Young people are developing answers to the most pressing problems of our times. They are speaking out in social networks, at demonstrations, in civil society and political organisations - all over the world. They are precipitating change and stimulating social debate because their future is at stake. But in spite of all this, one has the impression that politics remains the domain of the older generation, conducted by it and for it.
The commitment made by young activists – as international studies on young people demonstrate –contrasts with the political disenchantment characterising many of their peers. In Germany as well, disproportionately few young people voted in national elections in 2017. One possible reason for this may be that their age group faces the greatest disadvantages in the labour market – and this not only in Europe. Corruption, petrified political systems, degradation of the environment and other social challenges also explain the mounting frustration.
Young people who get involved and search for solutions will be exchanging ideas with international experts, politicians and you, the audience, at this year's FES Week of Justice. We intend to discuss what progressive policies could look like in the future. What answers are young people coming up with in response to the problems of our times? And what forms of political and social participation are they opting for? We shall be presenting youth initiatives, projects and perspectives in lectures and workshops, film and music. The slogan is: #YouthPower.
Electoral successes registered by right-wing populist political parties in East Central Europe and other EU States bear witness to a widespread feeling of insecurity, making large sections of the population receptive to calls for national isolationism. But this only offers a semblance of a solution to existing problems.
If we want to confront actual existing problems, we have to listen to young workers, as they are the ones most affected by unemployment and temporary employment contracts. Young (trade union) members play a key role in all this, with many voices here calling for greater rights for workers in precarious jobs and a renewal of the European economic and social order on the basis of solidarity. The FES has been supporting a network of young trade unionists from East Central Europe since 2013. These young trade unionists get together twice a year to pinpoint transnational challenges and come up with answers.
Upon the occasion of the Week of Justice, Michael Sommer (FES) and Reiner Hoffmann (DGB) will be opening the network's 10th conference. They will discuss results produced to date along with strategies for the future with presidents of East Central European umbrella trade unions.
Event Languages: Englisch, Czech / Slovak, German, Hungarian and Polish; with interpretation
Young voters are once again under scrutiny in the wake of national elections held in 2017. More than five million persons entitled to vote were under 25, around three million of whom voted for the first time. Numerous campaigns called on young citizens to go to the polls, while political parties devised special formats and speeches geared to younger voters. In spite of it all, significantly fewer young Germans cast votes compared to the average for the population as a whole once again in the 2017 Bundestag elections.
The non-partisan think tank " d|part" performed a study based on election statistics and representative surveys offering insight into turn-out among young voters in the last Bundestag elections and their political attitudes. What conclusions can be drawn from these results for political education of young people?
Christine Hübner, who headed the d|part study, will be discussing the results produced by the study with other guests and institutions involved in political education for young people.
Event Language: German
1.4 million people applied to receive asylum in Germany in the years 2015 to 2017. Many of them had fled countries torn by conflict and civil war. Teenagers and young adults among them could pave their way to a brighter future by undergoing vocational education in Germany.
Business enterprises and employers' associations are grumbling about a shortage of trainees. On the other hand, approximately 80,000 persons in Germany were unable to obtain a training position in 2017. Applicants with a so-called migration background face particularly poor prospects even when they have the same secondary school degrees as people without any migration background.
How can people looking for training positions and companies be brokered more effectively? How can refugees receive apprenticeships? What role do business enterprises, the policy-making arena and young people themselves play in accessing vocational training?
We shall be addressing these questions in a fishbowl discussion with Klaus Mindrup, Member of the Bundestag from Berlin-Pankow, Khaled Davrisch, who fled from Syria in 2001 and now prepares young refugees for vocational training in health professions, Sven Mohr, Director of the vocational training center (RBZ) Eckener-Schule Flensburg, Stephanie Matthes, research associate at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Ulrike Stodt, coordinator Deutsche Bahn training program for refugees, and representatives from business, science and vocational schools.
Event Languages: German
Social networks have revolutionised global communication. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other platforms offer ready access and a large range. They mobilise a large number people in an instant without stopping at borders - this has recently been demonstrated yet again by the #meetoo campaign.
In Europe, more than 95 percent of persons aged 15 to 24 use the Internet. Worldwide about 830 million people in this age group are online. By the same token, their interest in established forms of political participation is waning. They address problems of social interest almost solely online.
Why is social media particularly well-suited for activism and mobilisation? International online activists will be discussing this question, among them: Colombian youtuber and columnist María Paulina Baena (#LaPulla), Ketakandriana Rafitoson, Facebook activist from Madagascar, Jeannette Gusko, regional manager at GoFundMe, and Mohammed Bawendi, blogger from Libya. The moderator will be: Markus Beckedahl, netzpolitik.org
Event Languages: English and German with interpretation
Open Space Workshop
Peace, security and human rights as well as secure jobs, political participation and a democratic government – the desires of young people are the same all around the world. That is why young people are working for a better future in all corners of the globe, denouncing ills and abuses and forming the spearhead in transformation and change. It is to this end that they are devising many innovative new approaches to political participation.
