UK Youth Parliament launch campaign in partnership with Kick It Out
The UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) has today announced their year-long campaign, in partnership with Kick It Out, to tackle racism and religious discrimination with a National Day of Action.
The ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’ campaign aims to help young people speak out about incidents of racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim or Jewish.
Kick It Out will be utilising its new young people’s group, comprised of ambassadors between the ages of 16 and 21, to help create promotional and educational resources for the campaign.
Over the next year, Kick It Out’s young people’s group will campaign together with the UKYP to challenge negative attitudes around race and religion, to educate communities in order to tackle ignorance around race and religion, and to promote integration in those communities.
The ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’ campaign begins against the backdrop of a significant rise in race and religion-related hate crimes across the UK between 2014 and 2015, according to Home Office figures.
In England and Wales, there were 42,930 race-related hate crimes (representing a 15 per cent increase from the year before) and 3,254 religion related hate crimes, a 43 per cent increase from the year before.
The campaign follows on from the Make Your Mark ballot which took place in the autumn of 2015, with race and religion-related hate crimes nominated by 95,000 young people as the issue they believed was most important to tackle.
In November 2015, Members of the Youth Parliament voted in the House of Commons to make this their national campaign for 2016.
Roisin Wood, Director of Kick It Out, expressed her delight at the commencement of the campaign: “Kick It Out is pleased to be working in partnership with Youth Parliament for the ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’ campaign.
“With hate-crime statistics increasing in England and Wales, Kick It Out is urging immediate action to be taken to eradicate this behaviour across football and society. The Youth Parliament is leading the way on this matter by being proactive in raising awareness of hate-crime and its negative effects.”
Rohima Begum, 17, Member of Youth Parliament for Hammersmith and Fulham, who spoke on the issue during the 2015 House of Commons debate, emphasised the importance of the campaign: “It’s absolutely abhorrent that in 2016 we’re still seeing such high amounts of racism and religious discrimination across the country. I’m so glad we’ll be focussing on such an important issue that many feel unable to speak out about. Let’s remind everyone its wrong and it has no place in our society!”
Today’s (22 January) National Day of Action will see Members of Youth Parliament call on politicians and schools to take part in campaign activities such as talks and events to raise awareness of the issue.