Europe Begins in Lampedusa 2017

A series of events entitled ‘Europe begins in Lampedusa’ took place for the second consecutive year on the island of Lampedusa in Italy, between 30 September and 3 October 2017. The Italian Ministry of Education organised the event together with the Italian Ministry of Interior, the association ‘Comitato 3 ottobre’ and the Municipality of Lampedusa and Linosa.

The event commemorates the date of 3 October 2013 when 368 migrants died in a shipwreck next to the island of Lampedusa. The project gathered Italian and international participants, including representatives of the Agency, and it focused on the issue of migration, better understanding of human rights mechanisms and inclusion values. Over 250 students (aged 16–18) took part in the event, the majority of which arrived from schools from all over Italy. There were also foreign delegations from Austria, Malta, Spain and France. Students had been asked to make a video project on migration and solidarity before the meeting in Lampedusa. Students’ short films were presented during the event and they remain available online.

A diverse array of learning activities took place during the four days: workshops, school visits, meetings with survivors of the shipwreck from 3 October 2013, as well as meetings with politicians such as the President of the Italian Senate, the Minister of Education and the mayor of Lampedusa. The event featured theatre and music performances, a march to the Door of Europe (a monument made in 2008 to commemorate the migrants lost at sea), and a symbolic ceremony at sea.

Discussion between the students and the Minister of Education
Discussion between the students and the Minister of Education

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