Roundtables on responses to hate speech in Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia October - November 2022
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Roundtables on responses to hate speech in Georgia

A series of roundtables focusing on responses to hate speech in Georgia finished yesterday with a roundtable on self-regulation mechanisms and addressing hate speech by politicians and political parties. The roundtables are following up to the systemic mapping report of national responses to hate speech in Georgia, which proposes recommendations for future actions in 9 different areas. 

Some 20 participants took part in the roundtable on 9 November which was dedicated to hate speech self-regulation and the vital role various state and non-state actors play in addressing hate speech and intolerance. The round table in Tbilisi gathered representatives of the Public Defender’s office, the Parliament of Georgia, Prosecutor’s office, Central election commission, education and training practitioners, various human rights and minority civil society organisations to exchange views about the recommendations and ways forward proposed by the mapping report.

The participants discussed the recommendations on improving or creating effective self-regulatory mechanisms in state institutions; on the role of law-enforcement agencies in addressing hate crimes and the crucial role of media and the sensitiveness of its regulation. Some proposals from the work include a new coordinated work on awareness raising about the existing redress mechanisms for those targeted by hate speech, as well as, setting internal or sectoral standards for addressing hate speech by different entities. 

Previously on 24 October, the second roundtable focused on issues of defining hate speech and the amendment of the “interested party” definition in line with ECRI’s findings in Georgia. The participants also discussed effective collection of more comprehensive data on the use of hate speech.

This activity was implemented in the framework of the regional project “Strengthening the access to justice through non-judiciary redress mechanisms for victims of discrimination, hate crime and hate speech in Eastern Partnership countries” in the framework of the Council of Europe/European Union Partnership for Good Governance – phase II.