The recent refugees crossing into the European Union sparked a political crisis as member countries struggled to cope with the influx. But at the same time civil society actors are showing massive solidarity with asylum-seekers. Actors of the organised sport movement as well as many new initiatives started to provide sport and leisure activities to the newly arrived migrants. While many sport clubs and informal solidarity initiatives still feel enthusiastic to help and get involved, some of them face challenges to continue their operations. Moreover, also migrant communities and ethnic minorities including Roma still struggle to enjoy equal access to sport across Europe.
What is the currently situation regarding the social inclusion of (newly-arrived) migrants across Europe? Which are the barriers and enablers for participation of marginalised groups in sports? Is increased sports volunteering of migrants and minorities the key for integration? What kind of strategy is needed on a local, national and European level?
To address these and other questions the ESPIN network is organising the European networking conference “Equal Access and Volunteering of Migrants, Minorities and Refugees in Sport” (25-26 November, 2016) in Budapest. The event at the Central European University Conference Center is hosted by the migrant-led NGO Mahatma Ghandi Human Rights Organization (MGHRO).
The two-days event will gather Hungarian and international participants with a strong involvement of grass-roots activists, sport stakeholders, migrant/minority groups and researchers. The networking conference uses plenary sessions and interactive workshops to address the following themes:
- Identifying good practice in the context of the promotion of equal access and volunteering of migrants and minorities in sport
- New approaches to communication and awareness regarding combating the exclusion of immigrants and minorities in sport
- Self-organisation, capacity building and empowerment of migrant groups and minorities in sport
- Bring together the results and findings of the ESPIN project and draw conclusions and recommendations for future action
Representatives of grass-roots groups, civic society organisations including Roma and other mirgrant/minority organisations, coaches, sport administrators, sport governing bodies, public authorities, athletes, inclusion researchers,fans, students and interested individuals.
Programme and Speakers
The programme and the list of speakers will be continuously up-dated, please check here
A short conference briefing please find here
Registration and Accommodation
There is no conference fee, catering including the networking dinner in the city center will be offered free of charge. However participants are encouraged to donate, in order to support the work of Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation (MGHRO).
The deadline for registration has been extended to 17 November. You need to complete and return the Registration form to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Registration form is available for download here
After receiving your registration you will receive a letter confirming your participation (places are limited).
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION offered at a cost of 100 € (single room for 2 nights in either the CEU Conference Center Hotel or the Ében Hotel Budapest including breakfast and amenities). The amount has to be transfered by 7 November 2016.
Background - Challenging political situation in Hungary
Gibril Deen, founder and president of the ESPIN partner organisation Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation (MGHRO) comments on the current situation in Hungary and its impact on anti-racism work in the country:
“As you likely know, the political situation in Hungary, along with much of Europe, right now is quite tense when it comes to the status of mirgrants. The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe is attracting significant anti-foreigner and anti-minority sentiment. On 2 October, a national referendum was held over whether or not to allow refugees and migrants to settle in Hungary. The Fidesz government, led by Victor Orban, has spent an enormous effort on a large propaganda project in order to convince Hungarian citizens to reject the EU plan to settle refugees throughout the EU, including Hungary.
In light of this situation, the government is increasingly unwilling to support any organisations or projects relating to minority issues or human rights. Therefore also our organisation faces huge challenges. Many organisations and business try to avoid getting on the wrong side of the government agenda. Our organisation is currently making due with less ressources than we have in the past but we need to maintain, as we believe these issues to be increasingly important given the current political context.”
In spite of some obstacles, the ESPIN partners decided to move forward with the planning of this final networking conference in Hungary because of its political importance. Holding this international event, which prioritizes the inclusion of refugees, migrants and minority groups, in today’s Hungary, is an act of solidarity with those actors fighting for equality and human rights in Hungary and Eastern Europe. Our attendance in Budapest and active contributions to the event will also serve to strengthen our partner organisation, the MGHRO, helping them to continue the excellent work they do.
Emma Pandy-Szekeres / Kati Gellért
Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Organisation
Ferenc krt. 18., HU-1092 Budapest, Hungary
Tel. +36 (1) 215-8301