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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ex Norway PM launches anti cyber xenophobia campaign

The Council states that cyberspace is inundated by an overflow of xenophobia, intolerance, and discrimination.

“Hate speech online has recently turned into a major form of human rights abuse, with serious consequences online and offline,” they say in a statement.
Representatives say that today’s societies face a pressing challenge due to increased spreading, inciting, justifying, or promoting expressions of hatred amongst young people on the Internet.
“Prejudice based on aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, hostility against minorities, bigotry on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, anti-Semitism, misogyny, christianophobia, cyber-bullying, anti-gypsyism and islamophobia: the potential negative impact of online communication on democratic development has caused several reasons for concern,” the statement reads.
As an answer to pressing threats, the Council of Europe has established an initiative, the ‘Youth project on combating Hate Speech Online’.
It is aimed at giving young people and youth organizations with the necessary skills to identify and fight racism and discrimination appearing in online hate speech.
Young bloggers and youth organizations will receive training at the European Youth Centers in Strasbourg and Budapest “with an innovative capacity building approach on activating sane social networks’ communities.
Friday’s event, aimed at changing attitudes and mobilizing people to uphold human rights online, will be combined with national youth campaigns starting in 33 Council of Europe states, with EEA Norway Grants and voluntary contributions from Finland, and the French-speaking Community of Belgium.
Thorbjørn Jagland, Labour (Ap) Prime Minister of Norway between 1996 and 1997, assumed his post as Council of Europe Secretary General in 2009. He is also current Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

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