The Erasmus+ project “Speak Peace Not Hate” organized by CIA Centre of Innovative Approaches in partnership with ABCD Innovation Centre took place in London, UK from 07/06/2018 to 14/06/2018. Learning mobility projects of youth workers support the professional development of youth workers by enabling them to acquire new skills and professional experiences. Altogether 27 NGO representatives and youth workers from 8 countries participated in the training course, which has four phases – I Training in London, June 2018, II Implementation of local actions/initiatives, June-July 2018, III Advanced planning visit for the youth exchange in Ukraine 2-3 July 2018, IV Youth exchange in Ukraine 23 July – 1 August, 2018. 

The main methodology of the training course is based on non-formal learning, human rights promotion, experiential, intercultural approaches. The daily programme of the course was based on learning objectives, facilitated by experienced trainers Zek Dundar and Umit Kaan Cengiz. The overall aim and specific objectives of the project  are :

  • To promote democratic values and fundamental rights, social inclusion and nondiscrimination, as well as interactive dialogue,
  • to develop the skills and motivation for young people to recognize online hate speech and to become ‘online activists’ for human rights,
  • to provide the participants with tools to organize online and offline campaigns focused on combating with.

Online hate speech takes place over the Internet, mainly social media platforms with the purpose to attack a person or a group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender.  Hate speech online is situated at the intersection of multiple tensions: it is the expression of conflicts between different groups within and across societies. It is a vivid example of how technologies with a transformative potential such as the Internet bring with them both opportunities and challenges. It implies complex balancing between fundamental rights and principles, including freedom of expression and the defense of human dignity. The Internet’s speed and reach makes it difficult for governments to enforce national legislation in the virtual world. Some of the companies owning the private spaces for expression have become more responsive towards tackling the problem of hate speech online. The character of online hate speech and its relation to offline speech and action are widely talked about by politicians, activists, businessmen  and academics. The character of perceived hate speech and its possible consequences has led to placing much emphasis on the solutions to the problem and on how they should be grounded in international human rights norms, as certain types of such content emerge, diffuse and might lead to actual discrimination, hostility and violence.   

Armenia was represented by two participants from ABCD Innovation Centre Liana Barseghyan and Anna Vanyan. At the beginning of the training course the participants had introduction, getting-to-know each other and integration activities. Then the key terms of hate speech and freedom of speech were distinguished, defined  and discussed in teams and with the whole group.  Afterwards the participants were asked to describe the main types, challenges, legislation and ways of combating hate speech in the representative countries.   Some other issues like Hate, Cyber hate and International law, private life and safety of young people were presented and tackled through several case studies. During the training the participants were provided with knowledge and skills to raise awareness about the given issue in their community locally, also on Internet literacy  and tools for youth how to respond to cases of online hate speech, work and collaborate to prevent and reduce its expression.  Finally the participants worked on and presented their action plans about how they are going to develop the activities with young people in their home countries. At the end of the training course the results were finalized, reflection and evaluation of the project were carried out. 

Liana & Anna

“Speak Peace Not Hate “ in London, UK

Power to the people

ABCD Innovation Center