A counter-narrative for human rights protection

A counter-narrative for human rights protection

We have been watching in Europe (and all around the world) an increasing wave of violence and radical movements. Privileged targets of these nationalist and xenophobic movements, the migrants and the minorities suffer each time more moral attacks and episodes of social exclusion. This tendency, per se already serious, is even more preoccupying since it exists a profound fracture between those who justify these episodes, in the light of necessity to guarantee a bigger safety, and those who reject them completely, for being antidemocratic acts above all, harmful to human rights.

In this process, the digital platforms, next to mainstream media, play such a significant as an ambiguous role, which contributes not only for the conflict resolution, but also its spreading. This is because, on the one hand, social networks are used by various sensibilization initiatives that aim to fight against the racial hatred phenomena, but on the other hand, the networks themselves are spreaders of false information, originating violence acts and hatred crimes.

With the aim of promoting a counter-narrative that defends the importance and the respect for the human rights, it was created a consortium led by the Italian ONG GVC and integrated by seven other institutions, representatives of five European countries: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Cyprus. In Portugal 4Change works in partnership with Universidade Lusófona. The objective is to promote a counter-narrative that defends the importance and the respect for the human rights.

From this collaboration is born the MigratED project, that aims to involve teachers and trainers of schools and institutions from the Lisbon region in an effort of general and interpersonal consciousness, bringing together the mainstream and digital media and having as main tools the “participative video” and the work between pairs of the younger participants.

Knowing of the challenge that teachers and trainers face in the use of digital tools but also keeping in mind their fundamental role in the true change of mentalities, MigratED wants to facilitate the involvement through digital means and the approximation to the migration topics to support and effective and fructuous work with their students – teenagers between 15 and 20 years old defined as the main target of this project.

All the participants are involved in the production of sensibilization materials, workshops and conferences, a process that will end with the participation in the Cinema Festival Terra di Tutti, an annual event in Bologne, which uses the movie and video as tools to promote social questions and the human rights.