United States Agency for Global Media

Poland: Freedom of expression and hate speech within the framework of human rights

June 2017

The workshop addressed journalists, community media producers and NGO representatives to exchange good practices on prevention of hate speech and discrimination, in particular against women journalists, refugees and migrants. Thirty participants (20 female and 10 male) from 13 European Union countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Finland, Ireland, Croatia, Malta, Hungary, Denmark, Czech Republic), aged between 23 and 60, attended the workshop. Their nationalities also included Afghanistan, Algeria, Netherlands, Lithuania, Pakistan, and Syria. Local (Polish and international) students and academics from the University of Warmia and Mazury also attended. Participants learned:

  • The overall framework of human rights, the philosophy of human rights and their classification
  • The notion of freedom of expression and its limitations
  • The link between freedom of expression and other human rights, such as: right to safety and security of a person, freedom from torture, freedom from discrimination
  • How hate speech can be expressed and how to recognize it
  • How human rights can create a framework to discuss issues related to hate speech and violations of freedom of expression
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of journalists in recognizing hate speech and in preventing its dissemination

The workshop was followed by a roundtable on Muslims in the media organized in cooperation with OSCE/ODIHR to discuss the media’s portrayal of Muslims in Polish and European media and highlighted main issues and recommendations for its improvement. The Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) organized both events as part of a European Project to counter hate speech and discrimination in the media.

  • BBG
  • EU
  • Council of Europe
  • Austrian Chancellery
  • Gordana Knezevic
    Senior Journalist, RFE/RL
  • Dariusz Grzemny
    Consultant, Youth Department, Council of Europe