9.4 Raising awareness about global issues
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Formal, non-formal and informal learning
Global issues are not treated as a separate subject but are covered mainly by the geography courses in secondary level schools. List of global issues that are prescribed by the reference frameworks:
- sustainable development
Young people should be able to recognize the regularity of individual natural phenomenons, develop a critical mindset on how to deal with natural resources, explain the need for a more sustainable development, describe areas of tension in our social space: nature-humans, ecology-economy and their regional and global impact, describe measures to develop and protect our social space.
Young people should be able to analyze the social and economic impacts of a pandemic with regard to their own actions, to describe the interaction and consequences of past and present human factors and processes and to characterize spaces according to certain characteristics and compare them to each other.
Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues are ensured through the Youth information centres (Jugendinformationszentren) and the Youth Council of the German-speaking Community (RDJ, Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend). Some examples of past campaigns:
- 2014 campaign on human rights: "Boring rights - complicated rights" (Recht langweilig, Recht kompliziert)
- 2020 campaign on sexting (Sexting-Kampagne)
Another example of a current campaign is "Speak up!". This campaign was initiated in 2020 by the Institute for Democracy Pedagogy (Institut für Demokratiepädagogik, IDP), the Media Center (Medienzentrum), Wegweiser Eastbelgium (Wegweiser Ostbelgien), the Youth Council, the Council for Adult Education (Rat für Erwachsenenbildung, RfE) and Kaleido Eastbelgium (Kaleido Ostbelgien). "Speak up!" aims at enabling people to identify Fake News more easily and to react appropriately to Hate Speech. To this end, workshops and conferences are being organised and a number of tools (so-called fact-finders, educational materials, etc.) are available.
RESI - Council for developement cooperation, integration and solidarity (Rat für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Solidarität und Integration)
The RESI was a council to raise citizens' awareness of development cooperation, solidarity and integration, while encouraging the exchange and networking between local actors. The RESI provided advice to the government and issued regular opinions on societal and development policy issues. However, on 14th November 2019, the Government passed an edict (Erlass der Regierung zur Aufhebung des Erlasses der Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft vom 19. Juli 2007 zur Schaffung des Rates für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Solidarität und Integration (RESI) in der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft), repealing the edict which had constituted RESI. Consequently, RESI was discontinued.
Advisory Council for Integration and living together in diversity (Beirat für Integration und das Zusammenleben in Vielfalt)
In accordance with Art. 20 of the Decree on Integration and Living together in Diversity of 11th December 2017 (Dekret über Integration und das Zusammenleben in Vielfalt), an Advisory Council for integration and living together in diversity has been constituted. This advisory board has partially taken over the responsibilities of RESI.
Verbraucherschutzzentrale Ostbelgien (consumer protection center Eastbelgium)
The consumer protection center's mission is to provide information to consumers on the range of goods and services on offer in their region, to conduct transfrontier surveys and comparison exercises, and to advise consumers on their rights should a problem arise with a supplier in a neighbouring country.
The kind of things dealt with by the centres range from the new opportunities available to consumers with the elimination of tax frontiers (e.g. purchases of goods or financial investment in other Member States) to the kind of problems which are always going to crop up (e.g. contract law and different commercial practices, difficulties over guarantees, etc.).
Weltladen - fair trade shop
The Weltladen is a fair trade shop that raises awareness on global social, economic, ecological and cultural issues. The revenue acquired through the sale of fair trade products is used to fund small development projects in third world countries.
Oxfam Solidarity is a belgian NGO that supports development projects. In order to build another type of globalisation, Oxfam Solidarity cooperates with partners in more than 35 Southern countries. These partners work for real social changes, and fight against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, exploitation and exclusion. Daily involved among their populations, they try to improve the living and working conditions for a better future.
In 2011, the human rights organisation Amnesty International has opened a regional office in the German-Speaking Community. They function as a hub for their investigations, campaigns and communications.
Oxfam Trailwalker is a unique team challenge (for friends, family and colleagues) with one single purpose: to put an end to injustice and poverty. The challenge is to walk 100 km in teams of 4 in less than 30 hours, whilst raising 1.500 euros to support Oxfam-Solidarity’s projects worldwide. Oxfam Trailwalker is a worldwide event that takes place in 9 countries, spread over 4 different continents.
On 25 October 2019, an exchange between young people and politicians took place in the Parliament of the German-speaking Community concerning whether or not politics is doing enough for climate and environmental protection and consumer behaviour.