Democracy Diversity

Integration Summit: Addressing the Needs of Young People

Our board member Hetav Tek took part in the integration summit of the German government. As places of democracy, youth associations already perform valuable integration and educational work. They must be given greater consideration as interest groups.

The Federal Government has invited to the 11th integration summit. Our deputy chairman Hetav Tek was a guest at the summit in the Kanzleramt. In view of the racist murders in Hanau and current developments in the field of right-wing extremism, the actual focus topic "Before immigration" faded into the background.

Hetav Tek regrets that, as every year, young people's representatives were underrepresented at the integration summit. She says: "Especially the perspectives of young people are of enormous importance when it comes to questions of migration and integration. Young people with a migration background are affected by structural racism already at school or at the beginning of their education. It is therefore important to accompany young people from the very beginning and to make their wishes and needs visible. In addition, current events on the EU's external border make it dramatically clear that young people are particularly in need of protection". In our view, there is a need for more targeted exchanges that address the specific needs and protection requirements of young people in relation to migration and integration.

The announced establishment to strengthen the fight against right-wing extremism and racism in the future is a necessary and long overdue step. The civil society impulse for this was given by an open letter from migrant organisations after the racist attack in Hanau.

Our position on the additional investments in the area of prevention announced by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs is clear: As democratically organised youth associations, we have been doing significant work in the fields of political education and civil society commitment for decades. We are places of living democracy and have clear position papers against racism, discrimination and exclusion. This work is coming under increasing pressure and must be further appreciated - through sustained recognition and long-term strengthening of existing youth association structures.

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