The International Day for Tolerance is a day committed to the strengthening of tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. This day was founded by the United Nations following the United Nations for Tolerance in 1995. Tolerance is defined as the respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.
There are several ways to counter intolerance as highlighted by the UN:
- Laws: Governments are responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination and for ensuring equal access to dispute settlement.
- Education: Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better.
- Access to information: The most efficient way to limit the influence of hatemongers is to promote press freedom and press pluralism, to allow the public to differentiate between facts and opinions.
- Individual awareness: Intolerance breeds intolerance. To fight intolerance, https://theatm.org/what_we_do/hate-crime/ individuals should become aware of the link between their behaviour and the vicious cycle of mistrust and violence in society.
- Local solutions: When confronted with an escalation of intolerance around us, we must not wait for governments and institutions to act alone. We are all part of the solution.
At the Anti-Tribalism Movement, we have 5 strategic priorities; Produce Leaders, Research, Advocacy, Encourage Dialogue and Foster Tolerance. We work with partners to produce content such as films, publications, plays, organize seminars, reconciliation conferences, events, and training. These challenge existing stereotypes and promote understanding, tolerance awareness of peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. They help both outsiders and tribal communities better understand the complexities of each situation.
We also combat intolerance with our hate crime programme SAVAH. The Somali community is particularly vulnerable to racist and Islamophobic attacks; both of which are on the rise in London. S.A.V.A.H. (Supporting and Advocating for Victims Against Hate) offers the following services for clients:
- Emotional support: a non-judgmental listening ear to help victims to cope with the effects of hate crime. We can also refer clients for specialist counselling if requested.
- Practical support: We will empower victims to understand their options and help them make decisions on what to do in relation to the hate crime, based on their wishes. We can advocate with relevant agencies to achieve desired case outcomes. Actions may include, for example, understanding their rights and responsibilities, helping with police report, liaising with relevant local and housing authorities, accompaniment to court or other legal hearings etc.
- Build networks of support: We will provide a safe space for victims of hate crime to come together, on an entirely voluntary basis, to share coping strategies and empowerment tactics.
Tolerance is crucial to peace and unity in not only our local communities, but the world.