Hate Speech: methodological recommendations by human rights organizations in Belarus

Human Constanta
31 December 2020

Today we often hear the term “hate speech”. Also, this term refers to very different things: individual discriminatory statements, drawings in social networks, or entire journalistic materials. There is an increasing difference of opinions about what is considered “hate speech”and how to deal with this phenomenon.

These methodological notes of Belarusian human rights organizations are aimed at familiarizing a wide range of interested people with approaches to “hate speech” from the standpoint of international law, describing the Belarusian legal context, and sharing important recommendations and references.

This document provides a human rights-based approach to “hate speech”, taking into account international standards in this field. The proposed approach may differ from the sociological, cultural, linguistic, psychological, and other approaches. It is important for us to focus on maintaining the balance of individual rights in order to enhance the protection of the rights of individuals and vulnerable groups.

These recommendations were prepared in cooperation with the human rights organizations: Human Constanta, the Belarusian Association of journalists, the Belarusian documentation center, the Legal Initiative, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Human Rights center “Viasna”, and the human rights initiative “Journalists for tolerance”.

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