More than 50 Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) got introduced to methods on how to effectively address hate speech and discrimination. This will enable the YEAs to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of equality and diversity, ultimately contributing to combating hate speech and discrimination online and offline.
YEAs from the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership regions participated in the “Promoting equality and non-discrimination and combating hate speech” training held at the premises of the European Youth Centre in Budapest. As a continuation of the online training held in 2023, the YEAs continued their journey in learning about key concepts of human rights, non-discrimination, combating hatred and creating counter-narratives to hate speech, assisted by Council of Europe and European Union staff and experts.
The work of the Council of Europe and its bodies, most notably the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) was presented. The YEAs were given tips on human rights related language which they could use in their communication work. The work done in the field of non-discrimination and combating hate speech by the previous generation of YEAs in the Western Balkans was presented to inspire participants from the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans regions. Since 2020, an initial group of YEAs joined the “Block the hatred. Share the love”, an awareness-raising initiative implemented in the framework of the Horizontal Facility programme, as well as other important work on combating hate speech and discrimination conducted as part of earlier phases of the regional programmes.
The programme “Young European Ambassadors” is an initiative of the European Union, to create and develop a network for sharing skills, ideas and promote EU values and opportunities among youth. In this context their role in supporting the fight against hate speech and developing counter-narratives in line with European values and standards is fundamental in the process of advancing equality and diversity in the Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership regions.
The YEAs will continue supporting and being vocal against hate speech and discrimination, using counter-narratives to say NO to hatred and discrimination, and YES to human right and equality, making their communities more diverse and equal.
This event is part of the project “Promoting equality and non-discrimination: towards more resilient and inclusive societies” and the action “Promoting equality and combating racism and intolerance in the Western Balkans”, which are part the joint European Union and Council of Europe programmes “Partnership for Good Governance” and “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.