Cartooning for Peace


Europe is facing an unprecedented migration crisis. At a time when thousands are fleeing from the current tragic conflicts in the Middle East, hoping to find refuge in the European Union, the bitter reality is that Europe is becoming a besieged fortress. This is reflected in the rise of both the Eurosceptics and of the far right in a growing number of European countries.

What has become of the founding values of Europe – humanism, solidarity, tolerance and the search for peace? How can we forget human rights and remain passive when faced with the horrors endured by these families who are running from possible death? It would be an unforgivable mistake to think that Europe is powerless and that nothing can be done except to turn in on ourselves. The founding values of Europe require us to welcome these men, women and children.

Cartooning for Peace defends these fundamental freedoms and democracy. It does so through exerting the right to freedom of expression as defined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” The organisation was set up following the bloody reactions to the publication of the Mohamed cartoons in the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005. In its founding meeting Kofi Annan and the editorial cartoonist Plantu from the French newspaper Le Monde, brought together twelve international cartoonists on 16 October 2006 for a seminar on “Unlearning Intolerance”.

We provide visibility and support for cartoonists who are unable to work freely or whose freedom is threatened and use the educational value of press cartoons to denounce intolerance. Cartooning for Peace is committed to respecting the pluralism of cultures and opinions. We are mindful to show the diversity of cartoonists’ perspectives on a given subject and fight against prejudice and intellectual conformism. We denounce the excesses of extremism, mock its false certainties, counteract odium and strive to dismount impostures. Respectful in disrespect, we do not seek to humiliate beliefs and opinions. We circumvent interdicts with humour. We allow cartoonists to interact with each other and to confront their different opinions.

The seven cartoons that follow show how our cartoonists use their pencils and deploy their talent to denounce the human rights violations in relation to the current migration crisis in Europe.

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