‘converted’
  • offer information and orientation about events, activities, publications and people
  • enable cross-learning among different constituencies
  • inspire prompt reactions, debates and further cooperation

What the initiative has achieved

The platform has been officially running since October 2015 with a constant flow of monthly contributions and an increasing audience of activists, academics, students, professionals from all regions of the world.

Streetlight Schools

What is Streetlight Schools?

Streetlight Schools creates globally competitive schools in some of the most underserved communities and set a radically new benchmark for teaching and learning in South Africa. By completely re-imagining standards, environments and approaches to learning, Streetlight Schools is creating globally competitive schools in some of the most underserved communities in South Africa at a scalable cost. With our innovations in Academic Approach, Facility and Professional Development we are demonstrating that it is possible to change established truths in South African education.

How the initiative started:

Starting in October 2013, in a small store-room in Bjala Square in Jeppestown, we ran a pilot after-school program. In 2015, we launched our Education Lab – a prototype of the school model to test some of our first innovations in our approach. In January 2016, we launched Streetlight: Jeppestown our flagship primary school. By the end of the first term, our results indicated that our first learners—who came in with limited or no early childhood development—are catching up to international benchmarks in Numeracy and Literacy.

Main goals:

Provide world-class primary education to underserved learners at government cost per learner.

What the project has achieved:

In January 2016, we launched Streetlight: Jeppestown our flagship primary school. In January 2017 our learners were achieving equal to benchmarks equivalent to top international school systems. We want to grow from one to five schools over the next 5 years.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This project is looking for people who can help with fundraising, and social media dissemination. If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact the organisers (on the right side) through your GCA profile!

White Code Centre

What is the White Code Centre?

White Code Centre is an organization that uses photos, videos, designs, music and art to communicate issues of law, human rights and social justice.

How it all started

White Code Centre was formed in order to simplify legal and human rights issues - to bridge the gap between knowledge and ignorance. Taking cogniscance of the incredible impact visuals have in changing perceptions and triggering meaningful conversations, the Centre was also established as a non-profit that makes use of tools such as videos, pictures, designs, drawings, paintings and music to drive change.

Main goals

1. Driving changes in policy, attitudes and perceptions through provocative images and sounds. 2. Enhancing the understanding of human rights law and making it more relatable to non-lawyers and non-activists. 3. Embarking on activities which seek to empower young people to become change agents in Africa.

What the initiative has achieved

So far, we have successfully launched 5 visual campaigns, produced one short film and released a total of 12 advocacy videos. Thousands have interacted with our campaigns and we have been invited to share with NGOs how to leverage on audio-visuals in presenting a more effective human rights message. The impact of our work has spread across Africa and extended into Europe and the United States and this has helped us forge meaningful partnerships as a result.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This initiative is looking for help with social media dissemination, in person volunteering, and fundraising. If you would like to contribute, contact Adebayo Okeowo through your GCA profile!  

ZIKOMO

What is ZIKOMO?

Zikomo is an Organisation for the Support of University Students in Africa, and its main objective is to provide scholarships to university students in several countries in Africa.

Main goals:

  • Empowerment of young Africans through tertiary education.
  • Funding tertiary education to empower the citizens of African countries to enable them to develop their countries independently from aid and the political and economical power of donor countries and multinational corporations.
  • Sustainable development through education (poverty reduction, democratization and peace, health, gender equality, work and economic growth...).
 

How the initiative started:

Tertiary education in many African countries is very expensive, especially in relation to monthly salaries. Beside scholarships or loans provided by the state, only high income families and the elite are able to afford tuition fees at universities. The campaign started in 2007 to support two young Zambians who were friends with a study colleague of the E.MAlumni. They wanted to become social workers but could not afford the tuition fees. A group of friends of the E.MAlumni wanted to acquire donations to enable them to achieve higher education. To place the fundraising on an official base, association ZIKOMO was founded. Many more supported students followed.

What the project has achieved:

So far 15 African students in six African countries (Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Sierra Leone) finished their degrees in various studies. Ten students are supported at the moment.

Would you like to contribute to this project?

This project is looking for people who can help with fundraising, and social media dissemination, translation, fundraising, writing and editing, in person volunteering! If you are interested in contributing to the cause, feel free to contact Philipp Hamedl (on the right side) through your GCA profile!