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Professors from the Universities of Oxford in the UK, Maastricht and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the Sorbonne in France and the University of Vienna in Austria were joined by representatives of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) to provide training on key principles in migration debates. These included media, human rights, law, economics, nationality issues and international development.
The young people participating in the International Summer School on Migration in Qakh, Azerbaijan were aged between 20 and 26, and comprised of, among others, students, journalists, and workers from NGOs, government bodies and international organisations.
Robert McNeil, Deputy Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford – one of the professors said: “Migration is the defining issue of our time. Both Azerbaijan and Georgia face opportunities and challenges as a result of this, from economic development to migrant integration – as well as dealing with emigration issues.
The young people we have been teaching can play a critical role in ensuring that both countries develop the best migration practices they can in the future.”
Participants learned the critical differences between migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, while also studying how migration affects economies; how to visualise migration data; international migration law and the interaction between media, public attitudes and migration policy making.
Mary Jugeli, 20, an international relations student at the Free University of Tbilisi said: “I used to think that the word ‘migrant’ specifically referred to refugees, and I knew very little about data analysis. This intensive workshop has given me a huge amount of knowledge that I will definitely use in my future career.
I also had a great opportunity to meet and learn from new friends and peers from Azerbaijan which has helped to better understand both the culture of country and to challenge stereotypes – whilst also sharing my Georgian heritage with them.”