21 June, 2016

22 July 2016 European Action Day of Victims of Hate Crime – A call for action

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Ruxandra Pandea
3 pm

22july_logo_ENGEach year, the No Hate Speech Movement through its campaigners, activists and partner organisations commemorates and expresses solidarity with the victims of hate crime.

22 July is the day of Oslo attacks and Utøya massacre that claimed a total of 77 lives. The attacks were motivated by extreme right ideology and racist hatred, the perpetrator confessing to view all the victims as traitors for supporting immigration and multiculturalism. The attacks on 22 July were an attack on the human rights culture upon which Europe is based.

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.

States are responsible to investigate and unmask the motivation behind hate crimes under Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights as it affects the entire society.

The purpose of 22 July as European Action Day of Victims of Hate Crime is to:

  • remember and recognise the suffering of all hate crime victims, in Norway and elsewhere;
  • give voice to the victims and targets of hate crime at local and national level and express solidarity with them;
  • raise public awareness as to the existence of hate crime, to its causes (racism, discrimination and intolerance; along with other connected phenomena such as hate speech)
  • raise awareness as to our obligations to ensure a society where everyone’s human dignity is respected, where human rights can be equally exercised and where everyone can fully achieve their human potential.

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What can you do?

1. Organise an Action or an Event locally! (See detailed guidelines here)

  • organise a commemoration in your community to remember those who have fallen victims of hate crime in the past year;
  • organise an educational activity or programme to raise awareness of young people and those who work with young people (youth workers, youth organisations, teachers, parents, etc.) on what hate crime is, its causes and consequences, epecially the connection with hate speech, how to support victims, how to prevent it;
  • organise an awarenes raising event: you can do a Living Library, a Silent Witness exhibition and many other things to support the community discuss and uncover the issue of hate crime and hate speech;
  • advocate at national and local level for legal measures, for reporting, for investigation, for awareness, for political commitment;
  • support and give the space to the victims to speak;

2. Join our Online Actions

      1. Tweeting @ Politicians Action (click on link for detailed guidelines)
      2. Add this Twibbon badge to your social media profile photo to express your solidarity with and commemorate victims of hate crimes (or add the full logo of the Day, you can download it from this post above)
      3. Read and share the victims’ stories on the Facebook Page or follow the Action Day on Twitter @nohate_speech #nohatespeech
      4. Share the Hints for victims and witnesses of a hate crime so that more people will know what to do in case they get into such a situation
      5. Join the No Hate Chain of the Movement by uploading your photo shaping half heart with your hand and connect with others to express your solidarity with victims of hate crimes
      6. Flag online hate content by the Hate Speech Watchand invite our circles to take action.

We support you

The coordination team of the No Hate Speech Movement campaign is here to support you and amplify your message:

    • in the next days, we are publishing and sharing information of all actions, events as well as related content to learn more about hate crime. Stay tuned!
    • if you write us at youth.nohatespeech@coe.int with your plans, we will ensure visibility to your actions on the No Hate Speech Movement platform and social media, support you connect with other organisations and stakeholders taking action on the day and we will answer all your questions to the best we can.

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