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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Neil's diary: A human rights youth worker in Albania - Day 2

I sit with new people today and we discuss the situation of youth work in Romania, France, Scotland and Albania and found common practices and issues. We shared some ideas about changes to practice that we all found useful.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Diary of a human rights youth worker - Day 1

Neil Wotherspoon is a Scottish youth worker who successfully applied to the Council of Europe for human rights training. 

 I woke up today and headed down to breakfast for 8h. Lovely! I had some salad, meat and an omelette was made fresh before me.

Official Opening

The session began in the plenary room and it was translated into Albanian and English. Aldo Bumçi (Albanian Minister for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport) addressed the meeting and spoke about democracy being part of the new society in Albanian. He made clear that with democracy comes rights and responsibilities and that as citizens, we must involve ourselves in debates about youth work, health, education and other issues. He said that there is a moral crisis due to a movement of values and that this can be seen in former Communist countries and also in countries with debt crises.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Diary of a human rights youth worker

Neil Wotherspoon is a Scottish youth worker who successfully applied to the Council of Europe for human rights training.

20 November: Day of Arrival

Today, I set off for a Council of Europe training course in the Albanian capital of Tirana. The course will cover youth participation and policy and I am quite excited.

Last night was my engagement party so I am very tired as I head towards Glasgow Airport. A 29 year old Scotsman in Albania… this is going to be so much fun.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Europe's migration debate needs facts not emotion

In a speech at Leiden University earlier today, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland called for the debate on immigration in Europe to move from emotion to facts.

“The challenge for politicians and leaders in all walks of life is to move the debate on migration from emotions to facts,” Jagland declared during his visit to the Netherlands.

“We cannot escape demography,” he added. “As the stabilisation of the Euro is surely the most acute short-term challenge in Europe right now, our biggest long-term challenge is how to manage migration, not only from a legal viewpoint, but especially from a political and cultural viewpoint."

More information

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Jagland sets Europe's "social" agenda

"Necessary and understandable" austerity measures should not undermine Europe's social contract, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland declared today
He told the 21st Congress session that: “Europe’s financial and fiscal crisis is starting to have an impact on social cohesion as well as on public trust in our democratic institutions.

"In such challenging times, exposed citizens living in economically fragile regions, youth and elderly people, migrants and Roma are affected the most.

"Radical measures are being taken in many countries to balance public budgets. This is both necessary and understandable. But at the same time, countries are running a high risk of undermining the European model of social cohesion."

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Jagland: Europe's 'Prince Charles Syndrome' Alienates Young People

Governments must resist the ‘Prince Charles syndrome’ and listen seriously to young people’s frustration if they are to maintain social cohesion, Thorbjørn Jagland warned today.

Speaking at the opening of the Forum For Democracy in Limassol Cyprus, the Secretary General pointed to the “staggeringly high” youth unemployment as fuel for discontent. He said that young people have expectations all too often ignored because they are considered “citizens in the making” who can wait their turn.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Interview: Ivana Alessandro on biodiversity and human rights

In this interview, the Council of Europe’s Ivana D’Alessandro discusses the quickening pace of biodiversity degradation in Europe.

She also outlines the work of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, better known as the Bern Convention, which over the past 32 years has become a pillar of the international legal architecture.

It is the first international treaty to bring countries together on nature and conservation issues in order to protect both species and habitats.

More on this story

Monday, 12 September 2011

Jagland urges Europe to 'practice what it preaches' in the Mediterranean region

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has challenged Europe to practice what it preaches in its relations with neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean region.

In his 9 September speech to the Bled Strategic Forum, Jagland expressed his fear that  Europe’s  neighbours might not heed calls for more tolerant and inclusive politics if it could not cope with its own multicultural societies.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Jagland: 'Moralpolitik' in Europe

In his address today at the start of the three-day Summer University, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland said Europe’s progress beyond ideological division was the result of “a historic moment in which realpolitik was defeated by moralpolitik.”

That spirit is still needed now, he declared, as the region confronts the impact of globalisation and grapples with the corruption, the abuses of power and the increasing movement of ideas, cultures and individuals.
(More Information)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Jagland: Europe Must Seize Historic Opportunity To Prevent Violence Against Women

Seven women are beaten to death everyday in Europe, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland declared today on the opening day of the organisation’s Parliamentary Assembly.

“Many more are hurt, physically and psychologically and marked for life,” he said.  (News)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Jagland’s Challenge to Roma Forum

Secretary General has challenged the European Roma and Travellers Forum to be less critical and adopt a more constructive approach to the development of Roma policies. (News)

Monday, 7 March 2011

Women's Day 2011: Interview with Anke Trischler

To mark Women's Day 2011, humanrightseurope talked to Anke Trischler, a German banker turned business adviser.

