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IRIS 2018-9:1/6

International Organisation of La Francophonie

 Launch of a practical guide on combating hate-speech in the audiovisual media

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Elena Sotirova

European Platform for Regulatory Authorities (EPRA)

On the occasion of an international conference on dialogue between cultures and religions held in Fez (Morocco) between 10 and 12 September 2018, the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) officially presented its practical guide entitled “Lutter contre les discours de haine dans les médias audiovisuels: normes, jurisprudence, bonnes pratiques et études de cas” (Combating hate speech in the audiovisual media: standards, case-law, good practices, case studies). The guide brings together the final results of a pilot project coordinated by the expert Jean-François Furnémont in partnership with three authorities that are members of the French-speaking network of media regulators, Réseau Francophone des Régulateurs des Médias (REFRAM): Morocco’s main audiovisual communication authority, the Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HACA); Côte d’Ivoire’s main authority on audiovisual communication, the Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HACA); and Tunisia’s independent high authority on audiovisual communication, the Haute Autorité Indépendante de la Communication Audiovisuelle (HAICA).

The first part of the guide attempts to make up for the absence of a universally accepted definition of the term “hate-speech” by identifying what the concept involves, referring to the work carried out by a number of United Nations institutions and the Council of Europe. The second part compiles all the international legal instruments and standards on hate speech and emphasises the main provisions of relevance to the media and their regulation, ranging from the most legally binding standards to non-binding texts. The third part gives an overview and comparative analysis of the legal and normative framework of the countries that are REFRAM members with regard to hate speech in the audiovisual media. A description of the legal framework at the international level then demonstrates that only three court systems provide supranational mechanisms for the protection of human rights: the European Court of Human Rights (set up by the Council of Europe), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (set up by the African Union), and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (set up by the Organization of American States).

There is also a guide to good practices for promoting a culture of tolerance on the part of both media and regulators, which lists specific initiatives undertaken by certain stakeholders such as the public authorities, regulators, and the media. The guide also includes two case studies on the presence of hate speech carried out by the Moroccan and Tunisian media regulation authorities in their respective audiovisual environments. The work closes with a “digital library” on hate speech that lists all the relevant documents from various institutions with authority in this field.

This is a comprehensive tool for combating hate speech in the audiovisual media; it is directed at all stakeholders concerned with issues concerning the rule of law, democracy, and fundamental rights and freedoms.

References
« Lutter contre le discours de haine dans les médias audiovisuels, Normes, jurisprudence, bonnes pratiques et études de cas, Guide pratique », Organisation internationale de la Francophonie FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19271
 
  Combating hate speech in the audiovisual media: standards, case-law, good practices, case studies - a practical guide), International Organisation of La Francophonie