Conference “International Migration, Sustainable Development and Development Education: Ways Forward”

2018 / 10 / 12

Venue of event:

Theater Hall, Vilnius University, Universiteto str.3, Vilnius

Time of event:

2018 / 10 / 12, 09:00 hours

Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania together with partners of the InterCap project present International Conference “International Migration, Sustainable Development and Development Education: Ways Forward”.

The main aim of InterCap project is to establish European civil society organisation-university networks to build the capacities of the education actors to promote development education on international migration, security and sustainable development. For more information visit project website.

The conference will address the emerging concern on the way in which public perceptions of (in) security influence the understanding of international migration on one hand, and creates unfriendly public and political discourse around asylum, migration and integration issues on the other hand.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the number of cross-border migrants worldwide is rapidly growing. According to the UN estimates (2017), it has increased from 173 million in 2000 to 258 million in 2017, with the rate faster than the growth of the global population. In these circumstances, migration starts to play an important role in the sustainable development of both origin and destination countries. Migrant diasporas abroad foster development in home communities by sending remittances, while returning migrants make positive contributions through human capital. In host countries, migrants fill critical labour gaps, pay taxes and social security contributions as well as enrich the communities by cultural and information capital (OECD, 2014).

However, at the same time, migrants tend to be under higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, they also, on average, have limited access to education, healthcare and social security systems. In addition to the vulnerabilities on individual level, economic and social marginalisation of migrants might increase inequalities in host countries. Respectively, economic inequalities are known to induce social tensions, increase levels of crime, obstruct social cohesion and trust between community members (Hsieh and Pugh, 1993; Putnam et al. 1993; Kawachi et al., 1997). Eventually, this leads to misunderstanding about who is most affected by migration flows, as well as reduced focus on issues that force humans to migrate, such as climate change, public goods exploitation, poverty, social injustice, war and persecution.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its commitment to ‘leave no-one behind’ provide a powerful basis for the inclusion of refugees and displaced people in localization of immigration and integration polices.

Considering the complexity of interlinkages between international migration, sustainable development and development education, the conference will obtain two main elements: conceptual and educational.


Links between international migration and sustainable development will be discussed with the emphasis on global inequalities and migration policy making.

Key note speech – 1

Links between international migration and sustainable development: policies and practices
Dr. Karolis Zibas, Director, Diversity Development Group, Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Social Research Centre (Lithuania)

Key note speech – 2

Shifting public attitudes towards immigration and (in)security in the European Union
Agnese Lāce, Senior Policy Analyst, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, Latvia

Key note speech – 3

The Opportunities and Challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals for Global Learning
Dr. Harriet Marshall, Independent Global Learning Expert and Advisor

Panel discussion

10th Sustainable Development Goal on the spot: (reducing) global inequalities and (managing) migration policies.

Participants: Elisa Bacciotti, President of Oxfam Italia Intercultura, Director of the Campaign and Domestic Programme Department of Oxfam Italia; Céline Giertta, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator at CONCORD Sweden, Eliot Wieslander, Executive director of ‘Doctors of the World’, Sweden.


Three different workshops for representatives of educational institutions and one workshop for experts from governmental institutions and nongovernmental organisations will be organised with the aim to present different approaches and methodologies of development education for better understanding of international migration.

Workshop – 1

Communities for Philosophical Enquiry: promoting thinking, reasoning and questioning through a dialogic approach (for representatives of education institutions)

Facilitated by Andrea Bullivant, Liverpool World Centre, Marta Gontarska, Anti-discrimination Education Association (Poland) (United Kingdom) (working language – English).

Communities for Philosophical Enquiry aims to promote questioning, thinking and dialogue about big issues in ways which promote skills of reasoning, reflection and respect for ideas. This workshop will introduce participants to some of the key ideas, concepts and techniques used in this approach, and how it can be applied to complex and controversial topics such as migration. Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of activities to experience: what is meant by philosophical concepts and questioning; how a community of enquiry process works; ways of facilitating dialogue which is both critical and caring.

Workshop – 2

Interacting learning communities: engaging in critical thinking, reflection, inquiry and dialogue for global learning through a participatory method (for representatives of education institutions)

Facilitated by Charalambos Stergiou, CARDET – Centre for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology, (Cyprus) (working language – English).

Drawing on the methodology “Open Spaces for Dialogue and Enquiry”, in this workshop you will be introduced to a participatory educational methodology for the development of spaces for critical thinking and discussion regarding global issues. You will learn how to engage critically through dialogue with your own and different points of view, reflect individually and collectively for taking informed decisions. More specifically, you will gain practical knowledge on how to create spaces where you discuss and actively participate in a continuous process of (de)constructing meanings, while depicting ways of relating to one another in global learning.

Workshop – 3

Participatory Theatre Methods for Global Learning with reference to Theatre for Living (for representatives of education institutions).

Facilitated by Natasa Tadic and Louise Sperl, World University Service Austria (Austria) (working language – English).

The workshop will provide an introduction to participatory theatre methods for global learning with reference to Theatre for Living, its possibilities and practical aspects and explore the extent to which this methodology can be incorporated into education/classroom. This will be done by practical examples, games and exercises. Particular emphasis will be put on the following methods: Image theatre, Newspaper theatre and Mini Forum theatre.

Workshop – 4

Sustainable development: education, inequalities and international migration on the spot (for representatives of education institutions, governmental agencies and nongovernmental organisations).

Facilitated by Jogaila Vaitekaitis, Vilnius University, and Karolis Zibas, Director at Diversity Development Group (working language – Lithuanian).

The workshop will shed the light on interlinkages between education and inequalities in the context of Agenda 2030 on one hand, and localisation of Sustainable Development Goals at municipal level by implementing migration policies on the other hand. In addition, the workshop will set the background to establish formal national network of actors and stakeholders on promoting Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) with the focus on migration and development interdependencies.

The agenda is available here.
Don‘t miss it and fill in registration form by the 10th of October!

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