Special Topics

Hate Speech and Hate Crime

Tackling Hate Speech and Hate Crime: The PRISM and Light On Projects

 

PRISM – Preventing, Redressing and Inhibiting hate Speech in new Media

Developments in communication technology, particularly online media, have vastly enhanced global means of communication in recent years. Unfortunately, however, the proliferation of new media also poses risks to the fight against discrimination issues, particularly hate speech. Computer screens, acting as barriers between perpetrators and victims, have increased the threshold for hateful rhetoric, while reducing the sensitivities that may exist in face-to-face interactions. Additionally, online incidents have the potential to distort public opinion and carryover into the physical world, potentially contributing to instances of hate crime.

In light of these developments, UNICRI, working in conjunction with a broad-based consortium, has become an active partner in the PRISM Project. PRISM intends to develop effective strategies for awareness raising, information and dissemination, both for increasing denouncements and reporting, as well as for promoting a more conscious use of language, in order to reduce the use and impact of hate speech.

PRISM is a project funded by the European Commission - DG Justice, under the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme. The consortium actively working on the project includes 11 partner organizations based in 5 European countries.

Main Objectives

  • Raise awareness among both stakeholders and civil society about online hate speech and reduce the level of tolerance for these acts.
  • Promote the training of lawyers and law enforcement agencies in identifying, investigating and fighting hate speech and hate crimes, effectively increasing victims’ possibilities for invoking criminal and civil justice in these matters.
    The Italian Workshop for Law Enforcement Authorities and Legal Professionals took place in Rome  from 27 - 29 October 2015. More information can be found here
    The Spanish Workshop for Law Enforcement Authorities and Legal Professionals took place in Barcelona from 18 - 20 January 2016. More information can be found here.
    The Romanian Workshop for Law Enforcement Authorities and Legal Professionals took place in Bucharest from 22 - 24 March 2016. More information can be found here.
    The French Workshop for Law Enforcement Authorities and Legal Professionals will take place in Paris from 13 - 15 April 2016. More information, including the agenda and registration form, can be found here.
  • Monitor online hate speech and increase data collection and reporting on this phenomenon.
  • Develop effective tools and redress mechanisms for responding to online hate speech.

For further information, please consult the PRISM website at prismproject.eu, or the project's Facebook and Twitter pages.

The following reports, developed within the framework of the PRISM Project, are currently available for download:

 LIGHT ON - Cross-community actions for combating the modern symbolism and languages of racism and discrimination

Symbols and words can be dangerous vehicles which lead to the dissemination of racism worldwide. Their impact is especially noteworthy nowadays as technology rapidly diffuses them through digital and social channels and amplifies the ways in which they can influence people’s lives.

However, international studies have highlighted European countries’ trend to underestimate racist and xenophobic images and expressions in daily life as normal part of social relations.

The LIGHT ON project is funded by the European Commission, under the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme. It aims to develop an original cross-community action against the modern symbolism and languages of racism and discrimination. The project involves a consortium of nine partners from six EU countries.

Main Objectives

  • Challenge the perception of racist and xenophobic images and words in daily life as normal expression of social life and dialogue.
  • Strengthen the capacity of law enforcement and legal practitioners of reporting racist hate crimes and discriminatory behaviours.
  • Support citizens and victims to act in a positive and effective way through the promotion of self-report actions to the competent national authorities.
  • Realize effective and sustainable tools to be used throughout Europe for public and private campaigns.

For more information and project activities, please visit: www.lighton-project.eu

Download Light-on Tools

Light On Toolkit here.

Light On Training Manual here.

Summarized version of Light On Training Manual here.

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