Analytics and Interview

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Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority It is time to sit back and reflect.

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Youth Human Rights Movement

Xenophobia among young people: from research to counteraction

Дата публикации: 

On March 26th in Moscow, a press-conference “Xenophobia among young people: from research to counteraction” was held, which summarized the joint work of experts in the field of xenophobia from the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), Youth Human Rights Movement (YHRM), as well as a number of partner organizations in the Russian regions.

At the event the report on the results of the monitoring “Xenophobia among young people” ( — in Russian), conducted in April-September 2009, was presented. It includes analysis of xenophobia among young people, description of the extreme right-wing youth subcultures, analysis of the public policy in the sphere of combating xenophobia and recommendations to official bodies and non-governmental organizations.

As a continuation of the monitoring theme a collection of articles by young researchers “Xenophobia among youth: a regional perspective” was presented. It is devoted to manifestations of xenophobia identified in Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara regions and the Krasnodar krai in 2009.

A few days before the press conference the International Action "Stop Racism!" had come to an end, the aims of which for seven years already are to fight racism and intolerance, as well as to protect human dignity, equality and diversity. At this year, the action was held by the Youth Network against Racism and Intolerance, the YHRM and the “Young Europe” international network in the framework of the projects supported by the European Commission, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Russia. Its results, as well as informational and educational materials were also presented at the press-conference.

All participants of the event had opportunity to ask Lyudmila Alexeeva (MHG), Alexei Kozlov (Movement of Civil Actions GROZA (“Green Alternative”), co-editor of the report), Konstantin Baranov (YHRM, co-author of the report, co-editor of the collection of articles “Xenophobia among youth: a regional perspective”).

Alexei Kozlov in his speech highlighted 2 areas, where the extreme right feel comfortable in modern Russia: firstly, an unprecedented dissemination and popularity of the “right-wing” music scene – namely, concerts, CDs with songs containing “hate speech” and racist propaganda, and secondly, various fans' associations (mainly football), whose attributes are sometimes full of “hate symbols” and whose members are involved in committing “hate crimes”.

Konstantin Baranov drew attention to the fact that youth policy in modern Russia in the sphere of countering xenophobia fell behind for 40 years in its approaches and methods and is totally ineffective. Experts' fear is also caused by the so-called military-patriotic education, which in fact often tends to lead to militaristic nationalism.

Lyudmila Alexeeva suggested that work with youth in the sphere of preventing xenophobia will be much more effective, if it would engage young people themselves, though, given the general political apathy and certain resistance of the authorities, those wishing to do so are few in numbers.

YHRM Information Service