Tallinn, 8th December 2013

11:00-16:00, Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia)

In many parts of the world, both in the past and today, sadly, many have been forced to leave their homes for survival. Even from Estonia, during the past century, tens of thousands of people fled from war and totalitarian terror. Today, there is an increasing number of people from around the world wishing to settle in Estonia, while local people are leaving the country in masses to seek better lives elsewhere.

The international youth conference “Why do you flee?” takes place as part of the Human Rights Week, on 8th December 2014. The purpose of the conference is to share ideas of mutual understanding, dialogue and bilateral cooperation in refugee matters between people, as well as between the state and the individual. At the conference, we pose the same question to both the newcomers and the goers: “Why are you fleeing?” in order to find common causes behind the two conflicting processes.

Participants include students from Estonia , Latvia and Sweden. The speakers include experts in refugee and human rights issues and members of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group. There will also be a screening of refugee-themed short films and exciting role playing!


Time Activity
11:00-11:15 Conference openingUve Poom, Unitas Foundation, CEO
Vootele Hansen, Estonian Human Rights Institute, Chairman of the Board
11:15-12:45 Discussion“What are the commonalities and differences between historical and present war, political and economic refugees?”
Mart Nutt, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Kristi Raidma, Mondo NGO, humanitarian assistance project manager
Eero Janson, Member of and project manager at the Estonian Refugee Council
Abdul Turay, Political Columnist at Postimees
Moderator: Uve Poom, Unitas Foundation, CEO
12:45-13:45 Lunch
13:45-14:45 Videoclips on refugeesCommentators:
Deniss Boroditš, Member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Andres Herkel, Member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Mart Meri, Member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Mailis Reps, Member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group
Moderator: Kadri Sikk, Unitas Foundation, project coordinator
14:45-15:00 Coffee break
15:00-16:00 Interactive roleplay