#YouthAgainstHate: Empowering Youth to Combat Hate Speech in Local Communities

Region/Country: Serbia

Timeframe/dates: December 2017 – March 2018

Founder: OSCE Mission to Serbia

YouthagainstHate_1The Media Diversity Institute Western Balkans implements the new #YouthAgainstHate project, which aims to increase resilience of young people in local Belgrade communities by equipping them with tools and opportunities to identify, expose and combat hate speech, including hate speech online.

The project objectives are to empower young people to actively contribute to community resilience by assuming a constructive role in countering hateful narratives and social marginalisation. The main premise in the project design is the proven link between hate speech, discrimination and marginalisation; all indicated as push factors toward radicalisation and violent extremism.

Key activities:

  • Training 16 young people in Serbia to build their capacities to recognise, combat and raise awareness about online hate speech and to teach them how to transfer their knowledge onto peers;
  • Organising educational activities for schoolchildren in Belgrade;
  • Organising a debate with key stakeholders to discuss violent extremism, its forms, scopes and prevention;
  • Exposing different forms of manipulation in the language through publishing a series of articles named “Linguistic Self-defence Guide”;
  • #YouthAgainstHate project is supported by OSCE Mission in Serbia as part of the project ’CVE in Serbia: Early warning and prevention’.

This project builds on experiences from the Stop the Hate project, through which 16 peer educators have implemented 15 workshops in schools and local youth offices, and wrote 9 blogs and articles about different issues related to hate speech.