Lynn Bemus (AFS Belgium Flanders), member of EFIL´s European Pool of Representatives, represented EFIL at the Council of Europe’s conference “Learning how to Live Together: a Shared Commitment to Democracy” from the 20 to the 22 of June 2017 in Strasbourg, France. The conference’s main focus was the Charter on Education for Human Rights and Democratic Citizenship, which was designed in 2010 by the Council of Europe.


Over 600 participants from different sectors such as governments, educational institutions, educational professionals, youth workers and civil society representatives were present at the event. The conference included panel discussions, workshops and sharing of best practices. During the event participants shared their experiences in Human Rights and Citizenship Education, and feedback on the Charter. In smaller groups, divided by sector, recommendations were made in regards to concrete actions to implement the Charter. EFIL was able to share our work in promoting citizenship education through our exchange programmes and volunteer trainings.

Some concrete recommendations from the NGO’s and non-formal education sector were the following:

–          Recognition of youth work and non-formal education in the field of Human Rights and Citizenship Education.

–          Access to funding for projects

–          Be able to work cross-sectorial

–          Space to promote non-formal activities in the formal sector

Workshop - Recommendations on Recognising the role of Civil Society Organisations

Lynn was part of the group of 70 participants selected by the Youth department of the Council of Europe, consisting of representatives of youth organisations and institutions, who were hosted in the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg. Before and after the conference they had extra activities related to the event. They prepared their own set of recommendations dedicated to youth and education, which were presented later in a session of the conference.  The free evenings were used to learn about each other’s organisations and to share outcomes from the different workshops they participated in.

Group Picture at the Counil

A full report with all the recommendations will be written and published on the website of the Council of Europe.

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