19 July, 2017

State of play of national campaigns in 2017

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Category: Country review, European Campaign Conference, National campaigns
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20170628_1022245th Coordination Meeting of the No Hate Speech Movement, 28-30 June 2017, Bucharest, Romania

The coordination meeting started with sharing the state of the 37 national campaigns that were represented by activists and coordinators. Each national campaign representative explained how the campaign is operating and what have been their main latest achievements since the previous coordination meeting last year. You can read below some really interesting examples, practices on how to combat hate speech together with young people and work for the promotion of a community culture based on the respect of Human Rights on national, regional and local level. You can click on the country name to visit the national website or Facebook page (if available).

Belgium – Flemish speaking community: The campaign was successfully launched with lots of media coverage, official support of the Minister of Youth and Media and 115 organizations. In the Weetewa-YouTube competition (together with Google, national radio and several youth organizations) 50+ youtube creators took part and produced different ideas for combating hate speech, that will be used in an attractive educational package.

Belgium – French speaking community: A new website was launched with a toolbox (articles, documents, pedagogical tools, videos…) and a private space for discussion for members and online training courses. New tools & workshops were developed: exhibition (20 drawings) about the specificities of online communication + Alter-Narratifs guide (simplified WeCAN methodology, informations about reporting mechanism & 10 useful advices to react constructively to HS). The campaign managed to involve new partner organisations including international NGOs, universities, sport events organizers etc.)

Lithuania: The campaign organised Critical Thinking and Media Literacy Programs, that consisted of two five day trainings during the ‘Critical Thinking Festival’ with the topics of human rights, media literacy, hate speech, stereotypes and propaganda. 90 students from 45 schools participated, the participants organised 300 activities.The campaign team cooperated with Human Library (Gyvoji Biblioteka) to celebrate 7 action days, that allowed us to bring the messages of the Movement to many young people across Lithuania. The campaign team organised and chaired a meeting of NGOs and civil society organizations with the focus on tackling hate speech in Lithuania.

Morocco: The campaign team organized a study day on “The definition of hate speech in Morocco” at the second chamber of Moroccan Parliament last year. They organised 3 workshops at “Rabat capital of youth between May 2016 and April 2017 with the participation of 3200 young people from different countries member of the Arab League. They participated with National Council for Human Rights in international publishing and book fair in Casablanca. They organised the  “Mediterranean Academy For Youth” held in Assilah in August 2016 under the theme “Youth act, Community Impact” with participation with 150 youth coming from different regions of Morocco and coming from Tunisia and Algeria.

Montenegro:  The campaign team organised an action day for Human Rights online when students devoted one day for promoting values of NHSM and our NoHate corner among their peers and teachers through info desk, FB activity and creative games organized in the main school hall. They organised workshops for teachers that participated in two-module training program “Combating hate speech through greater representation of HRE in the school curriculum” in May 2016. They are conducting workshops based on the manuals Bookmarks and Compass.

20170628_152013Portugal: The campaign team launched the Portuguese translation of Bookmarks, they organised 2 training of trainers, one national and one regional, and they organised several awareness raising actions all around the country.

United Kingdom: Further training for the volunteers helped to deliver the national no hate speech tour and local outreach in more competent way. Some groups already adopted the techniques from Bookmarks.

Ireland: The team of Youth Ambassadors has been maintained (lost some and gained some more) largely due to their being able to access and provide funded training residentials (funded by Erasmus, EYF and the Department of Foreign Affairs). Youth ambassadors have been involved in promoting the petition for the legislation on hate crime. Social media and website presence sustained and growing. Videos and other media produced and disseminated with high response rates by viewers.

20170628_153603Norway: Youth ambassadors against hate speech increased visibility of young people as role models in the campaign with a broader outreach to different target groups. It also increased interest from media and other actors and built more capacity to do activities and participate in other events. They organised a youth conference “Together against hate” in October 2016 based on dialogue between young people and government. It increased visibility of the campaign towards target groups and increased focus on combating hate speech. The Norwegian campaign organised a Nordic Training Seminar on CANs in June 2017 also based on the dialogue between young people and politicians and conveying youth message, which gave high visibility in national media. The event empowered youth and promoted tools for creating counter narratives against hate speech.

Mexico: The campaign team organised the first national training course in Spanish with 35 young participants of different origins and interests. They redesigned the national movement with the logo of the international movement, and developed the human rights perspective within the movement. They developed a strong perspective of collaboration between the organiser Conapred and other national governmental organizations and social organizations.

