Conference “Words That Matter: The Fight Against Hate Speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina” in Sarajevo on July 23

Hate speech based on any ground is common in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Apart from political discourse, it is mostly present in media content, especially in the online world. The absence of legal sanctions and prosecutions sends a message to citizens that hate speech is a regular and usual thing. A recent study pointed out that from October 2018 to October 2020, there was not a single day without hate speech in the media in BiH. Study is one of the many indicators of the urgent need to establish stronger mechanisms to combat hate speech.

This topic will be discussed at the Conference “Words That Matter: The Fight Against Hate Speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, that will be held on July 23 starting at 10am at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Sarajevo. Conference is implemented within the project “Combating hate speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina” – University of Reading. Project is supported by The Global Challenges Research Fund of UK.

In the first panel called “Hate speech as our everyday life?” Prof. dr. Marija Lucic-Catic from the University of Sarajevo will talk about relevant data, trends and prevalence of hate speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Branko Culibrk from Youth Center “KVART” will focus on the adverse effects on vulnerable communities, advocacy and other efforts in this area. Judge Adisa Zahiragic from Cantonal Court will discuss prosecution of hate speech, cases and current legal possibilities for prosecution. Panel will be moderated by Jozo Blazevic, Program Coordinator at Sarajevo Open Center.

Second panel will be devoted to promoting potential social, legal and public policy actions that are vital in the fight against hate speech. Following panelists will discuss this topic: Bekir Halilovic, Association Adopt Srebrenica; Vanja Ibrahimbegovic-Tihak Council of Europe, Office in Sarajevo and Nedim Kulenovic, Human Rights Officer at OSCE mission in BiH. Moderator will be Aida Malkic, Operations Manager at Sarajevo Open Center.

Please confirm your presence at the Conference by emailing [email protected] and noticing the city you are coming from. Confirmation should be no later than July 19 at the end of working hours.

You can find Agenda of the Conference here.

Note: In a line with the preventive epidemiological situation, all measures will be respected.