Juni 2017

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Academic and pracitionar from Europe and the MENAT region work on joint solutions

At the third International Mayors’ Conference NOW “Children under the Radar” several workshops aimed to transform the discussion from a theoretical level to the level of action. To carry on with this work Act.Now established five thematic Working Groups. The group members first met in June at The Bruno Kreisky Forum in Vienna and now working on several projects.  

The NOW Working Groups set their eyes on finding new ways to promote inclusion and sustainability. They consist of experts from various disciplines working on the issues, from both academia and practical work, as well as from Europe and the MENAT region. The purpose of the NOW Working Groups is to encourage the transfer and exchange of knowledge to create effective practical solutions. The NOW Working Groups focus on different issues and use various methods to achieve their goals.


Exploitation is a widely ignored or misunderstood topic, which does not only concern refugees, but due to several reasons, refugees are more vulnerable for exploitation, especially due to the blurring boundary to smuggling. The NOW Working Group on exploitation defined various goals from raising awareness to engage in preventing exploitation.

Education & Diversity

The NOW Working Group on Education & Diversity primarily emphasis the lack of projects which address refugee children with special needs and of psycho-social and social-emotional support in schools. Therefore, the group members decided to work on a mutual project, combining research and practical work, bridging Europe and the MENAT region to contribute to social cohesion and inclusiveness.

Femininity & Masculinity

The NOW Working Group identified various themes of concern to be worked on in the context of flight and gender, such as violence, sexual abuse in war, empowerment of women and girls, sexual pedagogic, rehabilitation of rape victims, teen marriage, sexual diversity, new entry points to masculinity, gender sensitivity, changing gender roles.

Trauma Surviving

The NOW Working Group emphasis several general problems concerning trauma and trauma surviving: Just a few refugees get sufficient psychological treatment regarding the traumatising and challenging situation. Parents and relatives are often left alone and suffer from traumatization themselves and caregivers are often overlooked in dealing with traumatized children.


Conference attending Mayors established a network facilitating further collaboration designed to support the efforts of municipalities concerning the reception, integration and care for refugees and especially refugee children.