This policy paper documents and exposes a concerning trend whereby Roma and LGBT+ people in Romania are marginalised and degraded through hate speech and hostile public discourse. The report tracks hate speech trends in respect to these two minorities in the period 2019-2020 against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hate speech is used as an umbrella term for a wide range of hostile, degrading and violent content. According to the United Nations (UN), the following constitutes hate speech: “any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.” 
The analysis of the current situation demonstrates the need for measures to combat hate speech and violence against Roma and LGBT + people, which have increased during the pandemic. Combating discrimination, poverty and social exclusion of Roma must become a national priority. At the same time, measures are needed to respect the right to non-discrimination and personal dignity of LGBT + people.
We reiterate some of our recommendations:
1. Both CNCD (the national Council for Combatting Discrimination) and CNA (The National Audio-Visual Council) should intensify their ex officio investigations, as more cases of discrimination should be brought to justice. This is necessary in order to convey a public message of zero tolerance for such intolerant behaviour and expressions.
2. CNA and CNCD should consider issuing bigger fines especially to public figures and to individuals who have previously spread hate speech against Roma and LGBT+ people in order
to deter them from similar acts, but also in order to convey a message of intolerance towards hate speech.
3. More financial and human resources should be allocated to CNCD and CNA in order to develop their capacity to adequately investigate and sanction discrimination and hate speech, guiding them towards or strengthening their role as human rights watchdogs.
4. More specialised training should be developed. Law enforcement, judicial staff, members of Parliament and other public authorities who work with marginalized communities and
have a role in the respect and promotion of human rights need to be trained and educated in the area of non-discrimination and human rights.
Read the full policy paper here: Hate Speech against Roma and LGBT 2019-2020. ACTEDO's Policy paper
The policy paper is part of the project "INTERSECT - Changing the narrative of discrimination", a project co-financed by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program of the European Union (2014-2020) and implemented in partnership by the Center for Legal Resources (CRJ), ACTEDO - Equality and Human Rights Action Centre, the MozaiQ LGBT Association and the Civic Union of Young Roma in Romania (UCTRR).
 UN, United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, May 2019: https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/documents/UN%20
18%20June%20SYNOPSIS.pdf (accessed May 12, 2021).
Project financed by the European Union Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program (2014-2020). The content of this website exclusively reflects the official position of the authors and is their sole responsibility. The European Commission assumes no responsibility for how the information contained on this page may be used.
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