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Students at Risk seminar

The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO), the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), the Students’ League of the Conservative Party (HS) and the Workers Youth League (AUF) hosted a seminar in Oslo to inform about the Students at Risk programme. Four students participating in the programme told their stories, while the Palestine committee and the Norwegian UNESCO commission were present to react.

– We are very glad that so many people are engaged in these questions, and are interested in contributing to make this programme better known and more visible, says Therese Eia Lerøen, president of NSO.

In the autumn of 2011 representatives from SAIH and NSO sat down in Oslo and drafted the idea for Students at Risk. From that day on we have come a long way. It was a proud and humble student movement that received a call from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2013 that told us that they were interested in taking it forward.

– The right to engage oneself politically and to express oneself critically are unfortunately not guaranteed for all. It is extremely important that students not be scared away from engaging themselves politically and the Students at Risk scheme is one way to support student activists who refuse to be silenced, says Eia Lerøen

Right now the programme is a pilot that started up in august 2015. All four of the students have strong stories to tell us. They have been fighting for basic rights, such as human rights in their countries and the fight for democracy. For that work they have been tortured, imprisoned and thrown out of their education institutions.

– These stories show us how important it is to make this a permanent programme in Norway, and in addition to spread it to other countries in order to ensure education for even more students, says Eia Lerøen

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