The fight against hate speech in Macedonia continues – this Fall the Center for Intercultural Dialogue (CID) implemented the third annual “School against Hate Speech”, as part of the National Campaign Committee in Macedonia, with technical support from the OSCE Mission in Skopje and financial support from the French embassy. It is a national training for multipliers that gathered 25 Macedonian students, youth activists, youth workers motivated in developing their competences in dealing with hate speech; its main aim was to educate youth workers and activists how to deal with discrimination, intolerance, hate speech and the rise of violence and hate crimes through the approach of human rights education.
The three stages of the project are taking place between September and December of 2014, as follows:
- 10 September – 05 October – online research and local community mapping on the topic of Hate Speech
- 08-12 October – residential training in Berovo and developing action plans
- October-December – implementation of the action plans in the participants´ communities.
The participants were given the task to gather the data on the local situation regarding hate speech – how present it is, how much youngsters are aware of it, how they are usually dealing with hate speech. With the results in mind they met in Berovo for a training designed to exploit their research and develop specific personal actions to implement in their communities. The proposed activities included discussions on how to define the concept of ´hate speech´ and how to protect the freedom of speech while detecting hate speech, understanding the legal frame of ´hate speech´ and ´hate crime´, as well as learning how to use the mechanisms on combating hate speech on the national level. The expert input on how to recognize hate speech and deal with it appropriately came from the guest speakers (from Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Macedonia, OSCE Mission in Skopje and the French Embassy in Macedonia) and facilitated the overall understanding of the issue.
During the third stage the participants are focusing on the implementation of their action plans in their schools, youth centers, NGOs, etc. A short follow-up meeting will be organized in December in order to evaluate the results from the activities, to share practices and to develop a plan for future work.
The photos are available at https://www.facebook.com/CenterForInterculturalDialogue