According to Eurostat , 4.7 million people immigrated to one of the EU-28 Member States in 2015, with an estimated 2.4 million citizens of non-member countries; the number of people residing in an EU MS with citizenship of a non-member country on 01/01/2016 was 20.7 million. On the other hand, UNHCR highlights that in 2016 more than 360.000 people have landed in Europe. Europe has thus been facing unprecedented levels of migration, with countries like Hungary and Italy as top destinations, others like Portugal who have seen a significant increase in traditional immigration from colonies, and other countries such as Poland facing the situation as a relatively new phenomenon.
At the same time, hate crimes, racist and extremist acts as well as autocratic norms at government level in some European countries are on the rise. For instance, the latest Eurobarometer survey on discrimination (2015) highlights that discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin is regarded as the most widespread form of discrimination and that the proportion of respondents that think discrimination is widespread has increased since 2012; moreover, 62% of respondents think that new measures should be introduced to raise protection for groups at risk of discrimination.
The situation is affecting in particular young people, among which anti-diversity attitudes and aggressive behaviours are growing, while in the public discourse populist answers are increasing.

As general aim YARD project intends to contribute to fighting discrimination and fostering intercultural dialogue and the value of diversity among young people, by promoting youth active citizenship, their empowerment and role as agent of social change. Partners will achieve this objective by sharing, exchanging and transferring new and innovative non-formal methodologies to fight discrimination and break down prejudices among youth and to engage young people in becoming active agents of inclusive communities.

– Direct target groups of the project are partner organizations’ staff, who benefit from the training and exchange of good practices and thus enhance and enrich their work with young people;
– Final beneficiaries are the young people themselves, who also directly participate in the project, leading and carrying out local actions and projects, to test the methodologies transferred at European level. 150 youngsters will be involved in total (15 per city, in each testing phases) from 13 to 25 years old, coming from different contexsts: schools, informal groups (e.g. theatre associations), youth centers;
– Youth workers, technicians working with youth and secondary school teachers are also involved in the project, so that they can learn new non-formal approaches to combat discrimination among their youth and support them in acting locally for inclusive societies (50 in total).

Planned activities

To reach the above objectives, the following activities will be promoted:
– Local meetings with target groups and stakeholders. Each partners activates and meets with youth organisations, secondary schools, informal groups of youth, local authorities, etc. at local level to present the project and identify the youth workers, technicians and teachers directly participating in the activities with their youth, as well as to raise awareness among local stakeholders;
– 4 Transnational Project Meetings (one in each of the participating countries)to jointly plan the project and discuss face to face the activities implemented and to implement, identifying possible issues and related solutions, and monitoring the overall development of the project.
– 10 Local actions carried out and led by youth with the support of the partner organisations, through two pilot phases of the non-formal methodologies to fight discrimination among youth via active citizenship, that partners will transfer and exchange at European level.

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