Council of Europe on Combatting Hate Speech

Pavee Point’s Roma Programme attended last week’s Council of Europe Dialogue with Roma and Traveller Organisations in Strasbourg where there was a focus on combatting hate speech.   Mr. Rui Gomes of the Council of Europe Youth Department spoke about their ‘No Hate Speech Movement’ and Stefano Valenti of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance spoke about their recommendations.

“It’s clear we need to seek to identify the conditions conducive to the use of hate speech as a phenomenon and the different forms it takes, as well as to measure its extent and the harm that it causes,” said Pavee Point’s Siobhan Curran who attended the meeting.

“We also need speedy reactions by public figures, and in particular politicians, religious and community leaders, to hate speech that not only condemn it but which also seek to reinforce the values that it threatens,” she added.

The meeting also looked at the causes of internal and cross-border migration of Roma and Travellers and Jim Davies of the UK Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association spoke about evictions.

The two-day meeting (2nd & 3rd June) was the 2nd of the recently formed Dialogue and represents a new impetus by the Council of Europe to progress work on Roma, Gypsy , Traveller issues.