Addressing hate speech through education: a guide for policy-makers and teachers

How can countries around the world harness the power of education in the fight against online and offline hate speech? UNESCO and the United Nations’ Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect have jointly developed the first guide for policy-makers and teachers, exploring educational responses to this phenomenon and making practical recommendations to strengthen education systems.

Hate speech is spreading faster and further than ever before as a result of social media user growth and the rise of populism. Both online and offline, hate speech targets people and groups based on who they are. It has the potential to ignite and fuel violence, spawn violent extremist ideologies, including atrocity crimes and genocide. It discriminates and infringes on individual and collective human rights, and undermines social cohesion.

Education can play a central role in countering hateful narratives and the emergence of group-targeted violence. Educational responses to hate speech and all forms of hateful communication include:

  • Training teachers and learners on the values and practices related to being respectful global and digital citizens;
  • Adopting pedagogical and whole-school approaches to strengthening social and emotional learning;
  • Revising and reviewing curricula and educational materials to make them culturally responsive and to include content that identifies hate speech and promotes the right to freedom of expression.

More information

More information on countering hate speech

Read the guide