Humanists call for human rights centered policies at European Parliament and strategy to combat disinformation

  • post Type / Advocacy News
  • Date / 22 February 2024

During an event at the European Parliament held earlier this month on disinformation and foreign interference in the context of European elections, Humanists International Board member and representative of Dutch Member Organization, Humanistisch Verbond, Boris van der Ham, made a statement highlighting the threats posed by movements against human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. His statement also emphasized the importance of combating discrimination against minorities and addressing misinformation to ensure policies are human rights-centered.

In his address, Van der Ham looked at the growing influence of far-right ideologies and their exploitation of minority groups for political gain. He called on the European Parliament to condemn such ideologies unequivocally and to prioritize communication strategies that engage with diverse perspectives while upholding democratic values.

Van der Ham also stressed the significance of local-level democracy in reinforcing democratic principles and fostering community engagement, and underscored the importance of empowering citizens at the grassroots level to participate actively in decision-making processes.

The seminar was held as part of the Parliament’s Article 17 dialogues, and brought together stakeholders from across Europe to exchange insights and best practices in promoting democratic values and combating disinformation. Topics covered included strategies for countering disinformation, safeguarding democratic principles, and empowering citizens to participate in the electoral process.

The meeting was chaired by the European Parliament’s Vice President Othmar Karas, and other speakers included representatives from: Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union; Conference of European Churches; Conference of European Rabbis; European Buddhist Union; European Association for Free Thought; European Muslim Leaders Majlis; and the Romanian Orthodox Church.

Please see here for a full recording of the event.

Featured photo by Yvan Dheur.

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