International Day for Tolerance

All around the world, the political climate is being influenced more and more by the rise of alt-right movements, nationalism and traditionalism, and with that, comes an increased amount of hate and bigotry.

Initiated by the UN in 1996, the “International Day for Tolerance” commemorates the UNESCOS Declaration of its ‘Principles on Tolerance’ of 1995.

Diversity is constantly growing in 21st century society. However, with that, comes an inevitable backlash from those in society who do not wish to see change, or accept those with differing views, cultures or ethnicities.

In wake of the largest displacement of people since the end of the Second World War, differing cultures are being put in proximity of one another, more than ever before, and society is becoming less homogenous.

Intolerance towards basic human rights for sexuality, religion or physical appearance only heats the already existing and growing tensions. Whilst racist and xenophobic discourse thrives due to media coverage from right wing outlets, ethnopluralist views have had harmful effects on integration, by advocating for segregation and separation of cultures.

The goal of the International Day for Tolerance is not just to support inclusion and positive dialogue, but also to spread awareness about the ever-present homophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, that are often overlooked in society.

It’s not only about creating acceptance for one another, but also requires people to take action, and governments to respond to their citizens. The multifaceted and co-dependent problems the world is facing, can only be solved with cooperation, which is at its most fruitful when there is respectful dialogue.

Find out more about how to counter intolerance here.

Author: Lorena Raub, University of Passau, Germany

Photo by Stefano Ghezzi on Unsplash

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