Prevention and Accountability for Hate Speech


The project aimed to address the challenges of exposing and curbing hate speech in societies that have been affected by crimes punishable under international criminal law and other gross human rights violations. While assessing the legal responses towards hate speech in particular countries, it also seeked to trace and analyze its causes and effects as well as the social, political and media discourses on hate speech.

As hate speech can result in the commission of human rights violations, it remains a challenge for the prevention and accountability efforts by national governments and the international community. One of the main goals of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy is to contribute to the fight against impunity through strengthening accountability for crimes under international law and at the same time to support the prevention of such crimes, especially in post-conflict societies.

In order to uncover the dimensions of hate speech, the project aimed to engage with legal and human rights practitioners, independent experts from academia, journalists and members of NGOs that deal with peace building, reconciliation and human rights. In the initial phase of the project, local experts from five countries, namely, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Nigeria and Serbia were consulted to conduct preliminary assessments of hate speech in their respective countries by mapping out the legal regulations on hate speech and their state of implementation. In November 2016, a workshop was held to discuss the project methodology and the preliminary findings of the respective assessments.

As part of the Nuremberg Academy’s mandate to build capacities at the national level, a possible further component of the project will assess best practices, in terms of prosecuting hate speech, to form the basis of education and raising awareness on the necessity to tackle and fight hate speech.