The first WorkLab Thesis I: “Young people and the narratives about migration” organized in Portugal by TAS project – Thesis Antithesis, Synthesis – Migration Labs was held online on June 2nd, joining 29 participants. Themes related to contemporary narratives, prejudices and stereotypes among migrants and myths and realities about migrations were discussed.
Based on the United Nations definition of youth which recognizes that “young people are a force for development” and data that demonstrate that, in 2017, the number of young people living outside of their country of origin was around 28 million (representing approximately 11% of the world’s migrant population), the role of young people in migration, push and pull factors of migration and the positive effects of migration were discussed by Emellin de Oliveira, of Centro de Investigação & Desenvolvimento sobre Direito e Sociedade (CEDIS) of NOVA School of Law.
The researcher pointed out that among the factors that push young people to migrate are unemployment; insecurity (persecution and human rights violations); few resources; political and/or economic instability and also other environmental causes. But, the positive responses to these conditions, attract migrants for a society, existing availability and better employment conditions; security and protection; freedom of religion, political participation, association, expression; availability of resources and environmental security.
Concrete and very positive examples of migration to societies have also been presented, such as increased remittances and support for development (country of origin or habitual residence); increased youth population, cultural diversity; diversity of techniques and strategies for solving local issues, among others.
The debate that followed allowed to identify other data and realities that young people know about this subject, in order to contribute to the disclosure of concrete and true data on migration and to listen the young participants about prejudices and stereotypes that they hear, associated with the figure of the migrant, starting from the definition of the terms.
Stereotype is to categorize people into small boxes, to define them or even reduce them. Prejudice is to judge, to differentiate someone in a more hostile way, without any objective foundation, sometimes related to common sense, from what is passed on to us by our culture or our education at home – Vanessa
Prejudice is a pre-existing idea, which most of the time is transmitted in a negative or unfavourable way, which is based on judgements and generalizations and is not based on facts, is a value judgment – Inês
Prejudice is a predisposition that negatively influences our attitudes and actions towards people from a different culture or origin – Telmo
Stereotypes is related with images or ideas that we form about a person or a group – Milton
For me the stereotype would be a pre-conception of an image, a myth, a fantasy. And prejudice would be a symptom of the stereotype that we create – Barbara
At a time when there is more and more fake news related to migration, only truth and knowledge about it can contribute to a serious dialogue that can lead to the adoption of fairer public policies.
The participants of the first WorkLab express their commitment to contribute to narratives based on real facts and are awaiting with expectation the next WorkLabs. If you want to be part of the change and participate in this extended dialogue, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your data and join us in the next WorkLab.
The WorkLabs are open to all young people between 18 and 30 years old, committed to promoting social justice and motivated to social, economic, political and environmental transformation. If, like us, you believe that is necessary to promote social justice and act for social, political, economic and environmental transformation, join the group.
TAS – Thesis Antithesis, Synthesis – Migration Labs project aims to contribute to promotion of European citizenship and to improve the conditions for the exercise of civic and democratic participation in the European Union by developing mechanisms for a better understanding of the European Union’s migration policy-making process by its citizens and by creating specific opportunities for social, intercultural and voluntary participation.