Ms Trischler was a guest on the Council of Europe talkshow 'Viewpoint' which celebrated women's progress. One year on, she gives her views on how women can close the gender gap.

Women's Day 2011: Tomorrow's People

Sara Paz (l) and Artemis Konstantinidi
To celebrate Women's Day 2011, humanrightseurope called on two young women at the start of their professional lives, Sara Paz, from Spain and Artemis Konstantinidi, from Greece, to find out how 21st century Europe looks to them.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Schokkenbroek: Roma are citizens, neighbours and Europeans

Statement by Mr Jeroen SCHOKKENBROEK, 
Council of Europe, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma Issues
DOSTA ! Launch event, Athens, 3 February 2011

Κυρία Υπουργέ, αγαπητοί φίλοι, κυρίες και κύριοι

First of all, and on behalf of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, I should like to thank all of you who have contributed to the launch of the Dosta! Campaign in Greece, starting with the Ministry of Education and in particular you, Mrs Genimata, in your capacity as alternate Minister of Education.

Our thanks go not only to those who have prepared this round table on Roma and prejudices but also to the contributors to the cultural event that will follow, with the participation of Mr Chatzis, whose songs spread the message of tolerance and brotherhood. I should also like to express my appreciation for the work of the NGOs, Roma and non Roma, which have worked hand in hand to prepare this wonderful event
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In democratic societies, there is an important human rights principle that a person shall be presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty.  However, in our democratic European societies the Roma are most often presumed guilty and given no chance to prove themselves innocent.  They are suspected and feared not for what they do but for what they are - Roma.  Hence the generally perceived need to keep away from them, to retain them in distant settlements, to deny them contacts with the majority in education, housing, employment – in other words, ignore their very existence.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu: "All forms of intolerance are on the rise again"

Speech by Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, 
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in memory of the victims of the Holocaust

(Auschwitz, 1st February 2011, 5.00 pm)

Dear friends,

No words can describe the despicable horror that happened here 70 years ago, in the same way as no deeds can repair the destruction of human life and dignity.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Proposals for international cooperation on cross-border Internet

Interim Report of the Ad-hoc Advisory Group on Cross-border Internet

to the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services incorporating analysis of proposals for international and multi-stakeholder cooperation on cross-border Internet

Data Protection Day - Speech by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

Speech of Mr Thorbjørn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Data Protection Day (30th Anniversary)
Brussels, 28 January 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Does privacy still matter?

A few weeks ago, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a live webcast that the age of privacy was over.  I hope this is not true.  I hope privacy is not dead.  It still matters, because privacy is a fundamental human right.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Jagland - “When the rule of law stops, tyranny begins"

Speech by Thorbjørn Jagland,
Secretary General of the Council of Europe
International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Strasbourg, 27 January 2011

66 years is a long time, but then again, it is not.  It is less than a lifetime.  If the Holocaust had not happened, if one and a half million children would not have lost their lives in the most horrible circumstances, there would have been a million and a half more grandfathers and grandmothers in Europe, enjoying their retirement, spending time with their grandchildren.  But they were murdered.

One and a half million children and millions more adults, Jews, Roma, homosexuals, disabled people, political dissidents, religious minorities and others, singled out for their race, religion, political beliefs, or their sexual orientation.  Murdered.

Video: Roma Mediators Training Programme - Day 1

On the first day of the Council of Europe's Roma mediators training programme, Ana Oprisan, 35, a Romanian living in Istanbul, Turkey, talks about the project, her experience and her expectations.


Monday, 24 January 2011

Jagland: "Europe Torn Apart By Globalisation, Xenophobia And Social Exclusion"

Speech by Thorbjorn Jagland
Secretary General of the Council of Europe 

To the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Monday, 24 January 2011

Main News Report

All great projects in history combine vision with pragmatism. Believing in something, even very enthusiastically, is not enough. It is what we do about it which makes a difference between great ideas and great illusions.

This was true sixty years ago when our organisation was created, and it is very much true today.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Hearing On Education And Training: Tools For Roma Integration

Brussels, 14 January 2011
Contribution by Olöf Olafsdottir, Director of Education and Languages, Council of Europe

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Participants,

May I begin by thanking the organisers for inviting the Council of Europe to participate in this Hearing. It is a pleasure for me to be here and to be able to inform you about our work for improving Roma education.