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Cyprus

Active citizenship the way to promote tolerance says volunteer commissioner

Former volunteerism commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki

Strengthening tolerance is most effective when young people become part of active citizenship and volunteering early on, said volunteer commissioner Yiannis Yiannakis on the occasion of International Day for Tolerance which is marked annually on November 16.

“As a result, our office, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, has published and promoted the handbook on volunteerism and active citizenship in schools,” he said.

“The handbook is an important step in the effort to promote volunteering and cultivate volunteer awareness. It is aimed at both teachers and students of primary and secondary education and includes experiential actions and good practices.”

The fight against intolerance requires the strict enforcement of human rights laws and the punishment of hate crimes and discrimination against minorities, Yiannakis added. It is also necessary to educate the public, access information, raise awareness and find solutions locally.

November 16 was established by the United Nations as International Day for Tolerance. The decision was taken on November 16, 1995, on the 50th anniversary of Unesco, when the member states adopted the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance at the organisation’s general conference in Paris. In 1996 the UN general assembly called on all member states to honour this day every year.

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