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The European Union and the Council of Europe officially launched the “Block the hatred. Share the love!” campaign at an event in Sarajevo, delivering a message that every citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina can play an important role in reducing hate speech with positive language and mutual respect.
During the event it was stressed that anyone can be exposed to hate speech, but that vulnerable groups are certainly most affected. Preventing hate speech is something that largely depends on an individual, but each person can educate themselves about its consequences and take action.
Acting Deputy Head of the EU Delegation, Jurgis Vilcinskas, said that the EU will not stand idle, being ready to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in fighting hate speech. “Violence that happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media; it is real violence, but social media offer us ways to challenge this and promote tolerance and mutual understanding online. I believe that this campaign will help us amplify messages of peace and diversity,” said Vilcinskas.
The “Block the Hatred. Share the Love!” campaign aims to combat various forms of hate speech targeting specific communities and individuals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also to inform the public, especially younger generations, by distributing anti-hate speech content on social media and holding public events. These activities will involve prominent public figures, institutions, and activists, who will promote diversity and equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region, through personal storytelling, testimonies and exchange of good practices.
The campaign is implemented within the “Promotion of diversity and equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina” initiative, which is part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022 programme .
Source: Council of Europe
Photo credits: Council of Europe
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