Back Marking the international day to counter hate speech with equality body representatives

Marking the international day to counter hate speech with equality body representatives

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech was marked in Albania with a regional seminar, gathering representatives from equality bodies from the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. This event aimed to address ways of dealing with individual redress of cases of discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, and facilitating access to justice for victims. It is organised as part of the co-operation the Council of Europe has established with the European Union, notably the Horizontal Facility and Partnership for Good Governance programs.

The equality bodies have diverse mandates and are in the forefront to address individual cases of discrimination and hate speech in the local context, however, share similar challenges in addressing such phenomena in the society, and when offering redress. During the discussions, the seminar participants shared the common commitment to improve the countering of hate speech and exchanging among each other their good practices, while also identifying joint challenges in assisting victims of hate speech.

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech is marked every 18 June to raise awareness of the risks posed by hate speech to human rights, democracy and the  rule of law and take collective action to implement the principles of the Council of Europe Recommendation on Combating Hate Speech.

In this framework the regional seminar marking the International Day to Counter Hate Speech organised in Vlora, was an opportunity to discuss with professionals working on a daily basis to address hate speech, the commitment to ensure that people can live free from discrimination, and to countering hate speech and hate crime which jeopardise human dignity and equality. In this context the European Union and the Council of Europe will continue assisting their work in this area, thanks to the rich standards and monitoring recommendations available to its member states, and the close partnership with the European Union in this endeavour.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers Recommendation on Combating Hate Speech is more relevant than ever, and its set of legal and non-legal measures calls for immediate action by national authorities, equality bodies, media, civil society, internet intermediaries, academia and other key stakeholders. Through a comprehensive and right-based approach, we can counter hate speech and promote a culture of human rights across Europe. 

This event was organized within the framework of European Union/Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance III 2023-2026 project “PGG III – Promoting equality and non-discrimination: towards more resilient and inclusive societies” and the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye III 2023-2026 action “Promoting equality and combating racism and intolerance in the Western Balkans”.

Vlora, Albania 15/06/2023
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