Fighting hate speech

Aicem is an official partner of the ‘No Hate Speech Movement’, a youth campaign of the European Council to promote Human Rights online and offline.

One of the statements and results of this campaign is The Bookmarks: a European Council manual designed to help educators and teachers effectively address the problems of hate speech in their work with young people aged 13-18.

The bookmarks

Manualto combat online hate speech through Human Rights Education.

The manual was first published in 2014 and translated into 10 different languages: the Italian translation was edited by AICEM in cooperation with the youth department of the Council of Europe and will enable educators, youth workers, teachers and trainers to work on these principles in Italy.

The latest revision of 2020 includes various activities and information on the CoE guide “Human Rights for Internet Users”.

Hate speech is never a ‘black or white’ phenomenon. It can start with a simple offensive comment and then turn into a violent act. Getting used to expressing ourselves angrily, especially when confronted with any kind of diversity, causes irreparable damage.

they cause emotional damage and undermine our self-esteem.

the worst cases of physical violence are generated in this way.

A tweet or an image, a comment or a video is enough. There are numerous ways to offend a person in the digital world;

Hate speech affects both individuals and groups (such as people belonging to ethnic or religious minorities)

We are the Internet. Even considering open source logic, the Internet cannot be considered lawless territory. Instead, people hide behind anonymity … The Internet allows people to feel free to use any kind of expression, which could become hateful. The Internet is still young and can be improved.

Write to us for your copy of Bookmarks!

The numbers

An increase of hate sites

The 2011 edition of Simon Wiesenthal’s annual Digital Terror & Hate report notes a 12% increase to 14,000 “websites, forums, blogs, twitter, etc. problematic on social networks (up from 11,500 last year), included in the subculture of hate”. The Internet security system, Websense, which claims to monitor some 15,000 ‘hate and militancy’ sites, reported that racism, hate and militancy sites tripled in 2009. Other studies have tried to investigate the extent to which young people encounter hate in their online activities.

Youth and online hate

Across Europe, 6 percent of Internet users aged 9-16 said they had been bullied online, and 3 percent confessed to being behind bullying others. 16% of young Internet users in Canada say they have posted hate comments on the Internet toward a person or group of people. 78% of respondents to an online survey said they encounter hate speech online on a regular basis. The three most recurrent targets against whom hate speech is unleashed are: LGBT people (70%), Muslims (60%) and women.


The European Council Campaign therefore has the following objectives:

  • Organize international and national events to discuss the phenomenon of hate speech, how it is part of our daily lives and how it is ingrained in our society.
  • Support the implementation of the national training course on human rights education in the UK to combat faith-based discrimination and hate speech in general.
  • Create a counseling service to help victims of hate speech overcome problems caused by hate speech, gather information about it, and stem any emotional and psychological damage that hate speech might cause both online and offline.
  • Realize events in schools to support teachers and educators to counter the phenomena of Hate Speech and to implement nonformal educational methodologies that can help children respect each other’s point of view and join the movement.
  • Sensitizing new generations about human rights in order to focus youth education on the importance of respecting human rights.

The European Council’s Bookmarks paves the way for specific definitions to recognize the problem. Inside, there are also numerous practical examples for dealing with the phenomenon. For this reason, AICEM is working to disseminate the manual among schools, institutions, associations and youth clubs.

our projects for

fighting hate speech