United Youth Against Hate and Violent Extremism in Europe

In cooperation with Human Rights Education Youth Network (HREYN), the European Youth Press (EYP) and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, UNITED took part in a special project to counter hate and violent extremism among young people at risk of social exclusion.

The project, which took place over the course of 2017, consisted of two Study Sessions (in April and September 2017) at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, and an intermediate phase between the two study sessions, when participants organized activities to engage young people at risk of social exclusion.

The aim of the project was to provide to youth trainers’, youth activists’ and young people competences to act against violent extremism and hate speech in Europe.

Objectives:

  • Develop strategies and activities involving young people in combating hate and violence in response to the ongoing political and social events in Council of Europe member states;
  • Encourage cooperation among youth networks and groups who may be targets of hate speech;
  • Multiply the local impact of the No Hate Speech Movement by actively involving local communities in countering hate speech;
  • Increase competences of youth trainers, activists and young people at risk of social exclusion in the field of Human Rights Education and activism;
  • Enhance youth participation and facilitate access to international youth activism for young people at risk of social exclusion;
  • Mainstream anti-hate speech and HRE methods and tools developed during the No Hate Speech Movement, with specific focus on Bookmarks and the updated version of Compass;
  • Create and develop projects that will be implemented by young people and the partner youth organizations.

1st Study Session – United Youth Against Hate and Violent Extremism in Europe

24 Apr 2017 – 28 Apr 2017, Budapest, Hungary

In cooperation with Human Rights Education Youth Network (HREYN), the European Youth Press (EYP) and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, UNITED is taking part in a special project to counter hate and violent extremism among young people at risk of social exclusion.

The project, which took place over the course of 2017, consisted of two Study Sessions (in April and September 2017) at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, and an intermediate phase between the two study sessions, when participants organized activities to engage young people at risk of social exclusion.

From 24-28 April 2017, young activists, youth workers and media makers from all over Europe gathered in Budapest for the study session “United Youth Against Hate and Violent Extremism in Europe”.

Aims and objectives of the study session were:

– Explore key concepts and deepen participants’ understanding of hate and violent extremism;

– Enable participants to share information and their own experiences on their local contexts and the needs of young people they work with, focusing on young people at risk of social exclusion;

– Provide a space for reflection on the roles of participants as youth workers, trainers and activists and enhance their competences to act against hate and violent extremism;

– Critically analyze ongoing challenges and practices in addressing hate and violent extremism;

– To mainstream the approaches and principles of the No Hate Speech Movement of the Council of Europe and examine tools and educational resources that can be used for action in local communities as well as at an international level;

– Provide a framework and support to plan and develop a common action as well as local activities engaging young people at risk of social exclusion during the intermediate phase of the project.

20 participants shared their knowledge and experience through the week, deepened their understanding of processes leading to violent extremism, and together designed future actions that are going to be implemented in the intermediate phase of the project.

Some activities of the study session:

  • Danger of Words” session: terminology the problems around extremism and marginalisation of young people in Europe.
  • Presentation by Simone Rafael of Amadeu Antonio Stiftungon on the situation of extremismin Europe, introducing the different kinds of prejudices and anti-democratic viewpoints that supporters of extremist groups share. The presentation was followed by a discussion on sharing the participants’ local contexts.
  • Case study: a right-wing extremist march in a small town, linking it with similar examples from their own local contexts and giving examples of how such actions can be countered. The case study was based on the real-life case of the small town of Wunsiedel in Germany, where antifascists and local residents came up with an innovative way of countering far-right demonstrations by raising money and turning the march into a sponsored “involuntary walkathon”, where money was donated to the antifascist NGO Exit Deutschland for each kilometre that the neo-nazis walked.
  • Introduction to the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement campaign: including how the campaign began at a previous Council of Europe study session convened by UNITED, and the key concepts of the campaign, including the national organising committees, action days and the learning materials and manuals such as Bookmarks. This was followed by a session on designing future activities within the No Hate Speech Movement.
  • Digital Bootcamp” activity: presentation of different tools that can be used for online activism, including Canva, a simple image editing tool; Storymap, a tool for creating interactive stories using maps; Sway, an online presentation and report-making tool; line.do, a story curation tool; and Bambuser, a video broadcasting tool.

2nd Study Session – United Youth Against Hate and Violent Extremism in Europe

11 – 15 September 2017, Budapest, Hungary

In cooperation with Human Rights Education Youth Network (HREYN), the European Youth Press (EYP) and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, UNITED took part in a special project to counter hate and violent extremism among young people at risk of social exclusion. The project, which took place over the course of 2017, consisted of two Study Sessions (in April and September 2017) at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, and an intermediate phase between the two study sessions, when participants organized activities to engage young people at risk of social exclusion.

From 10-15 September 2017, some of the participants from the 1st Study Session and new youngsters involved in the local and international projects gathered for the 2nd Study Session “United Youth Against Hate and Violent Extremism in Europe”.

Aims and objectives of the 2nd Study Session were:

The aim of this project was to provide to youth trainers’, youth activists’ and young people competences to act against violent extremism and hate speech in Europe.

Objectives:

  • To share and critically reflect on the activities implemented during the intermediate phase of the project;
  • To explore key concepts related to hate and violent extremism and their interrelations, focusing on the perception by the young people and impact it has in their everyday lives;
  • To explore the reasons why young people are attracted and involved in acts of hate and violent extremism and discuss possible responses through human rights activism and education;
  • To reflect on the role of young people and enhance youth participation in Europe to prevent and act against hate and violent extremism at local and international levels;
  • To provide space, information and support to plan common strategies and develop follow-up actions to prevent and act against hate and violent extremism in Europe.

