Kompass. Mensenrechten Dichtbij is a civil rights organisation based in the Netherlands. The newly-established NGO aims to connect marginalised groups and local residents with policymakers in support of creating a dialogue between the various different groups within Dutch society.
On the 19th October, Kompass will host two panel discussions focusing on LGBT rights and racism in football. The event will take place at the home of Eredivisie club ADO Den Haag, which is fighting hard to tackle diversity after experiencing some issues related to racist language from a section of fans.
The event hosted by Kompass will coincide with the One Young World (OYW) Conference taking place at the same time in Den Haag. Approximately 100 people from the conference will attend the panel discussions. There will also be guest speakers in attendance such as Syrian refugee Raed Bko, a football coach at VVV Venlo, former players and other delegates from Dutch civil society.
The main aim of the Kompass panel discussions is to raise awareness in the Netherlands about racism in football. Using the momentum of the One Young World Conference it is hoped the event will inspire attendees and OYW Ambassadors to use their influence in raising further awareness about the issues discussed.
Guest speaker Raed Bko is a professional football coach at VVV-Venlo under-17 and Grenzland football academy. Raed was a professional player in Syria and Greece, arriving in the Netherlands as a refugee via boat because of the conflict in Syria. A few months after arriving he started a hair salon in Venlo with his sister. His fascinating life story will highlight the plight of refugees, and the importance of social inclusion and pathways to assist those from refugee backgrounds integrating into the societies of their host countries.
“The Football People weeks provides us with a tremendous opportunity to discuss football and discrimination,” said Rene Rouwette, director of Kompass. “In the Netherlands, this discussion often follows unsavoury incidents. Instead, let us now focus on solving problems rather than reacting to incidents.
“No other sport has football’s power to bring people together. Let us unleash the power of football to change the Netherlands for the better and address the issues in Dutch football around homophobia and racism that need to be solved.”
The Football People weeks are a global campaign to tackle discrimination and celebrate diversity in football, organised by the Fare network. For two weeks in October (11-25), over 100,000 people will take part in 2,000 events in over 60 countries to bring about positive social change in and through football.
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