UN Refugee Agency app: ‘My Life As A Refugee’

United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees UNHCR

‘My Life As A Refugee’ is a simple to use free application that lets players contemplate the same life-changing decisions refugees make trying to survive, reach safety, reunite with loved ones and re-start their lives.

The app has been built and developed for iOS and Android by ACW for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Click here for details

Click here for UNHRC website

European leaders’ video on homophobia and transphobia

In Europe, growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender can be challenging: difference often leads to bullying, self-harm, and sometimes suicide attempts. Studies consistently point to higher physical and mental health risks for LGBT young people.

For the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2012 on May 17, over 50 European politicians and leaders from all EU institutions joined forces to send a video message telling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teenagers they are working to make things better and to put an end to homophobia and transphobia.

Click here for video

Podcast of lecture by David Lammy: ‘A Tale of Tottenham’

The Runnymede logo.

On 1 February 2012, Runnymede held its annual Jim Rose Memorial Lecture in partnership with the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics.

The lecture – ‘A Tale of Tottenham: race, riots and the future’ – was delivered by former government minister, Rt Hon. David Lammy MP.

Spanning a range of issues from race equality and poverty to last summer’s riots, Lammy’s speech provided an insight into issues facing his Tottenham constituency as well as issues facing the country as a whole.

Click here for information on the Runnymede website

Click here for information and link to podcast on the LSE website

Joseph Rowntree Foundation: ‘A Better Life: old age, new thoughts’

Joseph Rowntree Foundation logo

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is blogging about the new JRF website ‘A Better Life: old age, new thoughts’:

Old age is not about ‘them’, it’s about all of us. We’re all heading in that direction – more of us than ever are reaching old age, and those who do face new challenges.

Yes, we’re all growing older – but how often do we stop and reflect on what it means? What will be important to you when you are old – and will anyone be listening?

With the launch of our new website ‘A Better Life: old age, new thoughts’, JRF is challenging all of us – including ourselves – to think very differently about growing old. We rarely hear about this stage of life from the real experts – we can begin by listening to those amongst us who have the experience. This site gives older people’s voices and perspectives a platform, and through this we hope to highlight their experiences, resilience and ability to flourish across a century of huge change. And we want to find out what they can teach us about mutual support and positive thinking.

This new digital platform offers us glimpses of people’s lived experiences mostly through their own images and words. Some of the vignettes link to five papers which we commissioned from diverse groups of older people, many with high support needs. These include older people with learning difficulties, lesbian and gay people, South Asian elders, Gypsies and travellers, and dementia activists. Each group has explored what growing older really means – and what’s important to them – offering us a better understanding of the multiple dimensions of equality and diversity for older people. Their personal stories have inspired a poem by Sir Andrew Motion – and the website also showcases a project by Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, providing a glimpse into what it’s like to be a centenarian. Alongside these stories and images, a team from The Open University has investigated what older people with high support needs want and value.

This project has been inspired by, and complements, the research evidence we are building up through our programme ‘A Better Life’. However, we have chosen an artistic approach to reach people through their emotions and appeal to their capacity for empathy. The website does not make direct recommendations about health and social care policy or practice, nor does it aim to offer practical support or information.

How do we hope the website will engage or affect you? Above all, we want to engage your emotions: you may feel intrigued, worried, inspired, ambivalent, relieved, happy, or a mix of these. The main thing is that you begin to empathise… and feel that it concerns you too, not only others. We want you to think of older people (past and present) in your personal and professional life, but also of yourself and your future. To think of growing old as a natural part of life, not only a time of loss, decline and dependency but a time that holds enjoyment and opportunities too. We want you to stop and think before talking jokingly about people ‘being past it’ or ‘losing their marbles’. To listen to older people in your life more carefully, to treat them with respect, as your equals. To dare to look ahead to your own old age, and begin to consider how your life may change… and plan.

Overall, we want society to take a broader perspective which recognises that growing old is a natural stage along the journey of life that almost all of us will experience. We want to respect people’s uniqueness as individuals with whole lives, not just as patients or consumers of care. And we want to see older age as a chance for new opportunities, relationships and aspirations.

The central message is that, whatever our age and however much support we need, we can all live meaningful lives based on strong personal relationships. We can all go on giving as well as taking. Right up until the end of our lives, both our present selves and our histories are worth understanding and celebrating.

Do visit the new website – and let us know what you think via the comment buttons on the website – or by the Facebook and Twitter links.

Click here for website

European Union: ‘The Kids’ Corner’

The European Commission emblem.

In January 2012, the European Commission launched a special website dedicated to children and young people.

The website includes information about children’s rights as well as games, quizzes and information about the EU and its Member States. It was first announced in the EU’s Agenda for the Rights of the Child ( IP/11/156).

The Kids’ Corner is specifically written in a style children can understand. Children can easily learn important facts and figures about the EU, its history and its countries through games and quizzes in 22 EU languages.

Click here for details

Click here for link to the Kids’ Corner

Law Society podcasts on ‘Realising Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’

Law Society

Podcasts are available of the Law Society symposium entitled ‘Realising Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the UK’ that was held on 21 and 22 October 2011.

Day one podcasts feature: Lucy Scott-Moncrieff; Professor Rainer Schulze and Professor John Packer; Professor Francesca Klug OBE; Professor Robert McCorquodale; Professor Colin Harvey; Dr Aoife Nolan; Professor Alan Miller; Q and A: ‘Budget cuts, fairness and rights’; Young People’s Advocates (Refugee Youth); Andy Slaughter MP (Shadow Justice Minister); Sorcha McKenna; Baroness Ruth Lister; Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell KCMG QC; Baroness Walmsley; Professor Emeritus Richard Wilkinson; Professor Geraldine Van Bueren; The Poverty Truth Commission.

Day two podcasts feature: Professor Sara Chandler; Justice Albie Sachs; Chief Justice Juan Carlos Henao Pérez; Colm O’Cinneide; Professor Paul Hunt; Susan Wright; Professor Kay Hampton; Keith Best; Amanda Ariss; Sue Willman; Irene Biglino; Rita Chadha; Fazil Kawani; Jamie Burton.

Click here for details

Podcasts from PEDEC Workshops


Podcasts from the Promoting Equality and Diversity Through Economic Crisis (PEDEC) series of workshops held in 2010 and 2011 are available online.

Also available are pdfs of key papers presented in each seminar; executive summaries of seminar discussions and recommendations; and working papers produced by network members.

Click here for link

Washington College of Law – Elderly Rights Source Database

Washington College of Law

The Elderly Rights Source Database is an on-line resource brings together a comprehensive collection of laws and policy instruments relating to the human rights of older people.

The database was put together by The Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, which is part of the Washington College of Law in The American University in Washington D.C.

Funded by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), this project has captured and made available international, regional and national policy frameworks and laws that pertain to the rights of older people.

Click here for link