Workshop on hate speech and violent extremism

Last Tuesday October the 1st, OPEV’s partners in the Iraqi province of Salahuddin organized a workshop on hate speech and violent extremism. The event was celebrated as a part of the Youth Engagement for Peace project, with the financial support of the United Nations Population Fund and was the fruit of the collaboration between LaOnf, Novact, Un Ponte Per, the Iraqi Civil Society Initiative and the Iraqi Social Forum and OPEV itself. The attendance of the meeting was very diverse as it involved representatives from civil society activist organizations, academics, members of international organizations, legal experts as well as community police and other personalities with expertise in this field. Then, a round table was set in which the causes and methods of dealing with the emergence of hate speech were discussed among the various assistants according to their experiences in order to reach a set of recommendations and steps to follow when countering the rise of violent extremism. Among the agreed conclusions, a need for a closer cooperation among all the actors involved in preventing extremism was expressed and also a call for a revision of the legal and police mechanisms and protocols when identifying and treating cases of hate speech was made.