On the occasion of International Democracy Day on 15 September 2022, MILE’s local partners in Spain – UAB’s research group Transmedia Catalonia, the Asociación Kudwa and the municipality of Ripollet – organised a roundtable discussion on “Inclusive democratic participation” to to exchange ideas on how to make cities more inclusive by allowing everyone to have a voice.
Francesco Pasetti, researcher at CIDOB
Viviane Ogou Corbu, Co-founder of La puerta de Africa
Massoud Sharifi, researcher at CER migracions
Lamine Sarr, activist for Top Manta
Razan Ismail, Co-founder of Kudwa
Solarez Diego, co-founder of Connectats
Moderator: Maritxell Caler Vergara, Ripollet representative
The main questions discussed during the event:
What is inclusive democratic participation for you?
What are the barriers to have access to inclusive democratic participation? What are the strategies to access inclusive democratic participation?
How can we promote inclusive democratic participation?
Key take-aways from the discussion:
We should be careful with the definitions. The one migrant identity does not exist. Migration is a diverse phenomenon, it can happen for several reasons and in several forms, and migrants experience it differently.
The ability to participate in politics occurs if at least a few of your basic needs have been met. When you are in an emergency or survival mode, it can be hard to even consider being politically active.
In a society where migrants and refugees are often prevented from political participation due to bureaucracy and politics, it is essential to emphasize alternative and strategic ways to promote change. The first steps towards political participation can be made by sharing opinions and thoughts with friends, colleagues, and family members.
Every individual’s perception of political participation is different depending on their culture, age, personal circumstances, and other factors.
We need to decolonize history and policies to make visible the point of view of minorities.
It is important to work on two different levels: transform policies in host countries but also encourage change and progress in the countries of origin.
Listen to our interview by the Radio of Ripollet here.
Read the article about the event here on the Ripollet municipality page.