Press Release

ADL Offers Recommendations to OSCE for Combating Internet Inspired Hate Crimes

New York, NY, March 22, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today presented recommendations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on how countries can more effectively address Internet inspired hate crimes.

At an expert meeting organized by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the League offered lessons from its approach to combating online prejudice, hate and cyberbullying as a model for European states to counter hate crimes motivated by hate on the Internet.

"Hate expressed on the Internet is a pervasive evil that can inspire real-world hate crimes," said Deborah Bensinger, ADL Assistant Director of Legal Affairs. "By adopting our comprehensive model for addressing and responding to cyberbullying, countries can more effectively respond to the phenomenon of Internet inspired hate crimes. Ultimately, the best way to combat Internet hate is through a combination of education and cooperation from communities everywhere."

The international gathering, entitled "Incitement to Hatred vs. Freedom of Expression: Challenges of combating hate crimes motivated by hate on the Internet," brought together government officials, hate crime experts and civil society organizations.

ADL's Recommendations outlined a menu of specific strategies, including:

  • Institute education and training for teachers, parents and students to address issues related to bullying, bias and responsible online activity;
  • Enact bullying and cyberbullying prevention policies that are both proactive and responsive and that engage the community to action;
  • Empower all members across the community to engage in response;
  • Partner with Industry to identify ways to promote a civil discourse;
  • Encourage government leaders to continue to publicly condemn bigotry and hate crimes wherever they occur.

ADL has been a leading organization in developing anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying training and curriculum for teachers, parents and students; and has developed a model state bullying prevention policy which requires schools and communities to approach the issue of bullying with proactive, responsive and responsible measures.