WJC @ UNHRC: Education's role in building an inclusive society
Representative delivering the statement: Mr. Leon Saltiel
Thank you Madam President.
We thank the Special Rapporteur on Education for her report. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to take all necessary measures to overcome what is not only a health crisis but also an education and human rights crisis.
The World Jewish Congress has long prioritized education as a main pathway to build inclusive, respectful and vibrant societies. We have partnered with UNESCO on a number of projects including a series of workshops to train education ministry officials from more than 60 countries on how to combat antisemitism through education.
The current health crisis has brought to the surface alarming levels of racism and bigotry, stereotyping of minorities, antisemitic conspiracy myths and misinformation. The online sphere has been inundated with absurd accusations such as that Jews invented the virus so that they can profit from it.
These phenomena reveal great flaws and deficiencies in education systems around the world. Young people lack critical thinking, digital literacy, democratic citizenship education and basic empathy towards the other.
It is high time that governments around the world prioritize equipping their youngest citizens with the tools to be able to confront and oppose these messages of hatred and division.
Madam Rapporteur, what measures would you recommend for governments to take so that the youth would not be susceptible to racism and antisemitism, conspiracy myths and words of bigotry, as revealed by the present crisis?
To read more about WJC's activities at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Right's Council, click here.