Racism, xenophobia and hatred are still rife in Europe. Hate speech is widespread on the Internet and the media, and too often it finds its way into the political discourse. Can we afford to wait and see if these scourges disappear by themselves? Or should we actively combat them instead?
Already dozens of members of the Parliamentary Assembly have chosen the second option and joined the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance. By signing its Charter, they have committed themselves to combating racism and hatred with all the means at their disposal.
The No Hate Parliamentary Alliance stands ready to co-operate with national parliaments, public authorities and civil society organisations, and it supports the Council of Europe No Hate Speech Movement campaign. We need to join our forces in this fight: the opposite of hate is solidarity.
The Council of Europe Liaison Office in Brussels recently hosted a presentation on the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance, an initiative by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Milena Santerini, the General Rapporteur on combating racism and intolerance and coordinator of the Alliance gave the presentation. Director of the Council of Europe Liaison Office in Brussels Torbjørn Frøysnes kindly hosted this meeting with Brussels-based stakeholders and media representatives.
Officially launched in January 2015, the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance is an alliance of parliamentarians who commit to taking open, firm and pro-active stands against racism, hatred and intolerance on whatever grounds and however they manifest themselves. They did this by signing a Charter of commitments for membership of the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance.
These parliamentarians are open to being contacted by national stakeholders in order to fight racism, xenophobia and hatred together.
The Alliance is coordinated by Ms Milena Santerini, the General Rapporteur on combating racism and intolerance and a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, who is supported by the Bureau of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.
It’s main goals are to:
The first No Hate Alliance national seminar took place in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome on 4 April. It looked at questions such as what hate speech looks like in Italy today and who its victims are? As well as what can and should be done to counter it? Equinet’s Italian member UNAR (National Office against Racial Discrimination) participated at the event. For further information, see here.
Equinet made a request to Ms. Santerinin to consider inviting equality bodies to all of its national seminars, as an important actor in combatting racism, xenophobia and hatred. She said that she would do her best to take that into consideration. The next seminars will take place in Paris (on 8th September) and Bosnia.