Hate speech

Hate speech can have serious consequences for individuals, groups, and society as a whole. Public authorities and educational institutions have a particular responsibility to actively counter hate speech and ensure that the people subjected to it receive follow-up support.

Freedom of speech is an inviolable value and holds a strong position in Norwegian society. However, speech that disseminates hate towards other people cannot be tolerated. Some speech is banned by Norwegian law and is subject to criminal prosecution. The extent of hate speech based on gender, ethnicity, religion or belief, disability or sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression is worrying.

A strategy against hate speech was launched in 2016. The goal of this strategy is to promote a good public exchange of opinions, and to prevent and work against hate speech. The strategy is made up of measures based in the following areas: Meeting places, children and young people, the legal system, the workplace, the media sector, and knowledge and research.

The Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs is responsible for implementing many of the Ministry of Culture and Equality’s measures in the strategy against hate speech.

Since 2014, the Ministry of Culture and Equality (and before that the Ministry of Children and Families) have supported the “Stopp hatprat” [Stop Hate Speech] campaign. This campaign is represented by a group of young people from all across Norway, who participate in and organise various activities for young people.