Prejudice, discrimination – topics for discussion at interactive sessions with young people in detention centres


Young people from three educational and detention centres in Romania have participated recently in training sessions that prepare them for life, teach them what to accept from society and what to reject, how to question public opinion and how to identify situations of discrimination.  

The sessions are held by Ioana Mureșan – lawyer and CAB facilitator within the i-Access MyRights project, for groups of children and teenagers from Targu Ocna Educational Centre, Brăila-Tichilești Detention Centre and Craiova Detention Centre. 30 young people were selected from these centres to be part of the Child Advisory Board (CAB) -  a group that will participate in training sessions in the youth justice system and will be involved in the project’s activities.

Based on examples and case studies, the young people learnt the difference between stereotypes and prejudices, understood what bullying and victimisation mean, learnt about forms of discrimination and the negative effects of multiple discrimination.

The discussions on „Blue eyes, brown eyes” experimental film were engaging. „I saw the differences in behaviour that appear at children as a result of discrimination”, commented Targu Ocna teenagers. „The children felt for themselves what it is like to be discriminated against”, was the conclusion of Craiova young people.

The trainees identified preconceived ideas that circulate in society with reference to certain social groups: elderly people, disabled people, women, Roma ethnic groups. Based on a set of exercises, the teenagers discussed various negative attitudes of the society (misogyny, homophobia, racism, sexism), also they identified types of discrimination depending on the context and the reasons why certain people are discriminated against.

At the end of the training session we will give them prizes, because they deserve it”, Tg. Ocna group coordinator told us, as she was surprised by teenagers’ very good answers to the exercises.

The interactive sessions will not stop here, because the young people have more topics to discuss: rights and obligations, bullying in detention centres.

The sessions were held within the i-Access MyRights project – artificial intelligence driven support for a smart justice with children in Europe, a project through which we help children in contact with the law to have easier access to information and to exercise their rights in criminal procedures.

The project is implemented in Romania by Terre des hommes Foundation and co-funded by the European Union.