Belarus: the establishment of Association of Youth Workers State Educational Institution “Academy of Postgraduate Education” frequently conducts seminars for instructors, psychologists, cultural organisers on democratic culture and human rights There are ongoing events steadily organised on related topics: within forum-theatres, within the events conducted at universities and schools

Turkey: The supporting ngos’ have developed a relatively large network of activists from all around the country, each individually disseminating the learning outcomes. They have a well-designed website to inform people about the campaign in Turkish language. There was a large banner held by a Volleyball club before a match with high shares on social media, initiated by an activist

Georgia: The national campaign team has published the translation of Bookmarks manual.

Hungary: There are ongoing projects: Bookmarks trainings, No Hate film club, Visegrad (V4) cooperation. The campaign is planned further this year. They produced and published a booklet “Keep calm and stop hate” for school classroom activities. They received financial support from the government.

Poland: The campaign team organised workshops for young people and provided presentation during different conferences.

Spain: The campaign team has published the spanish version of Bookmarks.They organised a training course on Bookmarks, and gave  presentation during conferences, and has made an agreement to translate We CAN manual.

Slovakia: The campaign team has a Strategic plan till the end of 2017. They managed to involve 2 roma organisations in the campaign committee. They have translated the Bookmarks manual which will be published soon. They continue the Visegrad 4 cooperation. They have now 100 multipliers who can work with Bookmarks.

Ukraine: The campaign team has organised a Bookmarks training course and training for activists..

Romania: The national campaign committee made a proper working plan based on which they implemented activities such as: a regional Bookmarks training course in December 2016, with the involvement of Moldova, Romania and Ukraine. The campaign receives constant support from the Romanian Ministry of Youth and Sport. They organised a regional Anti-bullying campaign, implemented in 5 counties. They managed to allocate funds in the County Council Budget in Timis county  for NHSM activities. They involved Save the Children Romania in the national campaign committee. They handed over the NHSM working plan to the new political management of Ministry of Youth after December 2016 general elections. Roughly 250 young people involved in offline campaign activities throughout the country. The romanian translation of         Bookmarks was published in May 2017.

‘The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’: The campaign team has organised training activities that involved police officers and youth branches of political parties.  They created the “School of Hate Speech” financially supported by OSCE FYROM. They made an Alumni network of activists against hate speech. They encouraged the youth political dialogue through combating hate speech.

Armenia: The campaign team involved more youth NGOs in NHSM campaign activities. They translated and published the Bookmarks manual in Armenian. They generated a “self-supported” platform for supporting campaign initiatives throughout the country.

Malta: The campaign is supported by the National Youth Agency. The campaign team has organised many off-line activities, focused a lot on raising awareness about the effect of Hate Speech on young people. They worked with higher education actors. They organised several reachout activities, specifically with young people that are part of the educational system. They organised the Human Rights Conference “The Campaign is mine”.  An estimate of 8000 students were beneficiaries of reach out activities supported since 4th NCC meeting.

Finland: Alliansi has supported NHSM activities. They managed to build a network of 130 Finish NGOs involved in various forms in campaign activities. Alliansi’s Pool of Trainers was used as a resource in organising between about 40 training courses that tackled Hate Speech;. They created a network of Youth Ambassadors in schools.

Cyprus: The campaign team has organised many awareness raising activities. They especially focused activities on the Action Day combating Sexist Hate Speech.

20170628_153036Andorra: The campaign team has organised Human Rights seminars for the National Youth Forum. They also organised equality debate (with the Parliament and the association Som Com Som) on women’s rights, LGBTIQ presence, homophobia and youth employment. They also published a White Book on Equality: a report with an exhaustive list of issues and priorities on equality was produced with the participation of the Social Affairs Ministry, all parliamentary groups, most nationality associations, NGOs and representatives of the LGBTIQ community, disabled people and the elderly.

Austria: They have organised a videogame competition for young people. They created a campaign website and working on a campaign video that will be published soon. Filmmaking project for young creators: to share their views and with independency.

Azerbaijan: There was a recovery of the national campaign committee. There are now more local activities carried out. The campaign team is organising action days and partnerships with businesses and institutions.

Greece: ‘Bookmarks’ is officially school material.  The government has recognized the importance of ‘Bookmarks’ and teachers can use it. The campaign team has produced a publication to educate on hate speech: through a pamphlet, the notion of hate speech is contextualized in Greece and in Greek law as well as what Human Rights are.

Iceland: They produced a comic stripe about internet usage: an educative tool to teach children the consequences of their acts online.

Italy: The national campaign team are receiving increased funds, therefore more actions could be taken. They organised training courses for 6 parishes based on Bookmarks: 1 diocese commanded a training on interreligious and diversity relations to tackle xenophobia in Naples.

