No Place For Hate

There is a dangerous link between hate speech and violence and crimes resulting from hate are extremely harmful for the society. According to European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) criminal restrictions are required whenever hate speech publicly incites violence against individuals or groups of people.

An equilibrium needs to be maintained between combating hate speech and at the same time protecting freedom of expression. Hate speech laws should not be used for as a pretext for silencing minorities or for censorship on Government Policies criticism, silencing religious views or political opponent and invoking of laws for criminal purpose, should only be used as a measure of last resort.

Hate speech encompasses a wide range of expressions that advocate, encourage or promote hatred, violence, or promote prejudice against an individual or a group of individuals for a variety of causes. United Nations have recognised that incidents of online and offline hate speech are increasing at an alarming rate and during the recent years, there have been much spike in such incitement cases.  The European Commission had proposed to make racist and xenophobic acts in the punishable category since 2007, across all the Member States. Since then, there have been a continuous rise in hate speech and hate crimes.

This rise in such incidents is linked to changes in the society, driven by changing social, economic and technological environment.

Commission has carried out the consultation and according to the responses received, more than 60% respondent have witnessed enhanced hate speech and crimes during the period ranging from 2018-2020, in comparison to similar time tenure between 2015-2017. Migration, economic and social divide, followed by increased usage of digital media leading to faster sharing of contents.

Internet has been a major source in inciting spread of violence fuelled by hate speech and crimes. Perpetrators of online hate speech are encouraged by the sense of anonymity and this makes it imperative that perpetrators will continue to commit such offences. In Europe, the violent extremist groups are surging leading to radicalisation and polarisation of the society.

Covid 19 has enhanced the element of insecurity, fear and isolation. This has led to creation of an environment, in which hate speech and hate crimes are flourished. Extremist groups have targeted specific communities on the ground of religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, race, colour and at times even age), also resulting in hate crimes

 Hate has no place in the EU and advancing this philosophy, European Commission aims to extend the list of areas of EU crimes by including hate speech and hate crime.

Bureau Galactik Views

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