Back Combating discrimination and hate speech as law enforcement: a training for the National Police of Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine 4-5 October 2023
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Combating discrimination and hate speech as law enforcement: a training for the National Police of Ukraine

According to the Committee of Ministers: "member States should make available effective and targeted training programmes for all those involved in preventing and combating hate speech, including the members and staff of law-enforcement services, security forces, prosecution services, the judiciary and the personnel of medical services and other public bodies, with a view to enabling them to identify and avoid the use of hate speech, to be sensitive to the needs of persons targeted by hate speech and assist them in seeking redress, to address and report its use by others and to limit its impact on those affected."

“Combating hate speech has always been one of the Council of Europe priorities. The considerable work has been done in defining and addressing hate speech, with specific attention to securing freedom of expression and non-discrimination at the same time. In a broader dimension, the issue of countering discrimination with regard to persons from vulnerable groups is a cross-cutting one for the Council of Europe. It is also linked to the key treaty of the Council of Europe – the European Social Charter” stated Mr Maciej Janczak, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine.

At the request of the National Police of Ukraine, 28 police officers participated in a two-day training to improve their understanding of issues related to hate speech against vulnerable groups of people and combating discrimination.

"The knowledge acquired during this training on protection from discrimination and combating hate speech, is of high importance for the police", adding that "we as a law enforcement institution should also grow professionally and implement European standards" concluded Mr Volodymyr Zakharenko, Deputy Head of Department of Main Inspection and Human Rights of the National Police of Ukraine.

The training focused on the following issues: policing in multicultural societies, inclusive language in communication with citizens, with reference to communication with persons with disabilities. The participants were introduced to the standards of the Council of Europe on hate speech and non discrimination, in particular the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on combating hate speech (CM/Rec(2022)16).

The exchanges between police officers during the training, gave the chance to share individual experiences on cases of discrimination and hate speech and they discussed their various modalities. 

Considering the war context, there is an increase in the number of persons with disabilities, estimated now at more than 25 thousand. Police officers must be aware of the rights of persons with disabilities and of good communication practices, leading to their adequate protection.

This training is part of the European Union and Council of Europe joint programme “Partnership for Good Governance”, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe, in the framework of the project "Combating hate speech in Ukraine".

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