Call: Nordic Conference – Youth Network Against Hate Speech

Are you concerned about the threat of hate speech to youth participation and inclusion? Do you want create a safe arena for Nordic cooperation and strengthening the abilities of the youth to counter hate speech in their environments? Join the conference and found a Nordic Youth Network Against Hate Speech at Utøya in Norway from 5-9 September 2024
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Where? Utøya island, one hour from Oslo, Norway.
When? Thu 5 – Mon 9 September 2024.
Who? Young people age 16-30 from Nordic countries and regions.
How much? Free travel, food and accommodation.
Application deadline is 10 June 23 June (deadline extended)

Why a Nordic Network Against Hate Speech?

Hate speech is a concerning phenomenon in all the Nordic countries. The rise of far-right political activity along with racism and discrimination are narrowing the public space for discussions on human rights and democracy. In order to counter hate speech and strengthen youth participation we need to be organised. 

With a Nordic network we wish to strengthen the participating youth’s sense of agency and the feeling of belonging to a community and tackle themes of discrimination, racism, far-right political activity and violent extremism among other topical issues.  

We aim to create a continuing Network organised by Nordic youth themselves, where we define the problems we face and the activities we need to engage in to solve them. The study visit is a place to develop the knowledge and understanding we need to succeed.

Objectives:

  • Create a sustainable Nordic Network that can continue its activities into the future
  • Jointly develop action plans and guidelines for network members
  • Create Nordic youth ambassadors against hate speech
  • Cultural and knowledge exchange through networking
  • Raising awareness of the network through social media

Background

In august 2023 seven young people met in Oslo, together they made a plan for a nordic youth network against hate speech and applied for funding. One year later the dream is becoming reality when 35 young people from all eight Nordic countries and autonomous regions meet at Utøya to learn about hate speech and create a sustainable Nordic network that can bring young people together in the years to come.

An interim steering group with three youth selected from Iceland, Norway and Finland has planned and prepared the conference.  At the conference a steering group with 13 youth from all 8 countries and regions represented will be established to take the network to the next step. 

Participant profile

We invite youth age 16-30 years of age from the 8 countries and autonomous regions to take part in the conference. There will be 4 people each from Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and 2 people each from Greenland, Faroe Islands and Åland. 

Participants should:

  • Be interested in and have experience in Nordic cooperation, human rights activism, anti hate-speech, antiracism and being an active member of society
  • Be ready to take an active role as network members, either in social media, through local activities or as steering group members, etc.

We strive to promote equality and accessibility in our recruitment process. Our goal is to form a diverse group that includes people from different ethnicities, language groups, gender and sexual identities etc as well as different backgrounds in terms of experiences and education. We believe that diversity in the group brings value to the conversations and helps us tackle the themes of hate speech widely. Your personal information is stored securely and will not be shared with other Network members.

Participants who are interested in becoming the first fully Nordic steering group you should be available for the steering group meeting in Finland on either 25-27 Oct or 1-3 Nov.

Safer space guidelines

All participants are required to follow the safer space guidelines during the conference. The guidelines will be briefed and discussed at the beginning of the event. You can familiarize yourself with the guidelines beforehand via the Allianssi safer space guidelines. For further reading you can read The Finnish Peace Education Institute’s (RKI) webpage for creating a safer space. The safer space guidelines are used to make the conference a space where we can tackle discrimination and create dialogue together. 

Utøya, a place to learn

On the 22nd of Juli in 2011 the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, 8 at the government quarter of Oslo and 69 at the summer camp of the labour youth. He saw the young people as traitors because they supported a multicultural and diverse society. He was inspired by right-wing extremist ideologies and hate speech online. Since then the island has been reclaimed and is today a place for young people to remember, learn and get engaged from what happened, and continue the spirit of the youth who fell victim to the terrorists attack.

To visit can be both a strong experience, but also creates a meaningful context to work against hate speech and for human rights. A visit always starts with a tour where you learn the history and the context of the island as a camp place of the labour movement to the place to learn about democracy and human rights it is today. 

Travel, food and accommodation

We cover the most reasonable travel to Utøya from your place of residence. Utøya lies one hour outside Oslo. We will organise transport from Oslo to the Island. Arrivals will be Thu 5 in the evening, and departures Mon 9 in the afternoon. Accommodation is organised in basic standard cabins at Utøya, and food is prepared and enjoyed at the cantina according to food preferences and allergies.

Draft program

Thu 5 SepFri 6 SepSat 7 SepSun 8 SepMon 9 Sep





Arrivals to Oslo / Utøya
08.30 Breakfast08.30 Breakfast08.30 Breakfast08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Check-in10.00 Introductions- expectations, social guidelines, – nordic network, why and what?
11.00 Witness conversation with Utøya survivor 
09.30 Check-in and Nordic ambassadors
10.00 Workshopson privilege, dialogue and debate
09.30 Check-in and network steering group
10.00 Workshop: Network action plan 
09.30 Check-in and next steps
10.00 Conclusions and evaluation
12.30 Lunch12.30 Lunch12.30 Lunch12.30 Lunch
16.00 Welcome, introductions and guided tour14.00 Activity – What is hate speech?
15.30 Sharing experiences on hate speech
14.00 Flash panel on hate speech with activists and experts
Activism and creative ways to fight hate speech
14.00 Workshop: National campaigns / projects13.30 Departures to Oslo / Airport
17.30 Check-out17.30 Check-out17.30 Check-out
18.30 Dinner18.30 Dinner18.30 Dinner18.30 Dinner
20.00 Team-building and ice-breakers20.00 Culture evening and quiz20.00 Movie night 20.00 Talent show 

Who are organising the study visit?

The conference is led by a youth steering group consisting of in total 9 people from Iceland, Finland and Norway selected to represent the organisations Heimili og Skóli, the Peace Education Institute and No Hate Speech Movement Norway (Stopp hatprat). 

The project is funded by Norden 0-30, a funding programme for young people in the Nordic Region set up by The Nordic Committee for Children and Young People (NORDBUK).