February 15, 2018
By Noemi Lowy
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Human Rights Day, AEGEE-Europe celebrated this recurrence by proposing a series of activities reminding the importance of those under different perspectives and subtopics.
Every year the Council of Europe celebrates Human Rights Day by promoting the No Hate Speech Movement, a campaign that calls upon young people to combat hate speech online and to spread the love for Human Rights “Everyday, Everytime and Everywhere”.
In Budapest, where the European Youth Centre of the Council of Europe is located, the two-day long “Learning to live Together” conference and networking event took place on the 8-9th December 2017 where Noemi Lowy, our Liaison Officer to the Council of Europe, represented us.
On the first day, after the opening speeches a panel discussion commenced with the Ambassadors of France, Norway and Sweden to Hungary, representing the diplomatic, public side of the event. Within the attendees, there were Hungarian NGOs and civic activists who were invited to share their experiences regarding the work they do in order to raise the awareness among young Hungarians about the importance of Human Rights and Civic Education in schools, orphanages, refugee camps, etc. Currently in Hungary, these NGOs face struggles to receive grants due to the unpleasant political scene. Although there is high need of educating the young generation about Social, Political and Human Rights in order to make them responsible citizens who contribute to a better, livable country, and as well to promote social justice for the ones in need. It was good to hear that the above mentioned embassies share these views and values and offered their financial support for projects in regards.
There is certain indifference and apathy that exists in the Hungarian society towards politics among the youth. A not efficient formal education system where there is more focus on lexical knowledge than on practical ways of learning that would foster critical thinking and debating can be one of the reasons.
However, if we look into the bigger picture, going to vote or engaging into politics seems to be a “turnoff” for many young Europeans as well. In AEGEE, we believe that advocating for Civic Education on the European level and promoting its importance with Human Rights Education in our activities is a key factor to “raise” responsible European generation for the present and the future.
During the event, Noemi, who is also a trainer in AEGEE, shared her experience in developing content and delivering sessions on Human Rights Education for young Europeans and learnt new, creative methods in regards from local NGOs that work directly with schools.
At the end of the conference, Noemi could unleash her creativity and recorded a video at the No Hate Speech Campaign booth greeting everyone from Budapest and showing support for Human Rights: ‘Every Day, Everytime, Everywhere’ with her fellow participants, who came from Algeria, Pakistan and Syria to study in Hungary in hope for new opportunities and for a better future.