In light of growing Islamophobic tendencies across Germany, the Bavarian Red Cross celebrated its 125th anniversary with a conference dedicated to the topics “diversity” and “Islamophobia” in Nuremberg on October 15th. The backdrop to the Red Cross’ engagement in the debate about Islamophobia is its guiding principle of promoting the respectful co-existence between immigrants and the native population. The conference, entitled “Promoting Diversity, Equality and Integration – Challenging Islamophobia in Europe”, is organized to discuss the current situation of Muslims in Europe and, according to the Bavarian Red Cross, aims to identity strategies to effectively counteract Islamophobia. The conference programme also includes the presentation of a number of practical examples from various European cities.
According to NGO Save the Children, hundreds of children who arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa seeking refuge, arrived without parents or guardians. Of the 775 illegal migrant children who arrived on Lampedusa in the past three months, Save the Children cited that 82% arrived alone. According to the organization, the majority of children came from Etitrea, Somalia, Nigeria, and a lesser number from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, and the Palestinian territories. The report by Save the Children is part of a wider program called Praesidium III, jointly conducted with the UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, and the Red Cross.
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By Josh Ward Immigrants to Denmark have to learn how to become Danish. And if there is one thing the Danes do a lot of, it’s ride bikes. Classes to teach newcomers how to cycle have proven popular. In the summer of 2005, Denmark decided that, if you want to live in Denmark, you have to do what the Danes do. The mandated checklist includes learning Danish, understanding the “fundamental norms and values of Danish society,” and making an effort to participate in the community. Those who drafted that law, however, seem to have forgotten one vital aspect of being Danish — expert command of the humble bicycle. The country’s Red Cross though, is doing what it can to fix that omission. For three years now, the Danish Red Cross has been offering free cycling classes for immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Most of the people who take advantage of the program are women from the Middle East, according to Uzma Andresen, a consultant who helps the Danish Red Cross develop and implement integration programs.