About the project
This website was created in the framework of the project “#NoPlace4Hate: Improving the Institutional Response to Hate Speech in Lithuania”. This project aims to draw attention to the unwanted phenomenon of hate speech.
Hate speech is expression that spreads, incites, encourages or justifies hatred against a person or group of persons on the basis of their identity. A person’s identity is made up of attributes such as nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, etc.
Although hate speech is recognized as a criminal offence in Lithuania, its disseminators rarely face legal consequences. In 2017 and 2018, law enforcement authorities recorded only 17 and 21 cases of hate speech respectively. According to population surveys, hate speech is more widespread than the statistics show. It is a common problem among different social groups. There are several reasons for this discrepancy. First, the failure of law enforcement authorities to properly investigate this type of crime. Second, a lack of competence or willingness to initiate criminal proceedings. Thirdly, the fact that when people are confronted with hate speech, they rarely report it to the authorities.
According to a survey of the Lithuanian population at the end of 2020, 7 out of 10 people would not report hate speech or seek help if they encountered it.
Given the latency of this phenomenon, the project has the following objectives:
- establishing clear guidelines on how law enforcement authorities should investigate complaints of hate speech;
- improving the capacity of the responsible public authorities to prevent hate speech;
- improving the provision of assistance and access to services for victims of hate speech;
- raising public awareness of how to recognize and respond to hate speech.
These objectives will be pursued through the following:
- an independent review of the situation of hate speech in Lithuania;
- public opinion polls;
- Developing and implementing guidelines for inter-institutional cooperation;
- implementing an internal awareness-raising campaign for officials;
- organizing training for police officers, prosecutors and judges;
- creating an online platform to support victims, complemented by a network of organizations and experts who can help;
- national awareness-raising campaigns to recognize and respond appropriately to hate speech;
- Organizing a National Human Rights Forum in 2021.
Project partners: social advertising agency “Nomoshiti” and the Office of the Inspector of Journalist Ethics.
The project is partly funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program of the European Union (Contract No. 875127 – LGKT_HS – REC-AG-2019 / REC-RRAC-RACI-AG-2019).