 

During this Study Session, 30 people attended (10 of them were also participants from the 1st one): there were participants that are youth workers, young activists, youngsters, refugees. The 20 new participants were either involved by the organisation in the intermediate phase of the project and then invited for the 2nd Study Session or invited by organisations that promoted the event. Most participants reside in states of the European Cultural Convention, participants from Palestine and Morocco were also invited.

Some activities of the study session:

  • Sharing actions and methodologies: to reflect on the activities implemented during the intermediate phase; to present the intermediate phase activities and methodologies; to evaluate and give feedback about the intermediate phase activities.
  • Exploring concepts sessions: terminology related to the project and how it functions in the local realities of the participants.
  • Presentation by Cristina Civilotti: PhD, psychologist, psychotherapist, senior lecturer (University of Turin). Title of the session: “Psychological mechanisms of radicalization: why is violent extremism appealing?” In the session, the expert gave an overview of potential causes and psychological mechanisms that can lead young people feel attracted to violent extremist groups, with a focus on attachment and introduction to complex PTSD.
  • Presentation by Matthew Collins, researcher for Hope Not Hate. Title of the session: “Case studies and Testimonies”. In the session, the expert shared his real life experience as former National Front and British National Party member and now anti-fascist, human rights activist and author of the book My Life in the British Far Right.
  • “Making links”: Participants discussed and better understood different actors and their roles in society.
  • Session on funding opportunities: Introducing the short input of funding opportunities: EYF and Youth Department of CoE; Erasmus+ KA1; Erasmus+ KA2 – Capacity Building.

Activities of the intermediate phase

 


Armenia

During this phase, they welcomed in their Office and took the chance to talk openly about different topics, specifically the occasions of further cooperation for Erasmus+ and related projects with people from neighbor countries. After an amazing visit to the office, they offered to the visitants the chance to visit Khor Virap, an important historical and religious site for Armenians. They have some projects they would like to develop together in the future.

2t

 

 

“Human Library”
Italy

The first activity implemented was a workshop on prejudices, stereotypes and awareness about discrimination. After the introductive part the students were asked to think on some sentences about discrimination to use in the second workshop. During the second workshop the organizers explained what it is the Human Library and after this first part created a photo gallery shooting some photos of them, using as captions the sentences about discrimination.
After the activity in the school a couple of workshops at the University were done in order to explain to the students what the Human Library is and how to organize one. The second step was to show a real example in the University campus in Turin.
The last activity was implemented in Casarcobaleno, where a photo exhibition was organized with the pics taken with the high school’s students.

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United Kingdom

The Euro Mediterranean Resources Network promoted three initiatives relevant to the intermediated phase of the Study Session all taking place in Brighton & Hove.

4t

To mark the start of the national Refugee Week, on the 19th of June, they held “Different past, Shared future”, a multi-format event to explore the cultural heritage of refugee communities. The event featured poetry readings and performances from artists belonging to refugee communities. An open debate also took place with featured representatives of local and national NGOs and media experts. On World Refugee Day (20 June) they carried out a “Red Umbrella Action”, a street action that was planned by a group of participants attending the first Study Session. On the 22nd of July, to mark the Action Day for the Victims of Hate Crimes, they organised a workshop on human rights.

 

 

“No Hate, Across the Borders”
Italy and Morocco

On April 2017, during the first study session from the project a group was created to work with young people in Italy and Morocco. The project aim was to analyze radicalization as a process and focus in the reasons why it happens. Four role-plays took place to illustrate different types of hatred and social discrimination.

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Georgia

The mission was to increase awareness about Hate Speech, it’s regulation mechanisms, Homo/Bi/Trans Phobia, Extremism, Nationalism, Problems of Sex workers in Georgia, Violence and Queer theory in young People between 16-35.

15t

 

 


Macedonia

The workshop of Center for Intercultural Dialogue (part of UNITED Network Against Racism) on 22 of July in Kumanovo gathered young people, representatives of organizations and youth activists who are interested in advocating against hate and work on improving the campaign on 22 of July the international Europe day of remembrance of Hate Crime victims.
In the first session were shown the history of the 22 of July and its link to hate speech and hate crime. During the second session was presented the concept of Hate Speech, how it can be recognized and its link to Hate Crime.

16t

 

 

“No Hate Umbrella”
Hungary

The idea of free hug flash mob was born during the 1st phase study session in April 2017 as part of “United youth against violent extremism in Europe” special project. Coming from 4 different countries (Matteo Haenen, Andreia Bessa, Adrián Almorín Fernández, András Marosi) they design this common action.

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They received the support from their NGO, Útilapu Hálózat and from the Open Doors working group. They also got support from the Council of Europe giving No hate flyers, badges, balloons. They created a Facebook event for this and also spread the word among other NGOs working on the same field to reach, involve and mobilize people volunteering for the flash mob.

 

 

“Workshop on Counteracting Hate Speech Online”
Albania

It was organized by Matilda Salla with facilitator Kristina Ndoj and Meri Zeneli as preventatives of youth associations Action for Change and Transformation -ACT, and PVN Albania. The aim of the workshop was to provide participants with knowledge on how to identify and address online hate speech, and to provide with skills to combat it, and to foster online youth participation.
The workshop was held in High School of Ndroq, a village of Tirana, in a classroom of young people of age 16 -17 years old. At the end of session, the 22 pupils gained knowledge and skills to be online active citizen and combat online hate speech.

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