3 June 2022 – The joint network of equality bodies working in the field of combatting hate speech delivered the first of the four planned workshops on “Addressing hate speech through improving data collection”. The activity aimed at ensuring a practical exchange between equality bodies/Ombudsperson institutions from the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership regions on the topic of data collection in combating hate speech and hate crime. Collecting such data is important as equality data can not only reflect inequalities but also their causes and effects. That data can accordingly steer the activities of all relevant actors, help policymakers to improve existent frameworks, combat discrimination and also monitor effective implementation of relevant international and domestic standards in this field.
Aside to peer-to-peer exchange participants had the opportunity to learn more about the work of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the Guidelines on improving the collection and use of equality data but also on activities on combating hate speech online.
A specific session was devoted to the newly adopted Council of Europe Recommendation on combating hate speech that encourages member states to prepare and implement effective strategies to explore and address the root causes of hate speech, which include disinformation, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of individuals and groups but also to undertake a range of concrete measures to promote awareness raising, education, training, counter-speech, alternative speech and intercultural dialogue.
This format of co-operation between equality bodies enables a platform for sharing information on applicable European/international standards, guidelines, examples of good practices but also for discussing challenges and possibilities for improvements through mutual support.
This activity is organized within the EU and Council of Europe joint programmes “Horizontal Facility II” and “Partnership for Good Governance II 2019-2022” through their respective actions on “Promotion of diversity and equality in the Western Balkans” and “Strengthening access to justice through non-judicial redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes in the Eastern Partnership” funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, implemented by the Council of Europe.
Addressing hate speech through improving data collection was the focus of the first workshop organised by the network of equality bodies working on in the field of combatting hate speech .
The activity organised in the framework of the joint EU/CoE joint programmes Horizontal Facility II and “Partnership for Good Governance II 2019-2022” provided practical exchange between Equality Bodies/Ombudsperson institutions on the topic of data collection in combating hate speech and hate crime.
EU/CoE @HFII & PGG programmes joined their forces to raise the capacities of equality bodies in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership Region to address hate speech through improving data collection.