Commissioner for Human Rights

Debate "How to fight hate?"


On June 12, 2014 the Polish Human Rights Defender held a debate reflecting ways on how to oppose cases of publicly demonstrated hatred or hate-speech. The panel discussion was joined by representatives of academia, NGO’s, Members of Parliament, journalists, actors, lawyers and was open to the public. The participants attempted to define the meaning and current sources of public hatred, they also gave examples on how political life is being negatively influenced by hate-speech in Poland and Europe. During the discussion it was repeatedly underlined that the terms “hatred” and “aggression” are closely interlinked and overlap as social phenomena e.g. on the Internet. They also pointed out that social education in Poland faces challenges with reference to reacting adequately to this growing problem. It was suggested that to a large extent this is due to the excessive tabloidization of the media.
The problem of the limits of freedom of expression in a democratic society was raised.
The meeting was part of a cyclical debates organized by the Human Rights Defender  and the Warsaw University under the patronage of Jan Nowak-Jezioranski. So far it has dealt with topics such as: human dignity, freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance and solidarity.