The Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, and with the support of the High Commission for Migrations, IP (ACM) ) and the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), has granted special support to projects and initiatives that enable the production and dissemination of knowledge and research-action regarding hate crimes and violence and the expression of hate speech following the pandemic and dissemination of its impacts on more vulnerable groups of the population.
Several European and international bodies recommend strengthening the comprehensive understanding of hate crimes and racist, xenophobic, gendered and homophobic violence, while also warning of low reporting and participation rates. These concerns were amplified by the disproportionate effects on certain vulnerable communities and groups of the expansion of discrimination practices and hate speech during the pandemic of COVID-19, leading to segmentation, increased insecurity, social exclusion, isolation and stigmatization of these groups, even preventing their access to vital rights and services (health, labor, etc.) and promoting the escalation of violent behavior and crime (ILGA Europe, 2020; UN, 2020). Health professionals, journalists, humanitarian and essential service workers have also been victims of various forms of misinformation and segregation motivated by fake news (UN, 2020).
The UN recommends recognizing, tracking, collecting information and analyzing trends about COVID-19-related hate speech at national and global levels to support effective responses, and that relevant actors - states, media, digital platforms and civil society organizations - develop strategies to identify, analyze and counter hate speech, supporting transparent, accessible and independent analysis systems (UN Guidance Note on Addressing and Countering COVID-19 related Hate Speech, May 2020). Also the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe urges member states to develop robust systems for the study and comprehensive analysis of data on "hate crimes" as a first step to combat this crime and support victims.
Responding to these recommendations and concerns is the central goal of this special support. The projects to be funded should therefore contribute to better knowledge and intervention regarding hate crimes, incitement to violence and hate speech in Portugal, presenting innovative and effective solutions to improve responses and policies.
See the list of approved projects