UNESCO Dedicates International Day Of Education 2024 To Countering Hate Speech

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This year, UNESCO is dedicating the International Day of Education on 24 January to the crucial role education and teachers play in countering hate speech, a phenomenom which has snowballed in recent years with the use of social media, damaging the fabric of our societies.

Hate speech fuels prejudice and discrimination and can enable and normalize violence. Its recent global escalation, amplified by the use of social media and exacerbated by new and protracted crises in different regions, severely impacts the safety and security of communities around the world. On this day, UNESCO urges its member states to prioritize education as a tool for promoting societies which value human dignity and peace.

“The accelerated spread of hate speech is a threat to all communities. Our best defense is education, which must be at the heart of any peace efforts. It is our collective duty to empower learners of all ages to deconstruct hate speech, and lay the foundations for inclusive, democratic and human-rights respecting societies. To succeed, we need to better train and support teachers who are on the front lines in overcoming this phenomenon.” Audrey AzoulayUNESCO Director-General

On January 24, UNESCO will organize a one-day online training for several thousand teachers from around the world on the deconstruction of hate speech, which will give them the tools to better spot, tackle and prevent hate speech incidents. This training is part of UNESCO’s action to help its Member States and education professionals address hate speech through education

The same day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, UNESCO will bring together Ministers, education leaders, and educators from around the globe to discuss the central role of education in achieving sustainable global peace. In November 2023, UNESCO’s 194 Member States adopted a new recommendation which establishes a global framework in this area.

in the next decades, from laws and policies to curricula development, teaching practices, learning environments and assessments. 

In 2023 UNESCO published the guide “Addressing hate speech through education” to help decision-makers strengthen their public policies in this area. The Organization is also stepping up its efforts to promote anti-racist guidelines and address racism in textbooks as well as a global initiative to combat antisemitism in and through education.

UNESCO

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