Policy-makers from Latin America and the Caribbean join together to counter antisemitism through education

No hate no fear

UNESCO organised a workshop for policy-makers from Latin America and the Caribbean in partnership with the Latin American Jewish Congress to promote education to address antisemitism on 25 and 26 April 2022.

The workshop was the first of its kind to take place in the region. It was attended by 60 policy-makers from 14 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.  

Key experts on antisemitism from the OSCE/ODIHR, Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and University College London shared knowledge and strategies to address antisemitism in schools, and through the development of teacher training programmes.

Experts from Latin America shared the latest research about the status of antisemitism in the region, and strategies to address the issue of antisemitism through Holocaust education that will resonate with local audiences.

"The problem of antisemitism is not only a problem for Jews but for society as a whole. Hate speech, which in each era adopts different expressions and formats, undermines peace and inhibits the creative and innovative potential that lies in diversity. The joint work between Member States, organizations and civil society is of the utmost importance to build coexistence and eradicate antisemitism and all forms of discrimination," said Jack Terpins, President of the Latin American Jewish Congress.

Speaking at the event, Mr Fernando Lottenberg shared his plans for the region in his newly appointed position as Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism from the Organization of American States.

Mary Guinn Delaney, head of the Transformative Education Section of OREALC/UNESCO Santiago, opened the workshop. "Education is one of the most effective responses to counter hate and discrimination. We need to empower students to be active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and safe societies, and who understand that these types of problems are global in nature," she said.

The workshop aimed to sensitize policy-makers on what teachers must know and do to be able to teach about antisemitism, prevent antisemitism and respond to antisemitism in school environments.

Following the workshop, UNESCO will work directly with Ministries of Education from the region to support teacher training to address antisemitism and promote regional partnership and networks to help facilitate national and local initiatives.

The event forms part of a series of national and sub-regional capacity building workshops that UNESCO organised since in Southeast Europe, North Macedonia, India and Central Asia, South Caucasus and the Russian Federation.

UNESCO is committed to enlisting the power of education to counter the rise of antisemitism, and promote teaching strategies to build the resilience of young people against Holocaust denial and distortion and conspiracy theories.