NHSM-logoOn the 21 of March, in the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued guidelines to all 47 member States of the Council of Europe on how to prevent hate speech, support those targeted by it, and deal with its consequences.

Roma minority is often object of hate speech by racist groups, which risk to worsen and justify through prejudices, the high levels of discrimination, social exclusion and deprivation.

Hate speech is based on the unjustified assumption that a person or a group of persons are superior to others; it incites acts of violence or discrimination, therefore undermining respect for minority groups and damaging social cohesion. This is why governments must resolutely and urgently react to hate speech, ECRI says.

Encouraging fast reactions by public figures to hate speech, promoting self-regulation of media, raising awareness of the dangerous consequences of hate speech, withdrawing financial and other support from political parties that actively use hate speech and criminalising its most extreme manifestations, while respecting freedom of expression, are among the general policy recommendations issued by the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission.

For more information, please contact Giacomo Manca at giacomo.manca@eurodiaconia.org

Find the thematic action plan here (EN – FR)