Slovenia: The national campaign has established relationship with the government and the Ministry of Education and are now negotiating about the possible campaign in Slovenia.

The Netherlands: The national campaign team has created an anti-discrimination front with 10 organizations. They organised a talk show online for young people about the recruitment done by ISIS. This provides a space for young people to share their struggles and they can manage their anger as well.

Canada: First national training in Quebec. Official support from the government, financial support, a coordinator, committee, activities in schools (400 young people reached),

Bulgaria:  There is no official campaign committee however a few organisations are working with the Movement objectives, spreading the campaign to smaller towns in new regions and reaching out to new audiences. Mostly due to the dedicated work of the volunteers in planning, delivering and attracting more rural young people to the Movement. They have produced improved online content: series of images and infographics, booklets, nohate tattoo.

20170628_154841Germany: The german national campaign team has achieved very good press coverage, especially related to the planned law on hate speech in Germany. About this issue they participated in a talk show hosted by al-Jazeera television. They also hosted a press briefing on hate speech together with the partner “Mediendienst Integration” in the Federal Press Conference. Their social media and general online presence increased reaching more than 10K fans on Facebook, increased the number of videos with victims or experts on online hate speech and published a new season of our own web series “Bundestrollamt für gegen digitalen Hass” (Federal office against digital hate) which were viewed  about 450K times (altogether with the 1st season) so far. Their website is well frequented as well with more than 5m clicks so far. They also developed guidelines for journalists and media outlets dealing with hate speech, with three meetings with journalists and news outlets (Dortmund, Munich and Berlin).

France: The campaign team has gathered 60 young people from the suburbs in the Bataclan, place of the 2015 terrorist attacks and opened a debate on hate speech, and informing them about the tools of the campaign. They have organised a meeting with young Roma people from Strasbourg to discuss the significance of 8 April and about discrimination against Roma with a concerned public. They also organised a day full of varied events for the World Refugee Day (bringing young refugees and people from Strasbourg together) and inform diverse public about the tools of the campaign.

Estonia: The campaign team has translated and published both online and in paperback the Bookmarks manual in Estonian. They have produced 3 campaign videos by most known Estonian youtubers that have reached  67,000 views altogether. They implemented 24 training days for youth workers, including 2 visits to mosque, 2 visits to synagogue and 2 trips to Swedish Fryshuset youth center. 75 youth workers participated in forum event workshops, 3 moderator meetings, 1 forum theatre play.

Summary of conclusions

20170628_155536The national campaigns are facing certain challenges as well. One of the most significant challenges is funding, as its lack and the constant research for funds may often result in losing the momentum (e.g. volunteer coordinators need to devote themselves for paid works, there are no funds for on-spot specific activities with potential high outreach, not having a structured coordination and losing connections and involvement of young people). The funding issue translates as well in the evaluation challenge. With limited resources for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation it is a difficult if not an impossible task. There is also the issue of what to evaluate: measuring outputs, as normally done, doesn’t allow to measure impact – which is challenging to evaluate through the materials and activities done. Another issue relates to the content of the campaign, as the definition of hate speech differs and there are also differences at the national and regional level. In many countries, rise of hate speech resulted in an increasing number of activities/organisations countering hate speech, as well as in a much harsher political environment in which politician are using more explicit hate speech. Definition of hate speech is an issue in terms of legislations in some countries or in terms of different target groups in the national territory, for which programs such as youth ambassadors is a good practice. The target groups of the national campaigns vary but all have in common is to raise awareness amongst young people about the dangers and risks of widely spreading hate speech. Another common issue to many campaigns is the lack of committed volunteers to carry out the projects or activities. Another common problem is the low number of competent trainers available in some countries and thus it is difficulty to train multipliers and youth workers. In order to solve this situation an international training of trainers was suggested and the different national campaigns could send some trainers to participate. In some of the post communists countries the biggest challenge is that the government itself contributes significantly (through public discourse or even by campaigns) to the production and the spreading of hate speech. In this respect the mostly targeted groups are refugees, jewish community members (through hidden antisemitic discourse), independent civil society organisations, members of the LGBT community were mentioned.

The meeting also concluded that most of the national campaigns will continue on different intensity and in different approaches in 2018 and the national campaign teams will further cooperate in order to keep the No Hate Speech Movement alive online as well as offline. Most participants think that the national campaigns should continue after the European coordination is lowered to a minimum support and proposals were made as to how to manage such a transition in order to prevent the national campaign teams from breaking up.


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