On 22 July the European Day of Victims of Hate Crime the International Youth Center of Stara Zagora (eastern city in Bulgaria) organized an educational activity with young people aiming to express solidarity with the victims and target of hate crime in Norway and all over the world, and to raise awareness of young people on what hate crime is, its causes and consequences, especially their direct link to hate speech. Participants had the chance to learnt ho to support victims how how to prevent hate crimes and to discuss and uncover the issue of hate crime and hate speech.
The participants were aged 14 to 29, some of them are representatives of Roma community, others are unemployed, there are also students at university and some of them are with special educational needs – despite the facts they are very active in all type of non-formal educational activities we are doing. Many of them can be called the volunteers of International Youth Center! It was a challenge for the group to understand where freedom of speech ends and which crime can be defined as a hate crime. Also they were asking about the legislation for that kind of crimes. Defining the most vulnerable groups of targets of hate speech was easy for the participants. The outcomes – at least what they share was that they will be more cautious on the comments they make in the social media, knowing what hate speech can cause to a person and now they are aware of the possibilities of using the Hate Speech Watch for marking online hate speech content.