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Author: Social Platform

Caritas Europa: Dignity and rights for all migrant workers in Europe

Statement on the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice, 20 February 2018 On the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice, 20 February, and with a view to the upcoming inter-governmental negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), Caritas Europa calls on the European Union and all European governments to foster a more inclusive Europe that ensures decent working conditions for all migrant workers, including those in an irregular situation. Migrant workers strongly contribute to our societies and our economies, but it is time we also respect their dignity and recognise their rights. “I worked in Belgium for a building company. I was irregular. I didn’t have any papers, so I was afraid of the police. The employer nearly never paid my wages. My wife and I were hiding; sometimes we had nothing to eat and we had trouble paying the rent,” explains Gabriel, a migrant from Brazil working in Belgium (source: Caritas Belgium). Migrant workers have become a cornerstone of our societies. They sustain our economies, particularly in basic sectors, such as agriculture and cleaning. Migrant workers make our societies more diverse and multicultural, and contribute to keeping our welfare systems healthy. While we value migrant workers for their work, we rarely ensure that their rights both as workers and human beings are guaranteed and enforced. Migrant workers, particularly those in an irregular situation,...

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Mental Health Europe: MHE launches new video on Article 19 of the UN CRPD on Independent Living

Mental Health Europe (MHE) is proud to present our new animated video on Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) on independent living and community inclusion. Article 19 recognises that every person with a disability, including people with a psychosocial disability, has the right to live independently and be included in the community. What is the UN CRPD? What is Article 19 about? What is an institution? What does independent living mean for people with psychosocial disabilities? Watch the video to find out! Full...

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Reinvigorating Europe by investing in its people – vital role of EU budget

Published on EurActiv, 13 February 2018 Negotiations of the EU budget can degenerate into the fierce protection of national interests, or they can offer the opportunity to stand above the parapet and look at the long-term, collective interests of the EU-27. Social Platform members, representing tens of thousands of local and national civil society organisations working with and for people who are among the most excluded in society, know very well the added-value of an EU committed to its ambition of protecting “human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights”. We have witnessed...

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European Association for the Education of Adults: Erasmus+ impacts adult education far beyond the measured

The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) is deeply concerned about the presentation of the results for adult education in the Erasmus+ mid-term evaluation. The mid-term evaluation describes the impact of the Erasmus+ programme on adult education as “diluted due to the fragmented and diverse nature of the sector”. EAEA firmly believes that the diversity of the sector is one of its strengths, and the impact of Erasmus+ goes far beyond the measured. EAEA is also surprised at the apparent lack of success stories from the sector on the Erasmus+ project results platform, also noted in the mid-term evaluation. EAEA would like to voice some concerns over the usability of the platform, and add that nevertheless 14% of success stories in strategic partnerships come from the adult education sector. Budget increase needed “The future Erasmus+ programme could help increase participation levels in adult learning, especially of learners from more diverse backgrounds. The European Education Area sets out a participation rate in adult learning and training of 25% by 2025; however, without drastically increased financial support for the sector, adult education will not be able to reach the lower ET2020 benchmark of 15%,” reads the statement. To maximise the impact of Erasmus+ on adult education, EAEA proposes an increase of the budget of adult education from the current 5% to 20%. Full...

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European Association for the Education of Adults: The European Commission’s initiatives on key competences, common values and digital education

The European Association for the Education of Adults’s (EAEA) response to the European Commission’s three recently published initiatives appreciates the update of the key competences framework, but criticises the narrow and formal understanding of education of the initiatives on digital education and common values. The EAEA response addresses the three initiatives published by the European Commission in January: A Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning A Council Recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching A Digital Education Action Plan EAEA appreciates the update of the key competences framework and is pleased that a number of the organisation’s recommendations have been taken on board. EAEA is happy to see that civic competences have been strengthened and that sustainability has become part of the framework. When it comes to the Council Recommendation on common values and the Action Plan for digital education, EAEA believes that there are several missed opportunities. “Both documents are based on a very narrow and formal understanding of education and thereby miss the opportunity to link formal, non-formal and informal learning as well as creating more ambitious and holistic strategies that take learners of all ages into account,” the response states. EAEA calls for the revision of the initiatives and the acknowledgement of the significant role of adult education and learning. “Adult education has a significant role to play; the...

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European Anti-Poverty Network: Results from the 16th European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty – Let’s tackle in-work poverty! #2017PEP

On 9 and 10 November 2017, the 16th European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty – Let’s tackle in-work poverty! – took place. It was organised by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) with support from the European Commission and the EAPN Fund. The meeting is a unique opportunity for people with direct experience of poverty from 30 different national delegations to address and exchange with EU decision-makers. Among the 120 participants were delegations of EAPN members from 30 countries, (which included experts with experience of in-work poverty), representatives from civil society and trade unions, delegates from the European Parliament and Commission, Permanent Representatives, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen, and the Belgian government. The theme of this edition was in-work poverty, and the event was programmed towards sharing experiences and promoting open dialogue, especially among EAPN members with direct experience of poverty. A new venue and experimental programme provided what one delegate described as open spaces that empower people. The opening plenary started with a short account of four personal stories of in-work poverty, which set the scene and established the meeting as a gathering of the people for the people. Commissioner Thyssen offered encouragement to EAPN and the delegations, while presenting the EU’s actions and core elements of the European Social Pillar of Rights. Open space workshops were then organised so delegates could...

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COFACE Families Europe: COFACE Families Europe launches reflection on peer-to-peer connections and decentralised technologies

Safer Internet Day is a privileged moment to raise awareness about online safety and take action to create a better internet for all. “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you” is the theme of the Safer Internet Day 2018. COFACE Families Europe hosted a training seminar “Analog families in a Digital World” on 1 February in Sofia, Bulgaria. COFACE is currently examining the pros and cons of decentralised technologies to help internet users take back control of their data, and the benefits they can provide in terms of inclusion, facilitated access to knowledge, to online presence, and the protection of key digital rights like anonymity, or combating censorship. COFACE reflections included: 1. Examining alternatives to centralised online service providers Some of the examples included: Cloudron which allows people to host their own website and run a server directly from home; Mastodon and Diaspora, both of which are decentralized alternatives to Twitter and Facebook; Open Bazaar which is a decentralized market place to sell goods directly to other people, in replacement of Amazon; Wikipedia, although it is hosted in a centralized manner (Wikimedia data centers), allows for decentralised participation and contribution from users from all over the globe. 2. Learning about Blockchain technology and its applications Some of the examples included: Musicoin: an innovative way to compensate musicians for their work, without the need for record...

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Daring to invest in people – lessons from Portugal

Last week, Prime Minister of Portugal Antoni Costa came to Brussels and laid out his hopes for Europe’s future, in the framework of current negotiation processes regarding the EU budget post-2020. In the past, Portugal was one of the Eurozone’s under-achievers: today, its government has proven its ability to pull its citizens out of austerity while reducing its deficit, winning praise from the European institutions. What are the ingredients for Portugal’s success, and will it inspire EU decision-makers to shape a more inclusive Europe that puts social investment at its heart? In 2015, newly-appointed Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa...

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