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TRAINING COURSE ‘FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: SPEAK FREE BUT SPEAK NO HATE’

The Training Course “Freedom of expression: Speak free but speak no hate” was organised by the Association for Promotion of Positive Afirmation of Youth in Society IMPRES, in cooperation with ECYON and No Hate Speech Movement Campaign (Youth Campaign of Council of Europe), between 8 and 16 October 2016 in Croatian city Daruvar. The Training Course was funded by European Commission, within the framework of Erasmus + program and National Agency of Croatia.

The project gathered 24 young and active representatives of eight European countries including Slovenia, Armenia, Romania, Azerbaijan, Germany, Turkey, Portugal and, of course, host country Croatia.

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The main objectives of the seminar were to train young people on how to differentiate the freedom of speech and hate speech speech, and to increase their awareness especially about the consequences of online hate speech and the methods to combat hate speech, the role of media and importance of media literacy etc. During the Training Course, the participants were engaged in various simulation activities in which they examined some of the relevant and prominent cases heard by the European Court of Human Rights and which gave them a better understanding of both the relevant case-law of the Court and of the thin line between the freedom of expression and hate speech. Having obtained an increased awareness about the roots of hate speech and discrimination and the need to combat them, the participants were also provided with a deeper insight into a basic human right to be defended: Freedom of Expression.

The project involved significant involvement by ECYON members, especially in the trainers’ team. Overall, the project had a quite positive impact on our team’s further specialisation in the field, by providing a new training module that can be applied in our future activities. Apart from the efficiency of the methods used, the participants’ and the project team’s very positive evaluation also proved the quality of the project in organisational terms, for which we sincerely thank Impres, the organiser, for their continuous efforts to make this a very useful experience for us all.