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Committee of Experts on Combating hate Speech starts its work

Strasbourg 30 September 2020
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Committee of Experts on Combating hate Speech starts its work

During its first two-day meeting (29-30 Sept. 2020) the expert committee ADI/MSI-DIS determined the scope and structure of a future Committee of Ministers’ recommendation on a comprehensive approach to combating hate speech within a human rights framework.

The newly elected chair Alexander Hoefmans stated:

‘We have seen in recent years an upsurge in hate speech, combating it is a complex yet urgent issue. The committee is tasked to advance a comprehensive approach which requires a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary cooperation. The recommendation will give guidance to members States and other stakeholders, building on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, relevant international instruments and experience gained by member States and civil society, including in the online environment. The committee also wants to address the empowerment of victims of hate speech. ‘

The committee is composed of government experts elected by the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) and the Steering Committee on Anti-discrimination, Diversity and Inclusion (CDADI), and independent experts. Over 50 participants attended the meeting online, including further Council of Europe member States representatives, representatives of other intergovernmental organisations and civil society organisations.