Turin, 3 April 2014. A meeting of experts has been organized on “Investigating and Reporting Hate Speech Online” by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) at its headquarters in the United Nations Campus.
The meeting is part of the project LIGHT ON, which is supported and financed by the European Commission Directorate-General for Justice (JUST) within the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.
Experts in the fields of hate crime and anti-discrimination from five European countries participating in the project (Finland, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and UK) will attend the meeting. The aim is to review the training manual, prepared by UNICRI, together with law enforcement authorities and legal professionals working in the fields of anti-discrimination and hate crime.
The training manual will enhance the capacities of law enforcement authorities and legal professionals in investigating and reporting online incidents of racist hate speech. Special attention will be given to the role of social media in spreading hate on the basis of race and ethnicity, while discussing how to report such cases to Internet service providers.
According to data collected by institutions and organizations for the protection of human rights, episodes of discrimination are still common in Europe. Not only are discrimination and hate widespread, but they have also become progressively “normalized” in the public discourse and throughout society.
In fact, LIGHT ON aims to tackle the normalization of hate and its consequences by providing a set of tools for the community and for law enforcement professionals. Through a preventive and participatory approach, LIGHT ON will drive the issue of discrimination into the spotlight, and provide practical guidance on how to counter it.