Webinar: Youth Participation and Migrant Voice

December 01, 2009

Young people make up a significant percentage of international migrants and an increasing proportion of today’s urban populations. Learn about projects from Oldham, Paris, London and Lisbon that look at the active participation of young people in community development and their views on identity and belonging.

Watch the Webinar Video


  • Download the Webinar Powerpoint slides (PDF)
  • Watch and listen to the Question and Answer (Q&A) with speakers, Florence Laufer, Migration/Integration program officer, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC), Marion Vargaftig, Founder and Co-director, Manifesta, and Raja Miah, MBE, Former Chief Executive, PeaceMaker.

Featured Good Ideas:

  • UN AoC frames the discussion with opening remarks on the youth project PLURAL+ and tell us why the UN Alliance of Civilizations has developed special youth programming. Watch the Video Presentation.
  • Peacemaker, Manchester-based organization, works with young people from different communities and ethnicities to help formerly deeply segregated communities move towards a new, integrated “commonsense vision of Britishness.” Watch the Video Presentation.
  • Manifesta, in London, will describe the Belonging project (Manifesta)a transnational initiative that uses intercultural dialogue and video to explore identity and belonging in London/Newham, Lisbon suburb/Casal da Boba and Paris/20th arrondissement. Watch the Video Presentation.


Florence Laufer
Migration/Integration program officer, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC)

Florence Laufer is the Migration/Integration program officer for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAoC). In this field, the UNAoC challenges polarization by addressing intercultural tensions in cooperation with migrant populations – those exposed to divisive issues on a daily basis. The UNAoC will launch soon an online Migration/Integration clearinghouse, promoting good practices as tools to build cultures of inclusiveness and social cohesion.After working for a non-profit organization on the integration of migrants and on asylum seekers’ rights in Switzerland, Florence Laufer managed development programs and emergency response in the Middle East. She developed several projects building bridges across cultural differences, acting as a mediator in the negotiation and implementation of the activities. Florence Laufer has studied Human Geography in the University of Geneva, focusing on Cultural and Migration Geography.

Marion Vargaftig
Founder and Co-director, Manifesta

Marion Vargaftig is founder and co-director of Manifesta, leading/producing European programmes and media initiatives. Her expertise is in developing projects associating media and culture as a catalyst for social change. Marion has a particular interest in putting youth and other marginalised voices (migrants, refugees, cultural and ethnic minorities) centre stage, using video as a trigger for creative expression and providing multiple platforms for these voices to be heard.Recent projects include:-
– Video ART (Anti-Racist Trails) Postcards – uncovering sites related to historical racism in the West India Docks area of London and interpreting this heritage creatively;
– the trans-national initiative Belonging, working with mixed group of urban youth in London, Paris and Lisbon and exploring their own sense of belonging (43 short films available for viewing on www.manifesta.org.uk and on project partner’s Runnymede, www.runnymedetrust.org;

Marion is also European Consultant and Media advisor; since 2003, she has advised the European Cultural Foundation, on www.theoneminutesjr.org and more recently www.strangerfestival.com; she has also worked on Media and Minorities/ Diversity in Europe, having previously led research projects leading to publications including with/for UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

Raja Miah, MBE
Former Chief Executive, PeaceMaker

Raja Miah has been leading PeaceMaker’s work since 1997. First developed to tackle local issues in Oldham, PeaceMaker soon found itself supporting the government in responding to issues of community conflict across the country. Raja’s experience through PeaceMaker has helped inform and develop the community cohesion agenda. In particular, Raja has supported in the development of practice with children and young people, helping them to find long-term solutions to issues of community conflict and equipping them with the skills necessary to challenge and overcome prejudice, both their own and that of the communities where they lead their lives.Raja has led PeaceMaker to become recognised by the government as a lead organisation in developing the Community Cohesion agenda.


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