On 15 August, NIMD’s offices in Latin America came together to kick-off the first ever regional Democracy School.
The school will bring together current Democracy School participants and alumni from across the political spectrum in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela in an online environment. This diverse mix of young leaders from political parties, civil society and academia will explore the topic of migration over the course of 12 hours, split across five weekly sessions.
Migration has (and still does) very much affected the region as a whole in recent years, while the consequences of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of people potentially forces many more to migrate. The cross border nature of migration in the region gave rise to the theme “Democracy, citizenship and human rights: Beyond borders”. The participants are specifically exploring the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on migrant groups in Latin America. Migrant groups, often living in cramped conditions without good access to health care, are especially at risk from COVID-19.
At NIMD, we believe in an inclusive society, which respects the rights of all groups and protects those who are most vulnerable. If we are to truly “leave no-one behind” – the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – then there is no space for arbitrary detention, torture, or a lack of respect for refugee status. But leaving no-one behind also means protecting economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to health, housing or education.
These rights are best protected in a strong and inclusive democracy. In the many forms it can take across the world – democracy is the only governance system founded on the equality of every individual.
NIMD strengthens democracies by bringing politicians and society together in dialogue so that they can jointly formulate policies to improve their democratic system. We also support individual politicians, political parties and other political institutions to strengthen their democratic values and improve the overall political culture in their country.
The regional Democracy School
The regional school is part of our work to strengthen these democratic values among young and aspiring leaders.
By bringing these participants together across borders, the school aims to generate dialogue and build trust in this regional setting. The participants are invited to reflect together on their future role in the democracies of their country and region.
Each week, the participants explore a different facet of the theme of migration, including human rights and the response of institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. Each session is opened by a thematic expert, who shares their reflections with the participants. This is followed by a series of activities aimed to generate dialogue.
The participants are encouraged to think critically, questioning the capacity and responsibility of states to guarantee rights and wellbeing, not only among citizens but also for migrant groups.
Through these sessions, NIMD’s Latin America offices are committed to empowering the aspiring leaders to use their new knowledge and skills in their political careers. Armed with their experience in the Schools, and their new regional network of participants, they are better placed to make a difference to politics in their country.