Retour sur le congrès « The Right to Education in the Context of Migration and Integration»

Retour sur le congrès « The Right to Education in the Context of Migration and Integration»

Retour sur le congrès « The Right to Education in the Context of Migration and Integration» (« Le droit de l’éducation dans le contexte des migrations et des processus d’intégration »)

Organisé par le Conseil International d’éducation des adultes (CIEA-ICAE) en partenartiat avec la European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) et le German Adult Education Association (DVV), ce Congrès des 15 et 16 novembre derniers à réuni plus de 200 personnes issues de 50 pays. On y a discuté de l’impact de la migration et de l’intégration sur l’éducation des adultes en Europe.

Le CIEA a diffusé ce compte-rendu des rencontres en anglais:

Conference Statement and Report on

The Right to Education in the Context of Migration and Integration

More than two hundred participants from about fifty countries came together in Bonn from 15 to 16 November 2007 to inform each other and search for ways to cooperate closer in the future in the complex and diverse field of migration and integration through adult education.

The main goal was to create a forum to exchange ideas and experiences about the challenges of migration processes for European and international cooperation in the field of adult education, their contributions towards the development of civil societies, and concerning the integration processes in the countries of immigration.

Organisers and conference context

The conference had as main partners the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), and the German Adult Education Association (DVV), representing the global, European and national dimensions. The conference benefited from a wide range of sponsors, including German Ministries, and especially TELC, the European Language Certificates company. The Deutsche Welle served as Media partner. The conference was jointly planned and organized by dvv international.

Participants represented the rich background of professional associations, non-governmental and community based organisations, governments, and universities. Aspects of gender mainstreaming were strongly featured in the different thematic keynotes, forums, and workshops.

International participants appreciated to be especially informed on recent developments of adult education and integration policy and practice in Germany, which deals with a wide range of social, cultural and educational issues. It contributed to an understanding that we all have to learn from each other. And vice versa, European and German participants could learn much form the global perspectives which were introduced by colleagues from African, Asian and Latin American countries.

The presentation of different concepts of education in international cooperation seeks to contribute to a change in perspective – to view migration more as a chance than a threat. As the Global Commission on International Migration put it: it is a transnational phenomenom and migration and integration must be regarded as two sides of the same coin. The impact of this on development aid and cooperation must be explored further.

The Right to Learn!

Learning societies of today need lifelong learning , and they need structures to support learning, education and training throughout the lifetime, while you are a child, as younger or older adult, be it informal, non-formal or formal. However, the diversity of adult education cultures in the different countries and regions were recognized, and approaches of intercultural learning discussed.

In much detail the participants analysed experiences in language learning. It was seen as a key to integration and participation. The assessment and testing of language competences was looked at as a criterion for immigration. Are the diversity and the plurality of languages of immigrants a potential or a threat? What can adult education do to enhance a multilingual society? And what can adult education do to open the receiving society interculturally?

In a second forum the right to education, learning and training as a foundation for equal rights of migrants in integration and participation was looked at. The recognition of formal and non-formal qualifications of migrants in the host countries, and their further up-grading within processes of lifelong learning for all is of great importance. How can host countries appreciate diversity and create space for political participation for people with a migration background. What are the conditions to guarantee access, availability, acceptability and adaptability of education to especially vulnerable and silent groups such as migrant women and young refugees.

The forum on migration and development looked at the educational needs of migrants. What can adult education do before emigration, and after arrival in the new country? How can the work include all members of the families? Who are the important actors in this process? As one of the key aspects, the discussion centred around issues of brain drain, brain gain, and brain circulation – who gains from migration? On the other hand, there is a clear indication that the money transfer of migrants to their home countries exceeds the development aid flows in many countries. Finally, in this forum, the educational needs in processes of internal migration were analysed.
The Way Ahead

In planning and implementing this event, the organisers built on recent and follow-up meetings of adult educators like the DVV Berlin convention “Learn Something New – Shape the Future – Bring People Together” in May 2006, the ICAE World Assembly on “Adults´ Right to Learn: Convergence, Solidarity and Action” in January 2007, and the EAEA conference on “Equal Opportunities for All – the Value of Adult Learning Promoting Equality” in December 2007. Additionally, they saw themselves on the way towards a major forthcoming event: UNESCO`s world conference on adult education CONFINTEA VI in 2009 in Brazil, which has all its regional preparatory conferences in 2008 already, and where issues of adult education in migration and integration will play an important role.

ICAE, EAEA and DVV and the participants of this conference on migration and integration will try to ensure that the most pressing and urgent issues of poverty reduction and social inclusion - and the crucial role adult education has to play in all these areas through civic education and skills training as well as literacy and basic education shall be treated with more professionalism and solidarity in the future. The conference strengthened the foundations for all these processes. It increased capacities and the motivation of the participants to get further involved – and involve others.

More information on the content and results of the conference can be found on . The organisers are on,, , and