RAISE : what is it about?

Beyond the strict politics in several European countries to strike and stop the hate crimes, is being clear in our daily life that those measures are not enough to build a tolerant society.

 It has been visible that is not only through the law that we can solve this problematic and that prohibitions that censor offensive points of view, usually has the counter effect to the aim of promoting equality once that they doesn’t count with the origins of the problems that drive ‘hate speech.

 On fact, equality is well-promoted through positive measures that increase understanding and tolerance rather than through censorship. (De Latour, Nina Perger, Ron Salaj, Tocchi and Viejo Otero, 2017).

Besides there is no universally accepted definition of hate speech in international human rights law, we decided to take this interpretation to base our work on foster for a society that we believe that needs to be more tolerant, open to its diversity and cohesive: “A hate crime is defined as “any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice” based on one of five categories: religion or belief; race, ethnicity or nationality; sexual orientation; disability; or gender identity”. (Hate Crime, England and Wales,16/17 Aoife O’Neill Statistical Bulletin, Oct.17).

 Hate speech is violation of the human rights and a social phenomenon with deep causes, that usually emerges from particular contexts of unequal social and power relations in society and when social norms and privileges of some are challenged. (de Latour, Nina Perger, Ron Salaj, Tocchi and Viejo Otero, ’17).

We believe that to build this society that we visualize as more tolerant diverse and to decrease the hate speech crimes, in a first instance, we need to have a deep understanding of this phenomenon, by demonstrating the psychologic and social causes and consequences that it can brings not only for the young survivors from these crimes, but also for the oppressors and for ultimate instance, for all society.

 By having a deeper understanding we might find more alternatives to deal with all involved parts on this subject and act in order to create a more cohesive and inclusive society, that allows all citizens, no matter cultural, religious, gender, racial differences to live happily and under no pressure.Regarding the growth of the violent crimes against minorities (see below on the targeted groups), the growth of extremist and mainstream parties and ideas, the development of a hate speech in Europe against what is “different”, we found the need to spread and make clear that the violation of the right to live with no fear and intimidation is a crime, as the violation of any other Human Right.Hate speech affects thousands of people every year, half of the times is followed by physical attacks and the damages that it causes not only to the victims, but also to a whole community are immeasurable.

Feelings of angriness, anxiety and vulnerability are the most common responses, according to a study made in January of 2018 by the University of Sussex in Brighton about the indirect effects of the hate crimes. Besides all the legislation that already exists about this subject, there is a conflict of values in our current societies and it seems problematic for the decision makers (e.g. local authorities, policy makers) to accomplish and to act according to the laws against discrimination.

 Is our concern to understand, reflect and find solutions against the hate speech wave, and specifically, understand the difficulties and damages that victims of hate speech suffer at a psychological and sociological level so forward, we can look for answers and solutions to work effectively, mainly through education, on this huge hate matter.

We look to empower the youth on their achievement of higher levels of self-confidence and on the affirmation of their identities through the work together with youth workers and institutions (through education), giving them tools to empower themselves and to empower the work of the professionals that works with discriminated targeted groups.

The methodologies will include public debates, creation of comics, the share of counter narratives and the use of radio, cinema… besides all other forms of expression that we can use. The GENERAL OBJECTIVE is to explore and develop innovative and effective ways to adress hate speech in Europe, contributing to more equal, intercultural and inclusive youth local communities.

 The importance to carry this project transnationality emerges from the unstable period that Europe is crossing with deep changes happening, the exit of United Kingdom of the EU, the rising of extreme ideas of nationalisms and radicalization and the instability regarding migration policies that instigate even more discrimination.