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Corporate Responsibility

A&O commissions new resource for schools on migration and displacement

20 June 2018

Young Citizens and A&O have teamed up to create a free education resource on the legal rights of migrants

Today, to mark World Refugee Day, A&O is launching a new education resource with Young Citizens, an education charity that works in schools to help young people become active and engaged citizens.
World Refugee Day – held every year on 20 June – encourages public support for families forced to flee from war, conflict and persecution. It is supported by the UN Refugee Agency, one of A&O’s pro bono partners.
The new resource supports the Citizenship area of the school curriculum for children aged 11-16 and is free for all schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to access. Since the beginning of June, nearly 250 teachers have downloaded the resource, together reaching over 22,000 students.
It explores the reasons people are forced to leave their homes and places of origin and, drawing on specialist input from the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit, examines individuals’ legal rights if they choose to migrate or if they become a displaced person or refugee.
“Migration issues hit the news almost every day, but too often the stories are sensationalist and misleading,” says Tom Franklin, CEO of Young Citizens. “We want to make the legal issues around migration much more accessible to young people so that they can make up their own minds and influence the debate.”
A&O has worked with Young Citizens in London and Belfast on a number of projects in recent years. As well as commissioning this resource, Anna Povey (Paralegal Manager, London, and formerly a lawyer at the Refugee Legal Centre) and Andrew Bennett (Associate, Belfast) helped review the materials.
“The resource uses a combination of presentations, group work, debate and video content to help young people think critically about a state or country’s obligations towards migrants – what they are and what they could or should be,” says Anna. “It also covers some of the more intricate and complex areas of relevant law.”
Having already been piloted in two schools in London and County Down, Northern Ireland, 85% of students said it had made them feel more empathy towards migrants, and 91% believed they had a better understanding of the issues around migration and displacement.
The resource forms part of Young Citizens’ specialist teaching and learning materials, which provide young people with a grasp of the political, legal and economic functions of society, and with the social and moral awareness to be active participants in it.
Watch Young Citizens’ video here created by RightsInfo, an organisation that builds knowledge and support for human rights in the UK by producing engaging and accessible online human rights content. 

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