By Anja, YouAct member

Youth Against Online Discrimination2

From the 19th to the 23rd of March, I had the pleasure of representing YouAct at the study session “Youth Against Online Discrimination”, which took place at the European Youth Centers in Strasbourg. The study session was organised by Youth Sexual Awareness for Europe (YSAFE) in partnership with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) and the Digital Leadership Institute (DLI) with support of the Youth Department of the Council of Europe. The study session had the purpose of enabling young people to understand intersectionality and identify and address discrimination online.

The five-day study session was divided into sessions which focused on familiarizing participants with the international human rights frameworks, defining discrimination and intersectionality, talking about hate speech, learning about digital skills and cyber security and finally, working on project development.

During the study session, I specifically appreciated the sessions on digital skill building, where we were introduced to search engine optimization and many tried coding for the first time. The study session addressed the fact that gender and sexual orientation are some of the most common targets for online hate speech. Young people are especially vulnerable online while operating on several social media platforms, not necessarily knowing the potential risks.

The study session provided comprehensive knowledge on human rights frameworks and how to use these as an advocate and an activist. The study session gave some participants their first experience in working with project development. Finally, it provided a great setting for networking among some very passionate and inspiring young people from 17 different countries in Europe and Central Asia. This networking will hopefully develop into many productive youth and SRHR partnerships across the region, something I believe is key to make sure that all young people fully enjoy their sexual and reproductive rights.