At this "Open Space" workshop, young people actively engaged in socio-political issues from all over the world will be discussing their experiences, desires and visions. The aim and objective is to compare notes, find inspiration and develop common approaches for individuals to work for a better future. The focus will be on types of political participation and its different shapes and forms.
Only with prior registration
Followed by attendance together of the event Middle East and North Africa: Youth and politics in the wake of the " Facebook Revolution"
Event Language: English
The "Arab Spring" has especially had repercussions for young people: they face major political and social challenges and, frequently, an uncertain future.
What do these young people think about politics? In which areas of society do they make a commitment? And what role does the media play today in social and political change in the region?
The FES interviewed young people and young adults from the Middle East and North Africa about these questions. We will be discussing the results produced by the representative survey with the experts Sonja Hegasy (Leibniz Centre for Modern Oriental Studies) and Carola Richter (FU Berlin).
Following the event, we will embark on a musical and culinary excursion through the region.
Event Language: German and English; with interpretation
Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world: in 2017 alone, 364 Hindi films were produced, and 3.6 billion tickets are sold for Bollywood films throughout the world every year - one billion more than for Hollywood films. In India, Bollywood's enormous influence on society and culture is particularly evident in musicals and dances, weddings and in the fashion industry.
Bollywood could have a positive influence on society with regard to gender stereotypes - but it does not. On the contrary: Hindi films remain sexist and the portrayal of young women is appalling. These pictures have a subconscious effect on people's everyday lives, communication and the behaviour of viewers.
Moderator Anne Wizorek will be discussing gender stereotypes in Bollywood films and possible alternatives models with Nishtha Madaan, IBM India Research Lab, Delhi, and Zarah Udwadia, Point of View, Mumbai, and the audience.
Event Language: German and English; with interpretation
Greece has been mired in a never-ending crisis since 2009. More than half a million young Greeks have left their homeland – the Greek labour market is being drained especially of those workers with the best training and education. "Human capital" has become the country's most important export item. The causes are to be found in a dearth of prospects and soaring youth unemployment, disenchantment with a rigid political system and rampant nepotistic. The emigration of young people poses an enormous obstacle to the future development of the country - an obstacle of a far more pernicious nature than the serious dangers posed by the crisis itself.
At the event, we will be discussing various questions with young Greek – those who have remained in the country, those who have emigrated, those who want to return and those who have already returned. What are their hopes, aspirations and expectations? And how can this country in the grips of crisis turn a "brain drain" back into a "brain gain"?
Moderator Ioanna Kryona will be discussing these questions with Marianna Skylakaki, founder and editor in chief of the newsblog www.a8inea.com, Stevi Kitsou, human rights lawyer and activist at Golden Dawn Watch, Panagiotis Iliopoulos, pianist and performer, and Antonis Ekizos, doctoral student in biomechanics at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Event Language: English
Film presentation & discussion
The film "Urmila - for freedom" tells the story of a young woman struggling for freedom, justice and a better future for young Nepalese women. Urmila Chaudary was sold by her parents as a domestic slave (Kamalari) at the age of six. She succeeded in escaping 12 years later.
Her own freedom is not enough for her. She wants to use her experience to help other girls as well. Together with the Freed Kamalari Development Forum (FKDF), she works against serfdom, which has been officially abolished, and along with it centuries-old hierarchical social structures in her country. So far they have managed to liberate 13,000 girls.
Following the film, Urmila Chaudhary and her comrade-in-arms Manjita Chaudhary and the director of the film, Susan Gluth, will discuss prospects for former domestic slaves, an institution prevalent in many countries of the Global South.
Screening in English with German subtitles; discussion in German
Young people are banging on the door to the political arena, making themselves heard. Recent studies show that they are disgruntled with politics. The way that the "old codgers" conduct politics does not have any visions to offer, opportunities for participation are outdated and the language employed harks back to the last millennium. Young people fear that there will not be much of planet Earth left for them.
At the 2018 Week of Justice, young people gathered together to discuss their notions of progressive politics. Old and new forms of political and social participation were presented there. In the talk show "YouthPowerVisions" our guests will discuss thematic highlights and insight they have gained.
Nadine Lindner, correspondent at Deutschlandradio's Berlin studio, will be discussing these aspects with Johanna Uekermann, Deputy Leader of the SPD Bavaria and former chairwoman of the Young Socialists in the SPD (Jusos), Job Amupanda, founder of Affirmative Repositioning Movement, Namibia, Stevi Kitsou, human rights lawyer and activist at Golden Dawn Watch, Rafaela Mae L. David of Akbayan Citizens Action Party from the Philippines and further participants of the Week of Justice.
The finissage will be accompanied by an exhibition of live drawings by Anne Lehmann, who will be putting the discussions in pictoral form by means of graphic recording during the Week of Justice.
Event Language: English and German; with interpretation