Download the campaing leaflet.
The new campaign has been conceived as a follow-up to the Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland’s 3rd Annual report (2016), recommending “(…) a safe spaces project around teaching controversial issues” supporting educators across Europe as they tackle controversial issues while promoting freedom of expression, inclusion and tolerance.
“…The best response to current challenges faced by democratic societies is the democratic engagement that allows people to develop mutual understanding of one and other as well as a shared set of civic values that can exist alongside their different beliefs… Reasoned debate. Dissent. Diverse and challenging viewpoints. These are the lifeblood of societies which are plural, dynamic, evolving… and capable of living together peacefully too…” (Jagland, 2016)
Schools are increasingly seen as being on the front-line of the battle to deal with threats and challenges to inclusive democratic societies.That is why the new CoE education campaign FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN aims to highlight the commitment to democratic values and principles in the life and culture of schools across Europe. Based on the principles of education for democratic citizenship and human rights, schools across Europe proves every day that the most important role of education is to build inclusive and democratic societies through the democratic engagement and competences of young people.
The FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN campaign will highlight good practices of schools and lift the voices of education professionals and students from all over Europe to provide an inspirational response from practice to policy on the challenges faced by democratic societies in Europe today.
Several topical issues will be addressed through the campaign such as:
- Making children and students’ voices heard in practice;
- Dealing with controversial issues;
- Dealing with propaganda, misinformation and fake news in democratic societies;
- Developing resilience against violent behavior;
- Prevention of bullying, cyber bullying and any violence against girls, children with disabilities, children with special educational needs, as well as children belonging to minority groups;
- Promoting healthy life style and children’s wellbeing