This training activity held in Bulgaria in January 2019 equipped youth workers with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop practical tools and counterarguments to online hate speech, especially the ones used against refugees and migrants, which they can use in work with young people in their local communities. The specific objectives of the project for youth workers were:
-To recognize what online hate speech is.
-To know the difference between freedom of speech and what is prohibited, such as illegal hate speech.
-To understand how social media is used to recruit followers to the hate speech narrative, especially the ones against against migrants and refugees
-To provide advice and information regarding the different institutions promoting the respect and the protection of human rights across Europe.
-To introduce youth workers the “Bookmarks” (revised version 2016). The manual for combating hate speech online through human rights education.
-To strengthen the role of youth organisations in identifying and speaking up against illegal online hate speech and those human rights violations affecting especially young people.
-To develop youth workers’ competencies in planning cross border and international campaign for combating online hate speech.
In addition, participants received the YOUTHPASS certificate and it was used to specify the knowledge and skills gained as a result of their participation in the training activities. This activity also produced a sustainable positive effect on youth organisations from where participants come from. In fact, there will be several follow-up projects on online hate speech in partners local community using the knowledge acquired throughout the training activities.