Policy Papers & Briefings

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) General Policy Recommendation No. 15 on Combating Hate Speech

According to ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No. 15, hate speech is based on the unjustified assumption that a person or a group of persons are superior to others; it incites acts of violence or discrimination, thus undermining respect for minority groups and damaging social cohesion. In this recommendation, ECRI calls for speedy reactions by public figures to hate speech; promotion of self-regulation of media; raising awareness of the dangerous consequences of hate speech; withdrawing financial and other support from political parties that actively use hate speech; and criminalising its most extreme manifestations, while respecting freedom of expression. Anti-hate speech measures must be well-founded, proportionate, non-discriminatory, and not be misused to curb freedom of expression or assembly nor to suppress criticism of official policies, political opposition and religious beliefs.

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