Make 22 of July European Day for Victims of Hate Crime

Have you ever wondered how would it be if only the world would be without hate speech? Would it be the same? I was wondering myself why do people do things like that? – Well I think it’s because they are afraid of something new, something unique… etc. We know that the internet has become a global space for creativity, communication and participation, we create, share some things, but there is the other side where the values of human rights are often ignored or violated. Hate speech is not a new issue on the internet, nor in the human rights debate. 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.
The No Hate Speech Campaign is part of the project Young People Combating Hate Speech Online running between 2012 and 2015. The project stands for equality, dignity, human rights and diversity. It is a project against hate speech, racism and discrimination in their online expression. The project equips young people and youth organisations with the competences necessary to recognize and act against such human rights violations.
Objectives of the campaign are:
  • to raise awareness about hate speech online and its risks for democracy and for individual young people, and promoting media and Internet literacy,
  • to support young people in standing up for human rights, online and offline; -To reduce the levels of acceptance of online hate speech;
  • to mobilise, train and network online youth activists for human rights;   
  • to map hate speech online and develop tools for constructive responses;      
  • to support and show solidarity to people and groups targeted by hate speech online;
  • to advocate for the development and consensus on European policy instruments combating hate speech;
  • to develop youth participation and citizenship online;
The campaigners and activists of No Hate Speech Movement, the youth campaign initiated and coordinated by the Council of Europe, invite European institutions and the member states of the Council of Europe to establish a European Day for Victims of Hate Crime on 22 of July. This is to remember victims of hate crime and those who have fallen victim to such attacks. It’s also to show solidarity to those targeted, raise awareness and educate the general public about hate crime and its consequences on society. We invite concentrated action and mobilization from all key actors to combat it and prevent it!
Crimes motivated by hatred and prejudice happen in every country of Europe. A report of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union, shows that minority groups are still the most vulnerable targets, amongst the most targeted being the Roma, LGBT and immigrant communities. A survey among victims of hate crime shows that many of the hate crimes go unreported, as the police force is seen as incapable to act, because of fear of intimidation by the perpetrators, or because these crimes seem to fit the norms of the given community. Hate speech provides the context for hate crime to take place as it dehumanizes its targets and provides justification for physical abuse, violence and heinous crimes, such as genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Victims of hate crime are not statistics, but people whose dignity and human rights have been violated. Public commemoration of the victims is an expression of justice and solidarity and it is seen as means to increase awareness and educate the wider public. We count on your support, you can sign the petition here and join SCI and No Hate Speech Campaign asking to recognize 22 July as a European Day and to take action to reduce hate crime!
Article by Angela Aleksandrovska
Photos by No Hate Speech Campaign