#SpreadNoHate: A Global Dialogue on Hate Speech Against Migrants and Refugees in the Media
The media play a crucial role in influencing public perception of migrant and refugee populations and their integration by providing accurate, well researched and objective reporting and analysis. However, both deliberate and unintentional negative portrayals of immigrants and refugees are often found in the media, thus negatively impacting people’s views of these communities. In this context, creative measures are needed.
In 2015, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) launched the #SpreadNoHate initiative, a platform engaging global media in a dialogue on hate speech and the sharing of best practices to combat it.
Latest Event: Brussels Symposium in Partnership with the EU (January 2017)
The fourth #SpreadNoHate symposium, co-organized by UNAOC and the European Union (EU) drew on the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016 and on its commitment to counter hate crimes, hate speech, and racial violence. Topics discussed at the Brussels symposium included the role of media in the rise of populism, the triggers and mechanisms of hate speech against migrants and refugees, and the role of Internet intermediaries in combating hate speech. The symposium was the number 1 trending topic on Twitter in Belgium. Speakers included Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Cecile Kyenge, former Italy’s Minister for Integration, and David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression. UNAOC and the EU will soon issue a full report with recommendations for preventing negative narratives against migrants and refugees, and mitigating the impact of hate speech.
UNGA71 Side Event, United Nations Headquarters, New York (September 2016)
The third #SpreadNoHate debate took place at the UN Headquarters in New York in the margins of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on 15 September 2016. This third phase of the initiative focused on media practice and on the building of positive narratives to prevent and counter xenophobia against migrants and refugees in the media. This side event was co-sponsored by the European Union (EU), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malta to the UN. The event provided a platform for important discussions in preparation for the UNGA High Level Summit on refugees and migrants on 19 September.
7th UNAOC Global Forum, Baku, Azerbaijan (April 2016)
The second #SpreadNoHate discussion took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, during the 7th UNOAC Global Forum, April 25-27 2016. During this second phase, speakers spoke at length about the role of media literacy and online human-rights education in countering hate speech. They argued that teaching users – especially young generations – to develop inclusive dialogue online and appropriate tools to react to hateful content are crucial in the combat against hate speech. Speakers included Raphael Minder, Spain and Portugal Correspondent, The New York Times, and Dr. Jolene Jerard, Research Fellow, International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Launch Event, United Nations headquarters, New York (December 2015)
UNAOC launched the #SpreadNoHate initiative on 2 December 2015 with a one-day symposium at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Participants examined the different measures that have been taken globally to counter hate speech, and discussed their limitations. They also explored the reasons why hate speech remains a pervasive element that contributes to violent extremism, and the link between hate speech and the treatment of migrants. Panelists included Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications & Public information; John Yearwood, World Editor of The Miami Herald; Agnes Callamard, Director, Global Freedom of Expression & Information, Columbia University; and Michael Oreskes, Editorial Director, NPR. This launch event reached millions of people online, and the official hashtag #SpreadNoHate trended in New York.
STRATEGIC MEDIA CAMPAIGN & RECOMMENDATIONS
In addition to a series of global symposia, the UNAOC hate speech initiative consists of a social media campaign (#SpreadNoHate) that has reached millions of people online globally. Moreover, at the conclusion of the cycle of hate speech symposia, UNAOC will publish a full report comprising a concrete set of recommendations. The report will be made available for download on the UNAOC website and on the websites of partner organizations, in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. The Alliance will also share the report with its international network of media organizations, media experts, government officials and institutions of higher education across the globe. Finally, the report will serve as a foundation for subsequent UNAOC initiatives in the area of media and migration.
The UNAOC hate speech initiative benefits journalists of all nationalities, advocates, policy-makers and the general public by providing them with a more complete and nuanced understanding of the topic of hate speech and with concrete measures to combat it. It also contributes to a richer public debate and better media coverage of sensitive issues related to minorities globally.
UNAOC Calls for Hate Speech Crackdown in Baku, Azerbaijan
UNAOC Kicks Off the First of a Series of Symposia on the Hate Speech Initiative – 2 December 2015, UNHQ New York
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