Council of Europe’s work to fight against populisme and hate speech

From June 26th to 30th 2017, IFCTU participated in the summer session of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe.

The themes of populism and hate speech play an important part in the agenda of the Council of Europe. Guido BELLATTI CECCOLI (Ambassador and representative of Saint-Martin to the Council of Europe) noted that several factors are fueling populism in our societies today: weak growth; the arrival of migrants and refugees; the increase of skepticism and lack of confidence in governments; the persistence of the terrorist threat.

In the Report on the “State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law” published in 2016, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe highlighted five pillars of the democratic situation: democratic security and judicial independence; media; freedom of association; functioning of democratic and political institutions; inclusive society. INGOs of the Conference are invited to study this report in order to formulate criticisms or possible recommendations.

Mr. Gilles BLOCH (International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism) and Mrs. Milena SANTERINI (Rapporteur-General on Combating Racism and Intolerance and Coordinator of the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance) presented the work of the Group on the fight against hate speech. The aim would be to deepen the reflection on new technologies as a vehicle for hate speech, as well as the fear of globalization as an element favoring populism.

Various initiatives have also been presented. As such, the online campaign “No Hate Speech Movement”, launched in 2012, notably allows the reporting of online hate speech, and is particularly aimed at actors of formal and informal education with its didactic Bookmarks. Thus, the aim of this campaign is also to educate in the fight against these discourses, and to study the question from a human rights’ point of view. Also, the movement launched the “No Hate” Certificate: its delivery shows the contribution of an organization to the fight against hate speech and intolerance in Europe.

IFCU wishes to deepen these themes and is currently in the process of setting up a research project focusing on populism and new technologies, in collaboration with Mrs Corinne MELLUL (lecturer at the Catholic Institute of Paris).