European Network of Equality Bodies EQUINET, whose full member is Commissioner for Protection of Equality, presents today Recommendation on Combatting Discrimination and Hate Speech that relates to the behavior of politicians and the media, both in election campaigns and in public life in general. Recommendations are presented at the event “Combatting against Racism and Discrimination” in the European Parliament, on the occasion of the week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination.
The recommendations state, inter alia, that equal treatment and non-discrimination are common minimal standards must be respected by everyone under all circumstances. Political parties, politicians and people who support them must refrain from using discriminatory language and hate speech in expressing their views. The same obligation relates to media who must be careful in their reporting on attitudes that contain hate speech with a critical reflection on the context.
Commissioner emphasizes that mutual insults, hate speech, degrading and offensive attitudes have been increasing for a long time in the public and political scene of Serbia. The latest examples are the insults of the prime minister and also of other women, the citizens from inland, journalists, politicians from the local community, as well as vulgar verbal incidents of public figures.
Commissioner appeals once again to all actors in the public area to be responsible and stresses that media and social networks have a major role in spreading of hatred, intolerance and offensive attitudes. Commissioner therefore recalls the recommendation to the internet portals who are obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent publishing of content and comments that are broadening and encouraging such attitudes.