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Frontpage News 2013 Combating hate speech online

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Combating hate speech online

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are mobilising against hate speech in Europe.  

Through the EEA and Norway Grants they provide funding worth €147 million to NGOs in Central and Southern Europe and encourage activities promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. The EEA and Norway Grants are also a strategic partner to the Council of Europe’s youth project on combating hate speech online that is being launched on Friday, 22 March 2013.  

Hate speech online in recent years has become a major form of human rights abuse, with very serious consequences both online and offl­ine.

“All European countries are committed to counter such discrimination and intolerance. Through the support for NGOs and other programmes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are mobilising to reduce the levels of rising hate speech and hate crime in Europe,” says Director Ms Stine Andresen, Financial Mechanism Office for the EEA and Norway Grants.

With the EEA and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, contribute to reducing disparities and promote fundamental rights in Europe.

EEA and Norway Grants support civil society

“Civil society should play a more proactive role in addressing hate speech, and the NGO programme can contribute in making the NGOs address the issue and bring it into public debate,” says Ms Veronika Móra, Director of the Ökotárs Foundation, operator of the EEA NGO fund in Hungary.

NGO operators in Brussels promoting Council of Europe's No Hate Speech campaign Operators of the NGO programmes gathered in Brussels this week. One of the topics discussed was EEA and Norway Grants' work against hate speech and support for the campaign. Photographer: Miriam Dahl, FMO

The donors have set aside around €147 million to support civil society in 15 EU countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. At least 10% of the funding is targeted to children and youth. 

NGOs can apply for project funding from the EEA Grants to take action against hate speech.

The EEA and Norway Grants also support the international conference Right-Wing Extremism and Hate Crime: Minorities under pressure in Europe and Beyond in Oslo on 14-15 May 2013.

#Nohatespeech – launch 22 March

The EEA and Norway Grants are a strategic partner to the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech Movement.
The launch of the No Hate Speech Movement takes place on 22 March 2013 in Strasbourg.

The objective is to take action against hate speech online in all its form – not to limit freedom of expression. The No Hate Speech Movement is based on human rights education, youth participation and media literacy.

 “We have a strategic partnership with the Council of Europe to counter hate speech. As an increasing part of public debate happens on the internet, these values also have to be promoted online,” says Ms Stine Andresen.

A Council of Europe survey shows that:
• 4 out of 5 respondents have encountered hate speech online
• 2 out of 5 have (personally) felt attacked or threatened

What is hate speech?

Hate speech, as defined by the Council of Europe, covers all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of hatred based on intolerance, including: intolerance expressed by aggressive nationalism and ethnocentrism, discrimination and hostility against minorities, migrants and people of immigrant origin.

Watch the official campaign video here

Factsheets:

Countering hatred
Council of Europe partnership