Youth to Combat Hate Speech in Local Communities in Serbia

Published: 2 February 2018

Country: Serbia

YouthAgainstHate_2The Media Diversity Institute Western Balkans has launched its new project #YouthAgainstHate in Serbia. The 4-month long project 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 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.

In the formal education in Serbia there is not enough material about digital and media literacy, or about human rights and freedom of expression. That is one of the reasons for the #YouthAgainstHate project to strengthen and support the role of non-formal civic education in prevention of extremism. The project also aims to diminish some of the stereotypes present online, as well as to fight anti-social and radical views, to counter propaganda and to improve understanding of the role and responsibilities in the society.

In order to achieve long-term results, the project management team of MDI Western Balkans will establish a group of youth peer-educators and equip them with practical knowledge and tools creating education materials available in print and online.

This project relies on young people and aims to raise their capacities to take action, to act as community leaders and educators and to contribute to increased resilience to radicalisation of young people in their local communities.

#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.