Research Paper: Using Education to Counter Anti-Refugee and Migrant Hate Speech in Europe
Many European nations are struggling with how to mitigate anti-refugee and anti-migrant hate speech. Education plays a critical role in addressing the drivers, trends and incidences of hate speech, yet there is a lack of research and resources that delineate what programming exists, how it is delivered and what the impact is on segments of society. Education initiatives by faith-based organizations represent a significant portion of programmes countering anti-refugee and anti-migrant hate speech. There is a strong commitment to programming and resources spanning a wide range of faiths and denominations across most of Europe, but there are deficits to be filled, particularly engagement targeting the far right and scalable state-backed education efforts. Drawing on the drivers, causes and triggers of hate speech within groups as a basis for programming would improve education. In addition to considering the multiple foundations of hate speech, organizations that aim to counter its detrimental effects would benefit from knowledge-sharing, collaboration, engagement of a wider array of actors, clear policy communication and a legal framework. If programmes rely mostly on reactive measures, they are less likely to tackle hate speech effectively.