Ministers Manchevski and Popovski Signed the Declaration against Hate Speech in Media: The Public Sector, Media and Civil Society Organizations Must Stand United against Hate Speech

Skopje, January 30th, 2019

The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, the Minister without portfolio in charge of communication, accountability and transparency, Robert Popovski, and the Director of the Bureau on Public Safety under the Ministry of Interior, Sasho Tasevski, signed the Declaration against Hate Speech today, in the EU Info Centre in Skopje.

The Declaration stemmed from the Initiative of the Council of Media Ethics in Macedonia (CMEM), supported by the OSCE Mission to Skopje, to establish a Network for Fight against Hate Speech in Media. Moreover, the Declaration was signed by all Network members.

The underlying aim of the Network is to prevent hate speech in the public sphere, strengthen professional and ethical performance of journalism activities and raise awareness of media workers and the wider population on the negative consequences arising from hate speech and to find methods for prevention thereof.

The event included speeches from CMEM's Executive Director, Marina Tuneva; Head of OSCE Mission to Skopje, Ambassador Clemens Koja; Head of CMEM's Executive Board, Katerina Sinadinovska; and the Head of the Appeals Commission under CMEM, Mirche Adamchevski.

The newly-established Network would implement goals aimed to prevent violation of human rights and protect the public therefrom by means of hate speech and fake news, and to ensure transparency and improve state-of-affairs in the media sphere.

During the event, it was noted that according to the latest report from the office of the OSCE Mission to Skopje representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, state-of-affairs in freedom of the media and safety of journalists in Macedonia has significantly improved and that assessments are positive in terms of decisions adopted by the current Government for improvement of legislation frameworks and further implementation of media reforms.

Beliefs were also expressed that the announced Network and the signed Declaration would contribute to a systemic approach against hate speech and that measures would be actively taken to identify problems contributing to hate speech, with a view to remove negative influences.

In terms of statistical data on registered hate speech and other types of discrimination, it was stressed that state-of-affairs thereof has improved in the past period following change of government.

This initiative would help unite more societal links, such as state institutions, media and non-governmental organization that should take joint efforts to prevent hate speech in the public sphere, but to also react when there is a need to sanction negative events. The Declaration was signed with an aim to demonstrate that there are joint forces what would take efforts to stop hate speech or any other type of discrimination.

The Network includes representatives of professional media and journalism association, state bodies for protection og human rights, state and regulatory bodies and civil society organization. However, according to CMEM, the process is open and all interested parties may join.

With representatives of ministries and state institutions signing the Declaration, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia confirms its commitments to freedom of speech, support of professional ethic standards and fight against hate speech. 

Ministry of Information Society and Administration