Dialogue Instead of Hate
Respect.lu, Ministry of Family and Integration and the Greater Region
Launched in January 2021
Incitement to hatred, commonly called "hate speech", has become a major problem in society today. Debates on political and societal news are increasingly held on the internet and social networks. These exchanges and discussions often follow a polarizing dynamic and increase hostilities. In Luxemburg, growing numbers of instances of hate speech online are being reported: In 2019, the police investigated in more than 50 cases against 20 cases in 2018.
Justiciable elements of "hate speech" include incitement to hatred or violence, they must concern a natural or legal person, group or community that is being discriminated against because of one or several elements and this incitement to hatred or violence must be concretized by words, texts, etc.
Against this background, Respect.lu has established a long term project inspired by an Austrian program of the non-profit organization “Neustart”, offering a tailored education program for anyone who has attracted the attention of legal authorities following publications qualified as “incitement to hatred”. As such, the program proposes a new tool in addition to fines or other forms of punishment by allowing the participants to realize the seriousness of their act without stigmatizing them. The program also tries to reach people in the conspiratorial universe in which they are sometimes immersed.
The program consists in a six-month operational cycle with different group modules and individual sessions on the topics of media skills, discrimination, confrontation of the crime, communication skills, freedom of expression and change of perspective (meeting with a representative of the attacked group). Trough its eductional approach, the program tries to counteract further fragmentation of society and thereby contributes to greater integration of different groups in society.
Find out more:
Visit Respect.lu: www.respect.lu/projets-et-evenements
Watch the project video (in French and German language)