12 December, 2014

From dignity to freedom: the resistance against hatred

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Category: European Action Week, Guest writer, hate crime, Human Rights
Gubaz Koberidze
5 pm


Written by: Valentín González

President of the European Network Stop Hate Crimes

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”. It is difficult to imagine a better way to start a declaration of Human Rights. It was made in the chaos of a world in war. Or more than that, it was made in the chaos of worst war ever in the human history. A war started for the lords of hatred, for those who believed themselves a supremacist race; for those who perpetrated the Holocaust by the mean of spread anti-Semitic hatred against our Jews brothers and sisters. So it is important to understand the roof of the idea of making the Human Rights declaration, the context and the “enemy” to fight: hatred, intolerance, violence, etc.

The challenge today is make them real in a very complex world for every citizen of our small planet. So a starting point is a declaration of principles based in the idea of dignity, freedom and rights. What the No Hate Speech Movement is doing is putting those principles in action creating a resistance democratic black hole against any idea, word, speech aimed to destroy human dignity.

Human Rights in action

This black hole is created not to diminish freedom of speech or eliminate. In fact, it is created to protect it. The idea is based on the concept of “militant democracy”. It means that “democracies” or “Human Rights structures” have the responsibility of preservation, or protection from who wants to destroy them. This is why the important debate of freedom of expression vs. hate speech is sometimes superficial. The article number 30 of Human Rights Declaration states: “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein”.

Human Rights are oxygen of Democracy in the same way that hate speech is oxygen to hate crimes. Our responsibility as human rights activists is work to make fundamental rights a reality for any citizen of any origin, sexual orientation, religion, or lack of religion or whatever may be their essence as human beings. One attack against the dignity of one single person is an attack against the very essence of the Human Rights values as such. It means an attack against our freedom and dignity.

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