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MYPs learn about Integration Efforts to establish Multicultural Society in Denmark

YPP Study Visit

Copenhagen, December 01; on the third day of Study Visit to Denmark, MYPs held interactions regarding efforts for integrating ethnic minorities in Denmark, received a briefing by two Danish Pakistanis regarding what it was like for people from Pakistani origin to live and work in Denmark, and also held a short debate session with representatives of Youth Wings of different political parties.

The Youth Parliament delegation held its first meeting with Ms. Nadja GlavasHead of Section, Office office for Inclusion and Citizenship, Ministry of Foreigners, Integration and Housing and Ms. Maria Birch MollerOffice for Inclusion and citizenship, Ministry for Foreigner, Integration and Housing. Both ladies briefed the delegation on integration of minorities from a public perspective – with a focus on the civil society. While deliberating on integration, they explained that there is a broad spectrum of initiatives within civil society that contributes to integration. Many volunteers want to make a difference, and the municipalities are requesting more broader and stronger collaboration with civil society actors in the integration efforts. While deliberating on different civic strategies, Ms. Glavas briefed the delegation about some new projects including ‘Building Bridges’ and ‘Baba’. The former aims at developing and testing methods and models for a stronger and more formalized cooperation between local governments and civil society organizations on the reception of refugees. The project is already implemented in five Danish municipalities across the country. Baba aims to strengthen ethnic minority fathers’ opportunities to engage themselves in the lives of their children in a meaningful way. 

The Group met with Ms. Rushy Rashid, Journalist and Mr. Zubair Butt Hussain Spokesperson for Several Muslim Associations. Both emphasised that Danish-Pakistanis, as with other immigrant communities, need to co-exist within the Danish society and be Danes. Ms Rashid shared that Freedom of Speech as well as Freedom of Press in Denmark are ensured by article 77 of the Danish Constitution. This was followed by a lively debate on what constitutes the borders of the freedom of speech debate in Denmark.

The youth parliament delegation interacted with representatives of political party youth wings on the structure of different youth wings, how these nteract with the main party leadership, and what the party positions were on different issues in Denmark, including refugees, the welfare system, relations with EU, etc. 

The day ended with a visit to the Hammad bin Khalifa Civilization Centre, serving as a community centre and mosque for the Sunni Muslims in Copenhagen. The MYPs learnt of the organisational structure of the Centre and the efforts being undertaken to integrate Muslims into the Danish society. 

Members of 8th Youth Parliament Pakistan who are part of the Study Visit include: Mr. Abdur Rehman (YP3-54-ICT01) Deputy Speaker, Third session, Ms. Afia Waheed Khan (YP2-13-PUNJAB02) Deputy Speaker, Second Session, Mr. Azeem Armaghan (YP4-53-ICT01) Leader of the Opposition, Fourth Session, Mr. Basharat Ali (YP1-59-GB02), Ms. Bakhtawar Komal (YP4-06-KP02), Mr. Bilawal Bin Nasir (YP2-17-PUNJAB06), Mr. Faizan Daud (YP1-15-PUNJAB04), Leader of the House, First Session, Mr. Iftikhar Khan (YP4-55-FATA01), Mr. Irtaza Haider (YP1-18-PUNJAB07), Mr. Masood Ur Rehman (YP1-02-BALOCHISTAN02), Mr. Muhammad Usama (YP4-48-SINDH09), Mr. Nadir Khawaja (YP4-58-AJK01) Chairperson Youth Standing Committee on Finance, Fourth Session and Syed Muhammad Raza Zaidi (YP1-49-SINDH10). PILDAT officials accompanying the Delegation include: Muhammad Saad, Projects Manager, PILDAT.

The Youth Parliament Pakistan, a PILDAT initiative, is aimed at inculcating in youth of Pakistan values and spirit for democracy, the importance of dialogue, tolerance for others’ views, an understanding of the concept of Parliament and its role in democratic decision-making and oversight. The current programme is supported and financed by the Danish International Development Agency, Embassy of Denmark, Islamabad, who have been supporting the YPP since 2010.

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