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The Council of Europe’s Youth and Anti-Discrimination Department organise jointly the No Hate Speech training course which aims to strengthen the competences of multipliers and advocates in the youth and human rights field to promote the Council of Europe standards and approaches to address hate speech, with a specific focus on counter and alternative narratives through human rights education. The course was transformed into an online learning activity, partially open for other activists and multipliers to take part in some of its online events.

The course gathers some 40 multipliers active with young people on combating hate speech, experts working on standards on fighting discrimination and hate speech, and activists using human rights education and counter-narratives for awareness-raising against hate speech. The participants represent various stakeholders in society, notably youth movements, educational organisations, local authorities, equality bodies/ ombuds-offices, and Human Rights NGO’s.
 

About the Council of Europe’s work on addressing hate speech

The Council of Europe was the first, and remains the only intergovernmental organisation, to have adopted a definition of hate speech in 1997. The organisation’s work on combatting hate speech gained new impetus regarding the online dimension, with the launch of the No Hate Speech Movement youth campaign in 2013.

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Aim and objectives of the activity

The online training course aims to strengthen the competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) of multipliers, advocates and activists sharing and interested in promoting the Council of Europe standards and approaches to combatting hate speech, with a specific focus on counter and alternative narratives through human rights education.

Objectives:

  • To improve the understanding of Council of Europe standards and approaches to ensure a comprehensive approach to combatting hate speech within a human rights framework.
  • To clarify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in society in combating hate speech, notably local and national authorities, equality bodies/ombudspersons, and NGO’s.
  • To build capacity in using Human Rights Education approach and methodology to promote Council of Europe standards and facilitate multistakeholder engagement.

 

 The programme

The No Hate Speech online training course is consisted of e-learning modules, webinars and a workshop week.

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 Workshop week

The workshop week takes places from 22-26 June and aims to provide practical tools to address hate speech.

Here is an overview of the workshops:
 

 22 June: Media and Information literacy

Can you use digital media in a conscious and critical way? Can you educate other people (especially young people) to develop media and information literacy competences? Media literacy is one of the tools to act against fake news, extremism and hate speech. One must first understand and be able to recognise what’s fake, extremist and hateful, before being able to undertake action against these phenomena.

Contemporary media education, due to media convergence and deep mediatisation, extends the area of interest to the whole technological zone, which is invisible to the user (digital data, algorithms) and refers to hidden and intelligent mechanisms of managing user’s activity, behaviour, attention, content, information and knowledge when using media and information technologies. Therefore, modern media education no longer focuses so much on technical digital skills, but rather on the ability to critically analyse the entire media ecosystem. The aim of this workshop is to understand and analyse key competences media and information literacy education should develop and to look at and reflect on media and information literacy practices (especially with young people). But it will all start with the question: How do I use media?


 23 June: How to take action against hate speech trough Counter and Alternative narratives (CANs)

During the workshop, the participants will explore what are counter and alternative narratives, why, and how they can be used to counter hate speech. We will go step by step through the presentation about CANs, phases of oppressive narratives, their role in the social and political context, how they aim to influence public opinion.

During the second part of the workshop, we will practice CANs to combat hate speech trough discrediting and deconstructing the narratives, creating messages on which they are based, by proposing (alternative) narratives based on human rights and democratic values, such as openness, respect for difference, freedom and equality. At the end of the workshop participants will have key understanding of narratives, will counter and propose alternatives to hate speech and the violence discrimination by developing their CANs! The workshop-presentation is based on WE CAN manual.


 24 June: Engaging with Council of Europe’s work on combating Hate Speech

Various sectors within the Council of Europe are addressing hate speech, through standard setting, monitoring and cooperation programmes with member states. (See for an overview: https://www.coe.int/en/web/no-hate-campaign/coe-work-on-hate-speech) This exemplifies that hate speech is a complex issue that impacts many people in society and human rights concerns, such as dis-information, internet governance, discrimination of groups in society, freedom of expression etc. The Council of Europe in working with a wide range of stakeholders, national authorities, law enforcement, judiciary, Equality bodies and media councils, NGO’s, Internet Industry etc, is working towards a multi-stakeholder and comprehensive approach to address the challenges hate speech pose.

This session will include a short introduction to the Council of Europe’s work on addressing hate speech, with a focus on Anti-Discrimination, followed by a open space for questions, reflections and exploration of challenges in members states that touch on the mandate of the Council of Europe.


 25 June: Advocacy for Human Rights

Advocacy may seem difficult or complicated, and many organisations may be afraid to get involved in advocacy. This is often the result of certain stereotypes and myths about advocacy. During this workshop we will explore what advocacy is and we will discuss about the policies, participation mechanisms and tools for advocacy for Human Rights. It will explore examples of advocacy on local and national level, engagement in the policy making processes and also ways how to connect and do advocacy using the Council of Europe's standards and approaches. The practical part provides some input on how to engage in an advocacy process including Planning, Implementing and Evaluating advocacy initiatives.


 26 June: Human rights education

Human rights education is one of the most called upon approaches to prevent and address hate speech, its causes and consequences in our societies. Defined as education about, through and for human rights, it can take many forms (formal, non-formal, informal), address any kind of target group (from children to the elderly, from students to judges) and can take place in any context from schools to online spaces. Moreover, the right to education also entails a right to Human Rights Education.

The workshop aims to introduce participants to the educational approaches to human rights education as outlined in Compass and Bookmarks and the competences to be developed through human rights education. In the online workshop, the participants will discuss how to develop human rights education programmes for activities and adapt activities from Council of Europe educational resources to different contexts, including online ones.