Almaty, Kazakhstan, 30 April 2018 – Red Cross and Red Crescent leaders from across Europe are meeting in Kazakhstan this week to chart their response to the region’s key humanitarian challenges.

The 10th European Regional Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will bring together senior leadership of the 53 European National Societies on May 2-4 2018.

 HIGHLIGHTS:

Migration

This is the first regional gathering of this kind since the start of the migration crisis in Europe in 2015. National Societies have been at the forefront of the continental humanitarian response. The meeting also takes place as UN Member States continue negotiations on a Global Compact on Migration.

Participants will look specifically at the unique and often unrecognized vulnerability of so-called “labour migrants”. People moving across Central Asia and Europe in search of work are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and face poor living conditions and heightened exposure to serious health risks including tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Social inclusion

Rising anti-immigration sentiment across Europe represents a major humanitarian concern. Building community cohesion and encouraging greater solidarity are increasingly important areas of focus for the Red Cross and Red Crescent on the continent. This issue will be explored as National Societies look to further expand their work in this area in the coming years.

Ageing

Europe’s population is rapidly ageing, a phenomenon that is already leading to massive increases in chronic health issues, isolation and loneliness, and potentially threatening to overwhelm public services. Civil society will have a crucial role to play in meeting the needs of elderly people. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across Europe are already expanding their health and social care support to reach vulnerable older people, but this is an area that will need to be scaled up.

Youth and volunteering

Young people and volunteers are the lifeblood of civil society. However, groups like the Red Cross and Red Crescent need to continually explore the best ways of engaging with youth. Participants will address this issue alongside the changing nature of volunteering as people seek new opportunities outside traditional volunteer-based organizations.

Follow @IFRC_Europe and #Almaty18 for updates from the conference

 

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Media contacts

In Almaty: Nichola Jones, +36 70 430 6506, nicholalyndsay.jones@ifrc.org, @nicjones81

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, +41 79 251 80 39, matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org, @mahatmat

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