Different Approaches to Promoting Tolerance through Education

On Tuesday, 21 May at 6.45 p.m. a panel discussion on Different Approaches to Promoting Tolerance through Education will be held at the Jewish Historical Institute in co-operation with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Wide gmach

Slurs and stereotypes about the various groups in our societies are not only hurtful, but also symptomize ignorance, misunderstanding and confusion. Harassment, discrimination, and violence have an immediate negative impact on the lives of individuals and the communities they belong to, including children, and their enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Ideologies anchored in hate and prejudice threaten the realization of all peoples’ human rights and the overall security of states where they occur, undermining and posing a threat to democratic values. The changing geopolitical climate as well as the new media environment has led to a situation where open group-focused hostility and prejudice is no longer confined to extremist circles and has become increasingly mainstreamed. All of this has a profound impact on society in a number of ways that are pertinent for education.

In multiple documents, OSCE participating States have committed themselves to take appropriate measures to promote tolerance and non-discrimination, to counter prejudices and misrepresentation, particularly in the field of education, and promote and enhance, as appropriate, educational programmes for fostering tolerance and combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination. The OSCE Ministerial Council has encouraged public and private educational programmes that promote tolerance and non-discrimination, and raise public awareness of the existence and the unacceptability of intolerance and discrimination. UNESCO Executive Board decision 197 EX/Decision 46 outlines the role of the Organization in promoting education as a tool to prevent violent extremism, as well as on its core mandate to promote global citizenship education, a priority of the 2030 Education Agenda.

The discussion will consider similarities and differences in both the needs for, and possible approaches to, using education as a vehicle to promote tolerance towards the many different groups in society. Panellists will give their views on what education can do in practical terms to prevent stereotyping, scapegoating, prejudice and discrimination or the development of group-focused enmity.

Moderated by: Dr Bartosz Borys, a historian and graduate of Wrocław University. Dr Borys is an education specialist at the Jewish Historical Institute and has mainly worked on post-war migrations in Poland, Jewish Warsaw before World War II including Jewish sport in Warsaw in the inter-war period, the Warsaw Ghetto and the Oneg Shabbat Archive.

Speakers: Leon Saltiel, Elizabeth Kaneza, Dan Doghi, Dr Gerdien Jonker.

This event is organised in the framework of the German-funded, multi-year project on 'Turning Words into Action to Address Anti-Semitism'.

The panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, 21 May at 6.45 p.m. at Jewish Historical Institute in a meeting room located in the Blue Tower (entrance from Tłomackie Street).

6.45 pm–7.30 pm – a reception and welcoming

7.30 pm-9 pm – a moderated discussion

The panel discussion will be conducted in English and is open to the public.


The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) provides support, assistance and expertise to participating States and civil society to promote democracy, rule of law, human rights and tolerance and non-discrimination. ODIHR observes elections, reviews legislation and advises governments on how to develop and sustain democratic institutions. The Office conducts training programmes for government and law-enforcement officials and non-governmental organizations on how to uphold, promote and monitor human rights.

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