The European Union and the Council of Europe supported the 26th generation of the Human Rights School in Montenegro, this year with a focus on hate speech

Montenegro 22 November 2022
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The European Union and the Council of Europe supported the 26th generation of the Human Rights School in Montenegro, this year with a focus on hate speech

"My expectations from the School were over met. It was very educational and interactive with great lecturers“.

By these words, one participant described his impressions about the participation in the 26th generation of the Human Rights School organised by the partner NGO Centre for Civic Education (CCE) in the period 30 September - 2 October. Twenty-four secondary school students from Podgorica, Tuzi and Zeta successfully completed the School.

The three-day interactive educational journey about human rights aimed at presenting human rights concepts and protection mechanisms in a manner understandable to students, with special focus on the human rights of the most marginalised groups in Montenegro. The fight against hate speech and its contribution to decreasing stigmatisation, discrimination and violence against marginalised groups, were at the heart of this year's School activities. The entire work with students was a combination of lectures, workshops, films` projections, living libraries, debates and group discussions. Representative of the Council of Europe and one of members of the Young European ambassadors Network were amongst the lecturers.

The Human Rights School was followed with a series of workshops titled "Youth Blocking Hate, Sharing Love!" to discuss potential solutions for problems identified by participants, embedding the seminars in the approach and activities of the joint European Union and Council of Europe campaign 'Block the hatred, share the love'. Three workshops, which took place in the first half of November in three high schools in Podgorica and Tuzi, were also a great opportunity to empower young people to fight against hate speech, as well as to be the ones who will prevent it in the future. An added value of workshops could be found in the fact that they were delivered by Human Rights School participants. This way, they felt an immediate benefits of taking part in the School. One of them, a student of the Medical School, explained his experience in a following way: "My experience as an educator on this topic was useful and I believe that young people can fight against hate speech, because only in a society where everyone is equal and where there is no hate speech, one can live normally."

A statement of the Active Citizenship Programme Co-ordinator of the CCE, Zeljka Cetkovic, summarised the best short-term outcomes of these activities on young people. "We at the Centre for Civic Education are proud of our young workshop participants who expressed readiness to be an active voice against hate speech and as new young activists stand up for the protection of the human rights of the most vulnerable groups.Young people want to speak, they want to contribute to addressing problems that concern us all. It is only necessary to give them a chance to be heard".

The granting scheme on local initiatives against hate speech in Montenegro is conducted within the action “Promotion of diversity and equality in Montenegro”, part of the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”.