Hate speech is on the rise across the world and has the potential to incite violence, undermine social cohesion and tolerance, and cause psychological, emotional and physical damage through xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, hatred against Muslims and other forms of intolerance and discrimination (UN, 2020). Because history has shown us that genocides and other atrocities always started with words, countering this hate speech today is a collective responsibility, in order to prevent future violence.
In June 2019, UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a strategy to strengthen the United Nations response to the global phenomenon of hate speech. As part of the implementation of the United Nations Hate Speech Strategy and Action Plan, the Secretary-General asked UNESCO, in partnership with the United Nations Office for Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG), to organize the World Conference of Ministers of Education to be held on October 26, 2021. The Conference will build on the first Multi-stakeholder forum on Combating Hate Speech Through Education which took place from September 30 to October 1, 2021.
In this context, education can play a fundamental role in combating hatred online and offline, and helping to counter the emergence of violence targeted at certain groups of the population. The development of educational responses aimed at strengthening the resilience of learners in the face of rhetorics of exclusion and hate is also at the heart of the program. Education 2030, and more particularly of the target 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which touches on the social, moral and humanistic objectives of education.
Find the full program here.