Statement: “Refugees welcome to the Balkans”

 

STATEMENT

Šolta, Croatia, August 1, 2016

 

Balkan Youth Climate Movement: Refugees welcome to the Balkans

 

It is our responsibility to hold the governments accountable and urge them to open the borders.

 

Around 50 young people from South East Europe gathered this July on Šolta Island, Croatia to unite and mobilize for climate justice.

 

The Balkan region, as well as the rest of Europe, is increasingly experiencing environmental and social injustices, the rise of nationalism, xenophobia and racism. The youth in this region recognise the urgency for a broad intersectional movement that will tackle the root causes of these systemic oppressions. Presently, we are witnessing the opression of refugees by European countries. The same industrialised countries that have caused climate change are now fueling this humanitarian crisis. This is why it is our responsibility to hold the governments accountable and urge them to open the borders and take on their responsibility for all the shit they have done.

 

During one week (July 25-31), the youth from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania and Turkey, including inspirational activists from USA, Norway, Italy, Germany and Belgium, shared their knowledge on the current environmental struggles and strategised to build a movement of mutual support for climate and social justice.

 

The Balkan Youth Climate Movement (BYCM) camp is one of the first grassroots mobilizing spaces in the Balkans addressing the topics of climate justice and system change. The first camp, organised by Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia in 2014 on Šolta Island, brought together over 50 young people, and since then the BYCM platform has been a capacity building space for many young activists in this region.

 

We believe that the only way to fight climate change and social injustices is by uniting our voices and lead by example.

 

In hope and solidarity,

Balkan Youth Climate Movement

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