Right to be forgotten
Young people who survive cancer go on to face discrimination when they apply for mortgages and insurance as adults, a leading European NGO has said. Youth Cancer Europe (YCE) argues that survivors face worse discrimination than convicted criminals, and is launching a battle for the ‘right to be forgotten’.
This would prevent banks and other financial institutions from considering their health history when they draft loans, mortgages and insurance contracts. “Convicted persons in the European Union have their criminal record expired within several years after serving the sentence,” wrote the NGO in a recently published white paper, “Cancer survivors on the other hand must declare their cancer history throughout their life and continue to suffer discrimination.”
At the moment, France is the only country which gives patients a right to be forgotten. By contrast, in the UK it is irrelevant from a insurance perspective whether a person has been in remission for one month or a decade. The group is committed to giving young cancer survivors a policy-making voice within the European framework. It advocates raising awareness, funding research and considering policy from the vantage point of patients.
Free train travel in 2019
After thousands of 18-year-old Europeans won free tickets to travel across the EU, the European Commission is launching another edition of its new DiscoverEU pass. From November 29 until December 11 this year, 18-year-old EU nationals will have another opportunity to win a DiscoverEU ticket, allowing them to travel by train across four European countries.
Tibor Navracsics, the EU Commissioner for Youth, said: “This summer, around 15,000 18-year-olds were able to travel across the EU. They experienced first-hand what it feels like to be European…I am delighted that we are able to offer this experience to more young people next year.”
To apply for the DiscoverEU pass applicants must be 18 on December 31 2018 and be free to travel for a maximum period of 30 days between April 15 and October 31 2019. Applicants can apply through the European Youth Portal here and will be notified about whether they have succeeded in January 2019.
The €12 million project was subject to some controversies this year with young people in Ireland and Germany arguing that there wasn’t enough spaces or publicity. In 2019 there will be more emphasis on resolving those issues and the program will be expanded to include buses and ferries, in addition to trains, to ensure that young people from rural areas can participate.
Student wins visa battle
Two students have won a legal battle to attend the UK for an academic conference, after the British government rejected their applications for a visa. The case has made headlines around Europe, with some fearing that the UK is restricting visa applications in preparation for Brexit.
One of them, Nadza Dzinalija – a 21-year-old Bosnian national studying for a psychology masters in Amsterdam – will now attend event held by Glasgow University. The other, a Turkish national, gave up trying to visit the UK after being blocked by the Home Office.
Dzinalija decided to fight the government’s decision because she feared that being rejected would result in a black mark against her name and rejection by other countries. She has previously travelled around the Schengen Zone and even to Australia, which had no problems with her application.
Her case was taken up by a London-based immigration lawyer – Jan Doerfel – free of charge. “For the Home Office to refuse her visa on the basis of an assumption that she would abandon her studies in the Netherlands and use an academic exchange with the University of Glasgow as a pretext to enter the UK unlawfully and live here in the hostile environment is not only unlawful but also deeply insulting to Nadza’s integrity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Niamh Stack, Professor of Psychology at Glasgow University, said: “This isn’t an isolated case. It’s generally the UK trying to close its borders. We need open borders to improve science, the exchange of ideas. At a time when the discipline is trying to open up and move forward Britain is doing the opposite.”
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