The first Parliament of Children-Refugees in Europe started its work in Ukraine

The first in Europe International Parliament of Children from refugee families started its work inUkraine. It was formed with the support of Danish Refugee Council and Congress of National Minorities of Ukraine.

Now, the members of International Parliament are more than 10 girls from the families of Afghani refugees in Kyiv, there are active Committees beyond the city formed by the children from the families of Afghanis, Pakistanis and Syrians. They contact each other by email, use Skype: it allows the teenagers to be in constant contact, define problems and targets, which bother them and need solution.

The first decision made by the parliament majority was to gather humanitarian aid for asylum seekers. There is a big box in Kyiv centre of Congress of National Minorities of Ukraine, where clothes and footwear are put for such families. Then Parliament voted for participation in All-Ukrainian action “Stop racism!” children-refugees and asylum seekers created a series of drawings as to this topic.

Radio Freedom, its speaker 14-year-old Nyulam reported about formation and activity of International Parliament.

«Interesting people fromDenmark visited us in summer. They conducted competitions and trainings with us as well as told us about the problems of the refugees, – she says. – I was born inUkraine – my parents are refugees. I have some friends; they are from families of Afghani refugees as well: we decided to form our own body of administration in order to help each other and families of asylum seekers. We addressed to families of refugees from other towns/cities ofUkraine and proposed to cooperate with us and take part in the work of our parliament”.
Youthful Parliament in action: projects and proposals   

At the agenda of Youthful Parliament there is publication of collection “I have right!” with information about Ukrainian and international acts (laws) in the field of children and refugees’ rights protection. There is also organization of cooperation with Ukrainian and European schools in the plans of the parliament, where children from families of refugees study.

According to her words, mutual understanding between children-refugees and Ukrainian children of the same age assists in participation of common creative actions or sports events.

«We communicate on different topics: I tell about our holy book the Koran, and my new friends – about the Bible. My Ukrainian friends like to tell about national dishes, about borsch, sweets, and I retell about Afghani cuisine », – Nyulam reported.

Odessa story of success  

The expert of Danish Refugee Council Evhenia Mazurenko supposes that creation of Parliament is important for understanding between the refugees from different countries and for integration of children-refugees into society. International Parliament of Children-Refugees is the first similar institution in Europe and Ukrainian experience will obviously interest governments, which have the problem of social and psychological integration of families of refugees into society, – she mentions.

Besides, the Council supports also a series of interesting projects allowing to children-refugees to become successful in Ukraine.

«We have an interesting story inOdessa. There is one active boy (from the family of refugees). This boy collected a team of football players of the same age. This is a team on mini-football, five Afghani children and four Ukrainian ones. For the expenses of Danish Refugee Council they bought uniform, footwear and all other things necessary for playing football. During summer, this team won 5 matches! Then this boy was invited to children team of FT “Chornomorets”.

By the way, International Parliament of children-refugees will soon address to National Agency of Ukraine as to preparation to Euro-2012 with a proposal to includeOdessateam to participation in the ceremony of balls service to participants of championship. The majority votes for this decision.

Radio Freedom