For the Action Day against Hate Speech Targeting Refugees marked on the 20th of June, the Council of Europe has called for a speedy and systematic reaction by public figures to the instances of hate speech against refugees and asylum seekers, and stressed the positive role the youth can play in integrating refugees in European societies.
“Every person has a right to seek protection from persecution and war,” said Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Council of Europe Secretary General on migration and refugees. “I would like to encourage public figures – politicians, religious and community leaders – to swiftly and decisively condemn hate speech and also to reinforce in their discourse those values that unite Europeans during the most difficult times: respect for human rights for all”.
“The 20th of June, World Refugee Day, is an opportunity for all of us to show support for people who come to Europe fleeing tragedy in their home countries, in search of peace and safety for themselves and their children,” he added.
More than a million people crossed into Europe in 2015 fleeing war, persecution and poverty at home. This unprecedented wave of migration has led to the increase of hostile attitudes towards refugees, and of islamophobic and xenophobic hate speech at all levels.
Source: Council of Europe press release