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Migration and Home Affairs

Call for participants: RAN Families, Communities & Social Care meeting – Supporting families in fostering resilience against (COVID-19-related) conspiracy narratives (wi

Tuesday, 28 September and Wednesday, 29 September 2021 (9.00 - 12.30h CEST).

This digital meeting will take place via WebEx.

We are presently looking for suitable participants for the RAN multi meeting of the Families, Communities & Social Care Working Group, with input from the RAN C&N and Y&E Working Groups. The topic of this multi meeting will be ‘Supporting families in fostering resilience against (COVID-19-related) conspiracy narratives.’

Background and aim of the meeting

While a lot of extremist ideologies are based on a conspiracy or elements of conspiracy narratives, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for mainstreaming such myths and often intentionally false narratives. During the past years, we have also seen a change in the characteristics of individuals believing in such conspiracies. For example, the composition of these individuals has become broader, including adults with a financially and socially stable background. Mis- and disinformation have always been a key part of conspiracy narratives and the Internet has served as a vehicle to accelerate the dissemination of such false information.

During the pandemic, false information around the virus itself and now around the vaccination has fed into the growth of conspiracies and a growth of distrust towards authorities. As a result, some individuals could turn to violence sooner than they would have done under different circumstances. The lack of media literacy among certain parts of the population has become evident in many cases, as weak/false sources are often not questioned.

Moreover, talking to individuals who believe in conspiracies can be extremely challenging as often all rationale is dismissed. This is a challenge for practitioners and family members who would like to keep up the exchange with relatives adherent to conspiracies.

The RAN FC&S meeting with input from RAN C&N and RAN Y&E will dive into what makes these conspiracies so attractive and how practitioners and families can counter them. The topic and aim of the meeting are twofold: a) explore the topic of media literacy and how it can be increased in all age groups and b) discuss dialogue techniques that are useful for speaking to individuals who adhere to conspiracies.

This should feed into a conclusion paper with tangible information for first line practitioners / family workers on how to talk to family members. During the meeting, participants will work on a self-help tool (e.g. checklist) for families that will be included in the paper.

Practitioners we are looking for are:

  • Social, family and youth workers, experts on communication around conspiracy narratives, community representatives.
  • Participants should have experience in issues related to (COVID-19 related) conspiracy narratives

In order to find the best suited participants, we would like to ask if you could answer the following questions:

  • In your work, what is your experience in supporting families in dealing with conspiracy narratives?
  • In your view, what are the most important elements to include in a self-help tool for families on this topic?
  • Can you share inspiring approaches, projects or tools for practitioners from your country that are focused on talking to family members about conspiracy narratives or supporting them to enhance their media literacy to build resilience against conspiracy narratives?
  • What specific topic, question or challenge would you like to discuss and learn from during the meeting?

Deadline

If you are interested in participating, kindlyanswer these questions by5 September and send them to Fenna Keijzer.

We will invite participants based on this information. As we only have a limited number of places available for this meeting we cannot guarantee participation.

Please note, the meeting will be held online in English.  

If you have any further questions, please don´t hesitate to contact Fenna Keijzer.