Icanvote.lu - General mobilisation at Caritas Luxembourg
Thursday 6 April 2023
Over the last few months, Caritas Luxembourg has been active in informing and sensitising its beneficiaries of non-national origin to register on the electoral lists for the next communal elections. Indeed, Caritas Luxembourg is convinced that participation in elections is an important step towards social inclusion.
In the different services of Caritas Luxembourg, many people are directly concerned by the recent legislative change. People can now vote in local elections regardless of their country of origin and length of residence in Luxembourg.
CEFIS therefore organised a training course at the beginning of November to train a maximum number of employees of Caritas Luxembourg to become multipliers of the Icanvote.lu campaign and to launch information and awareness-raising activities in their structures.
Throughout the following months, information and awareness-raising actions were organised. Social grocery shops organised several information and awareness-raising afternoons. Structures for people in vocational rehabilitation organised information sessions for their beneficiaries. The social workers of Educ'actif informed each family visited of the possibility to register to vote. The Social Support service has also systematically informed its visitors. The Oasis Centre in Wiltz organised two information sessions not only for its beneficiaries, but also for potential multipliers of the campaign in the Northern region. Throughout the Caritas Luxembourg premises, information and awareness-raising posters were placed and information material was distributed. Caritas Luxembourg's social networks also carried the messages as much as possible to encourage as many people as possible to sign up.
While it is not possible to know how many people actually joined the lists as a result of these actions, it is certain that everything possible was done to inform and raise awareness among as many people as possible. The challenge, however, was great. Given that many people are not sufficiently familiar with the political landscape of Luxembourg, a large number of them hesitate to register. Others find themselves in such great difficulties that registering to vote is of secondary importance to them. Others still do not know the language well enough to dare to register. Finally, others have never had the opportunity to vote in their lives and are far from imagining that their voice can count here in Luxembourg.
So there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of social inclusion! If we want our non-national residents to become full citizens of our society, awareness-raising about the voting right should not be limited to the months before the elections, but should be an ongoing process.