Challenging Digital Anti-gypsyism

2021

The Agency for the Advocacy of Roma Culture “ARCA” in partnership with the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) is implementing the project “Challenging Digital Anti-Gypsyism”.

This project is implemented in Ukraine, the Czech Republic and aims to counter online and offline manifestations of hate speech, as well as other racist attacks against Roma.

As part of this project, we are developing strategies on how to counter the existing language of hostility against the Roma and how to prevent a new wave of hatred. Also, with the participation of the National Coordinators of Volunteers in Ukraine – Natalia Tomenko and Volodymyr Yakovenko, we coordinate the work of volunteers who are Roma human rights activists in Ukraine.

Directions of activity of Roma human rights activists:

  • creation of advocacy campaigns to combat anti-Gypsyism online and offline;
  • spreading a positive image of the Roma community in the media in order to raise awareness of Ukrainian society about the Roma community as one of the methods of combating anti-Gypsyism;
  • use of online reporting tools on social media / networks to identify comments or content that demonstrate anti-Roma hate speech and contradict social media recommendations on the content of posts;
  • writing complaints about human rights violations to various responsible bodies.
The ERRC volunteer project helped me gain skills in detecting hate speech against Roma online and understanding how widespread and unnoticed it is in Ukraine. Protecting the rights of Roma in the digital environment must be a priority for non-governmental organizations and for each of us, because where there is room for hostility, there will always be room for violence in real life.
I sincerely recommend everyone who is interested in human rights activities and the limits of freedom of speech on the Internet to join the ERRC, you will gain invaluable experience, a lot of new knowledge and great friends!

The experience of volunteering for the ERRC has helped me to deepen my understanding of the human rights situation in Ukraine and has helped to make my view of civil rights and the situation of vulnerable minorities in our society more systematic.

This is important, and in some ways exciting work in a nice team.

Most of all, it was interesting to work with people you hardly know, but who have the same idea. I was able to show my knowledge on a certain topic, talk about the intricacies of things that I know well and also had the opportunity to listen to others – this was the reason why the sessions were interesting and fruitful.

During the sessions, thanks to the trainers, I learned to recognize the language of hostility and respond to it correctly.

For me personally, it was interesting to work on the Tiktok platform.