UNAOC to hold Cairo symposium on hate speech against migrants, refugees

Ahram Online , Sunday 10 Dec 2017

The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations launched the #SpreadNoHate initiative in 2015, aiming to highlight and counter negative media coverage of refugees and migrants


The United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) will hold a “#SpreadNoHate” symposium in Cairo on hate speech against migrants and refugees in the media, 13 December, in collaboration with the Egypt Media Development Programme (EMDP).

In a press release Thursday, UNAOC said next Wednesday’s symposium will shed light on the various dimensions of migration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, their media coverage, and lessons learned by journalists.

“The influence of the media in shaping public opinion and in setting the agenda of public debates is crucial,” said High Representative for UNAOC Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.

“This new #SpreadNoHate Symposium will help draft additional recommendations for preventing negative narratives against migrants and refugees and mitigating the impact of hate speech,” Al-Nasser added.

Around 80 selected participants, with a particular emphasis on engaging journalists working in the region, were invited by UNAOC to attend the symposium, which will also include migrants and refugees, representatives of international organisations, representatives of think-tanks, the private sector, academia, and civil society.

The symposium draws on the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 19 September 2016 and on its commitment to counter hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence.

The symposium also interlocks with the UN’s TOGETHER initiative to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees. It will be covered by UNAOC on social media using its official Twitter account @UNAOC with questions and comments encouraged on the #SpreadNoHate hashtag.

In 2015, UNAOC launched the #SpreadNoHate initiative, aiming to engage international media outlets in a dialogue on hate speech and ways of countering it.

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