Live stream event: Countering online ANTI-ROMA HATE SPEECH & SAFEGUARDING DEMOCRATIC VALUES on 8th April

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Our international event Countering Online Anti-Roma Hate Speech & Safeguarding Democratic Values will be available via live stream from 09:45 CET on 8th April, International Roma Day. The event will be conducted under the auspices of Ms. Zuzana Čaputová, President of the Slovak Republic.
Källa: ERRC
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In recent years, the proliferation of online hate speech against Roma has emerged as a critical and pervasive societal issue, with the potential to challenge the very foundations of democratic values in our societies. Recognising the urgent need to address this persistent and growing threat, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) is organising this event in Bratislava to open the conversation about what is necessary to address the problem in terms of legal action and policy.

The event aims to foster a comprehensive and constructive dialogue amongst key stakeholders, experts, and policymakers to confront the persistent challenge of online hate speech against the Romani population. By bringing together diverse voices and experiences, we aim to promote effective strategies and collaborative solutions to combat this long neglected and detrimental phenomenon.
You can follow the event live here from 09:45 – 12:30 CET on Monday 8th April 2024.

10:00 – Welcome from Đorđe Jovanović, President of the European Roma Rights Centre
10:15 – Panel One: Online Hate Speech Against Roma: A Threat to Democratic Norms

This panel will serve as a platform for in-depth discussions on the normalisation of online hate speech against the Romani community and its broader implications for democratic norms in Europe. Distinguished speakers will shed light on the impact on social cohesion, individual freedoms, and the overarching threat that hate speech poses to democratic values.
Viktor Kundrák, Department of Human Rights and Protection of Minorities, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic (Czech Republic)
Tomáš Nociar, Comenius University (Slovakia)
Fatoş Kaytan, Romani Godi (Turkey)
Radka Vicenova – Slovak National Center for Human Rights (Slovakia)
Jonathan Lee, Moderator (ERRC)
11:30 – Panel Two: Combatting Online Hate Speech: Activist Responses to Hatred

The second panel aims to showcase actionable solutions and necessary actions to effectively combat online hate speech against the Romani community. Drawing from the experiences of activists involved in the ERRC’s Challenging Digital Antigypsyism project across multiple countries, this panel will highlight successful initiatives and strategies that demonstrate a rights-based approach that stakeholders can adopt to address online hate speech.
Diana Repiščáková, Forum for Human Rights (Slovakia)  
Sadik Saitović, RoMoveIt (Serbia)
Diyan Dankov, Equal Opportunities Association (Bulgaria)
Bernard Rorke, Moderator (ERRC)

In early 2020, the ERRC established the volunteer-led project Challenging Digital Antigypsyism, which aimed to challenge online hate speech against Roma through the creation of digital activist communities focused on reporting and countering hate speech on social media platforms. The project was borne from a need expressed by young Romani activists to do something proactive about the clear danger of escalation when online hate speech goes viral. ERRC activists and volunteers felt that the threat of escalation of online hate speech had often been overlooked or played down. 

As it is always difficult to predict what type of online hate will become hate crimes offline and how, Romani volunteer groups felt it important to always treat instances of online viral hate speech very seriously. Activist groups of Roma and non-Roma volunteers were trained by the ERRC and guest experts to recognise hate speech targeting Roma online, to record and report hate speech, and to work with ERRC legal experts to provide evidence for legal complaints against dangerous hate speech. 
The Challenging Digital Antigypsyism project has now been implemented through young activist groups across eight European countries: Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Monitoring and policy reports from this project can be found here:
Challenging Digital Antigypsyism: Albania, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine
Challenging Digital Antigypsyism in the Czech Republic
Prosecuting Digital Antigypsyism: A Policy Guide for the Czech Republic

Funded by the European Union.
4 April 2024 
© ERRC 2024. All rights reserved/

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