Dr Aaron RhodesI would like to use these brief remarks to offer some perspectives on the notion of “multiculturalism,” and to share my concerns, as a human rights advocate, about threats to fundamental human rights in Europe posed by some interpretations of multiculturalism.

I am not sure why the word “multiculturalism” even exists as a descriptive term, because all societies are in fact multicultural.  Even the most isolated groups, which have not been influenced by global diversity, whose members share a common religion, a common language and ethnic heritage, common symbols and customs—even such societies are in fact multicultural.

Tobias TrollThe UN Convention  on the Rights of the Child (United  Nations  1989, CRC) is a binding international  contract in the framework of the United Nations, and thus obliges legally the ratifying  nations  – indeed  all UN  members  besides  the  United  States  and  Somalia  – to implement  its  provisions.  This  is a mayor  milestone  to  recognise  children,  i.e.  everyone under  the  age  of  18,  as  citizens  with  human  rights,  and  consequently  responsibilities. Through  this  convention,  children  are  conceived  as subjects  of society  – like  all human beings  – and  not anymore  as mere  objects  of protection  (Verhellen  2000).

Illario EspositoMs. Illario Esposito, member of the Council of Europe Advisory Council on Youth and Trainer in Human Rights Education, first showed a video about the Advisory Council on Youth for the Council of Europe dealing with human rights (see www.coe.int/enter). She explained that In terms of human rights education, the Council of Europe speaks about all the issues that young people are facing today.

 

Bogdan PammerMr. Bogdan Pammer, Youth Director of UPF – Europe, spoke on the issue of how the UPF youth committees around Europe are dealing with these issues. He first quoted the so-called Böckenförde-dictum: “The liberal secular state lives on premises that it cannot itself guarantee”.

Parlement EuropéenLa Fédération pour la Paix universelle (FPU) en collaboration avec la Fédération des Femmes pour la Paix mondiale (FFPM) et le Comité Économique et Social Européen (CESE) a organisé une Conférence Européenne pour Dirigeants sur le thème « Le rôle de l’Europe au niveau des droits de l’homme » les mardi 4 et mercredi 5 décembre 2012 à Bruxelles.

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