• The Finnish Commitee For European Security

    Suomen Toimikunta Euroopan Turvallisuuden Edistämiseksi


Den finländska kommitten för europeisk säkerhet (STETE) organiserade i slutet av september ett engelskspråkigt seminarium om gränsen mellan hatretorik och yttrandefrihet i det årliga OSSE Human Dimension Implementation-mötet (HDIM) i Warszawa.

Seminariet arrangerandes tillsammans med SaferGlobe Finland, Plan Finland och med stöd av utrikesministeriet.


TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN? – the blurred line between freedom of speech and hate speech

Human Dimension Implementation Meeting Side Event
Hotel Sofitel Victoria, Warsaw
Venue: Meeting Room 3

Monday, 30 September 2013 at 1PM-3PM

How to tackle hate speech without suppressing freedom of speech? How to foster freedom of expression without allowing hate speech to grow and take root in the society? The side event will discuss the challenging and multifaceted problematic underlying the hate speech phenomenon in a modern society that values and cherishes freedom of expression. The focus of the presentations and discussion will be on youth, women, journalists and human rights defenders.

People’s freedom of expression or freedom to use the Internet can be suppressed by the means of overly restrictive legislation allegedly aimed at tackling hate speech. Journalists and human rights defenders may find their words suppressed or their physical safety jeopardized – or face charges of defamation. The right of everyone to free Internet offers great opportunities for people to voice their opinions and find networks of likeminded people to further worthy causes. However, there is also the other side of the coin. With the growing use and influence of the Internet, more and more youth are being bullied on the web. Anti-minority and anti-immigrant rhetoric is expanding in Internet chat groups. How can the youth be protected both in the physical society and in the cyber world? Women all around the OSCE area, from North Africa to Europe, have experienced limitations to their freedom of speech or have increasingly become targets of hate speech: especially influential women who dare speak out loud of injustices they face. These different forms of hate speech phenomenon must be tackled – however, without limiting freedom of expression.

The interactive discussion with the speakers and the audience will aim at bringing forth and comparing problems related to the topic that have arisen in different OSCE countries, and at mapping suggestions for their solution.

Conveying organiser: Finnish Committee for European Security – STETE
Organising partners: Saferglobe Finland, Plan Finland.
Sponsored by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.


Marjatta Hiekka, Deputy Director, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Eva Biaudet, Ombudsman for minorities, Finland.

Antti Kivijärvi, Researcher, Youth Research Network, Finland.

Jarosław Włodarczyk, President of International Association of Press Clubs, Poland.