Prevention and Accountability for Hate Speech

Prevention and Accountability for Hate Speech


The project seeks to address the complexity of the challenges of exposing and curbing hate speech in post-conflict societies that have been affected by crimes punishable under International Criminal Law. While assessing the legal response towards hate speech in particular countries, it also seeks to trace and analyze the social, political and media discourse. This could have the form of public statements or of calls for violence, both potentially leading to or instigating war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.

As hate speech can lead to mass violence it remains a challenge for the prevention and accountability efforts by national governments and the international community. One of the main goals of the Nuremberg Academy is to contribute to the fight against impunity through strengthening accountability for international crimes and at the same time to support the prevention of such crimes, especially in post-conflict societies.

While trying to uncover the dimensions of hate speech, the project will engage with practitioners from police and courts, as well as independent experts from academia, journalists and members of NGOs that deal with peace-building, reconciliation, human and victims’ rights in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Nigeria and Serbia. In particular, the Academy will seek to increase the capacities of local actors, raise their awareness on the necessity to tackle and fight hate speech, in order to build sustainable peace.

As part of Interdisciplinary Research, the project will have a strong component of applied research, monitoring and discussion of the lessons learned with local and international experts and stakeholders. During 2016, the project team will consult local experts in compiling country assessments that map the legal regulations (including administrative ones) and their state of implementation, as well as the acceptance of hate speech as a toleration by the society or specific actors of denigrating discourse against certain groups (gender, ethnicity, culture, etc). In 2017, it will apply a monitoring based early-warning system methodology that implies the collection and analysis of information from media, political discourse and courts.

A further component of the project is to contribute to capacity building through best practices exchange amongst journalist and civil society representatives. In 2017, a special training program will address identification and dissemination of best practices amongst journalists and other media users.