EUPA hosted an International Thematic Working Group focusing on Youth Work role and competences advocating for and with Young Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers (YMRA), as part of the project “Becoming a Part of Europe: How Youth Work can support Young Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers” (BpE), co-funded by the European Commission under the Key Action 3 framework of the Erasmus+ Programme, between the 24th and the 26th April 2018, at the Seashells Resort at Suncrest Hotel, in Qawra, Malta. The main aim of this Cluster Group was to identify and draft policy recommendations and analyse youth workers’ learning needs working within the field with YMRA. 15 experts participated in the Cluster Group, representing youth workers and entities working in the context of YMRA, coming from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, & the Netherlands.
The main outcomes of the discussions focused around the need to foster a support network to youth workers, which, through the contributions of professionals from associated fields of practice, and YMRA themselves as stakeholders in the advocacy process, would be in a better position to acquire a deeper understanding of the needs of the very diverse target groups that can be identified within communities where YMRA are present; and through training made available within network, sustain the advocacy process within the context of YMRA. The Cluster Group also highlighted the need for opportunities to be created using existing and future funding programmes, such as Erasmus+; as well as the willingness and support of policy makers’ interest in acting in favour of integration through advocacy, which can only be achieved through contact with the realities of YMRA and youth workers and organisations that work with them.
Following this meeting, documents bearing policy recommendations and the highlighted learning needs in favour of youth workers working with YMRA will be produced, and further integrated with those from other International Thematic Working Groups being organised in Belgium (Flanders), Germany, and Sweden in May; eventually leading to an integrated report which will be further discussed in a Peer-Learning Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in September 2018. Following the finalisation of this process, the project partnership aims to contribute to the creation of innovative practices which youth workers may adopt in their work with YMRA, and may further sustain policy development and practices in the field.