Plataforma de formación virtual en derechos humanos
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Human rights and hate speech

Human rights and hate speech

Start date: 20th April 2015

End date: 20th May 2015

Limited places: 30

Price: From 0 Euros

 What do we understand when we talk about ‘hate speech’? It is difficult to find just one accepted definition because there are many ways of expressing hate and intolerance and they can also be difficult to identify. The hate speech is based on various arguments and it can adopt several expressions and different levels of seriousness, from defamatory declarations to discourses that openly call for violence.  

The hate speech seeks for shelter in the form of freedom of speech, but freedom of speech is not absolute and finds its limits when it enters in collision with other rights, such as equality, honor or people’s dignity. Nonetheless, the Spanish jurisprudence has been inclined towards protecting freedom of speech and not so much towards penal pursuit of hate speech, creating inevitably a frame in which this type of discourse barely finds obstacles and their promoters rarely face a legal consequence.

The arguments used in the hate speech are based in prejudices and stereotypes about certain groups that penetrate the collective imagery because of their simplicity and their repetitive slogans. A context of economical and social crisis does not help. The hate speech seems to have found in the internet an ideal propagation channel, among other reasons because of the anonymity and impunity that the net offers. Cyberhate is a growing phenomenon in Europe that requires a global action.

In the face of this context, the Institut de Drets Humans de CatalunyaUnited Explanations and SOS Racisme, in the frame of the Online Project against Xenophobia and Intolerance in Digital Media-PROXl, or in Spanish Proyecto Online contra la Xenofobia y la Intolerancia en Medios Digitales-PROXI, we propose a course in order to analyze this type of discourse from the perspective of human rights. The goal is to provide the students the necessary tools to counteract the hate speech. 

Course offered in Spanish


Unit 1: How to recognize hate speech? Tools for identifying it:  components, impact, legal categorization and language analysis

What is hate speech?

The discourses of hate in the Spanish legal system

Analyzing the hate speech: concepts, mechanism and language


Unit 2: The no discrimination principle, racism, xenophobia and intolerance from a perspective of human rights. International Systems of protection.

[Universal System of protection and safeguarding of human rights]

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

[European System of protection and safeguarding of human rights]

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

European Court of Human Rights

Unit 3: Strategies for battling hate speech in the Internet. The Observatory case and Proxi.

What is cyberhate?

Intervention strategies against cyberhate in the internet

The PROXI observatory. Methodology, strategy, identification and analysis of the xenophobic comments and intolerance in the digital media.  


Address to

The course addresses people that are frequent internet users and that share our worries in the face of the increase of the hate speech in the internet. This course seeks people who are willing to counteract hate speech by reporting it and by promoting a democratic debate and a discourse based on human rights.

  • Internet users with a significant participation in virtual platforms that encounter manifestations and comments that call for hate: social networks, digital media forums, blogs….
  • Bloggers
  • Journalists
  • Members of civil society’s organizations

Due to the limited amount of places, the selection process will seek people with this specified profile. 


BEATRIU GUARRO PICART, president of SOS Racisme Catalunya and professor of Catalan Philology in the Universitat de Barcelona. During her academic and profesional career she has specialized in language and discrimination as well as in language and publicity.

AIDA GUILLÉN LANZAROTE, management director of the Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya and vicepresident of Organitzacions per a la justícia global. Professor specialized in international systems for protection and safeguarding of human rights @AidaGuillen

ALEX CABO ISASI, member of United Explanations, co-editor in the PROXI Project. Expert in management of immigration, specialized in racism and xenophobia in digital media @AxCaboIsasi


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