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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, A/HRC/26/30/Add.3, 2 July 2014: Italy

IV. Situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

B. Issues of concern

9. Hate speech

66. During his visit, the Special Rapporteur was informed of a proposed bill on homophobia and transphobia. He strongly supports that initiative and believes that it is an important first step in addressing discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population in the country. However, he underlines that the bill should not include any exceptions for institutions or particular groups which might generate loopholes in its application. He also encourages the Parliament to consider adopting a law on other forms of hate speech, such as misogynistic messages and incitement to violence against women and persons with disabilities.

V. Conclusions and recommendations

H. Hate speech

88. Legal measures combating hate speech should be complemented by a broad set of non-legal measures to bring about genuine changes in mindsets. The Special Rapporteur underlines his full support to the work of the Ministry of Integration in developing awareness-raising programmes, including information and education campaigns on diversity. Political leaders and public officials must systematically denounce and condemn hate speech publicly, and actively promote a culture of tolerance. The proposed bill on homophobia and transphobia should be amended to eliminate all exceptions for institutions or particular groups.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRFoE-Italy-2014-eng

Link to State’s comments on the report: Report-SRFoE-Italy-comments-2014-eng