Back

Council of Europe proposes a comprehensive legal and policy framework to combat hate speech

Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 20 May 2022
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page
  • Imprimer en PDF
Council of Europe proposes a comprehensive legal and policy framework to combat hate speech

The Council of Europe has issued a set of guidelines to its 46 member states aimed at preventing and combating hate speech, both online and offline.

In a Recommendation adopted during its annual session held in Turin, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers calls on governments to develop comprehensive strategies to prevent and fight hate speech, including the adoption of an effective legal framework and implementing adequately calibrated and proportionate measures. When doing so, national authorities should carefully balance the right to private life, the right to freedom of expression and the prohibition of discrimination.

Welcoming the adoption of the guidelines, Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić said: “Hate speech is on the rise in Europe, particularly online, where it often takes the form of racism, antisemitism or incitement to violence. European governments should join forces to address this complex threat to our societies with measures that are both effective and proportionate.”

The guidelines recommend that member states differentiate between, firstly, the most serious cases of hate speech, which are to be prohibited by criminal law, secondly, hate speech subject to civil and administrative law and, finally, offensive or harmful types of expressions which are not sufficiently severe to be legitimately restricted under the European Convention on Human Rights but nevertheless call for alternative responses. 

Guidance is offered concerning awareness-raising, education, the use of counter and alternative speech, the setting up of support mechanisms to help those targeted by hate speech and training for members of the police and the judiciary as well as other professionals.

Whilst mainly addressed to the member states and their authorities, the Recommendation also contains guidance for other actors including public officials, political parties, internet intermediaries, media and civil society organisations.


 Press release
Council of Europe proposes a comprehensive legal and policy framework to combat hate speech


What is the right to privacy and how is it protected under the European Convention on Human Rights?
See some example cases of how the ECHR acts to secure your privacy rights, including data and information privacy.


What is right to equality and freedom from discrimination and how is it protected under the European Convention on Human Rights? See some examples of how the ECHR works to promote equal rights.


Events Events
6 December Strasbourg (Palais de l’Europe, Room 7, 2pm-5.30pm)

Applying the cybercrime frame to digital violence against women

7 and 9 December Strasbourg (European Youth Centre)

Youth work in war contexts in Ukraine – seminar in Strasbourg

6-8 December Strasbourg

Implementing ECHR judgments

follow us follow us

       

Galleries Galleries
galleries link
Facebook Facebook
@coe on Twitter @coe on Twitter