The High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance will foster the further exchange and dissemination of best practices between national authorities and concrete discussions on how to fill existing gaps and better prevent and combat hate crime and hate speech. The High Level Group will also be a platform for dedicated discussions on how to tackle specificities of particular forms of intolerance, also in light of the experience of civil society and communities.
The focus of the High Level Group includes targeted work on two priority areas, in relation to which specific sub-groups were set up:
i) countering hate speech online, including through the implementation of a Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online, agreed by Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft* and YouTube with the European Commission in May 2016 ii) improving methodologies for recording and collecting data on hate crime, through expert discussions carried out under the supervision of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
The group was launched on 14 June 2016 to bring further political impetus and foster discussion on how the EU and MS can make concrete progress in this area. A number of international bodies are involved in this work, including UNHCR. At the second meeting of the Group on 7 December 2016, UNHCR delivered a presentation on UN level initiatives to address anti-migrant hatred through awareness raising initiatives and campaigns aimed at building positive narratives around migration and refugees. Issues around ensuring access to justice for undocumented migrants victims of hate crime will also be addressed in the context of a broader discussion on hate crime victims at the next meeting on 31 May-1 June 2017.
As an expert group of the European Commission, the High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance is listed in the Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities, where detailed information on its activities can be accessed.
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