A new unique app helps to report hate

The Estonian Human Rights Centre in cooperation with partners from all over Europe have created a unique hate-reporting app. The UNI-FORM app and website create a platform that focuses on hate crimes and online hate speech directed towards people in the LGBTI community and/or people who are thought to be a part of said community. The UNI-FORM platform is available in the local language in Portugal, Spain, the UK, Belgium, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

Everyone, including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, have the right to live free of fear and enjoy life in all of its aspects. Homo- and transphobic persecution, violence, and harassment is a problem shared by countries across Europe. At the same time, information concerning this violence and harassment is scarce, because not many such occurrences are reported to the police (also known as under-reporting). The goal of the UNI-FORM project and platform is to encourage LGBTI people to report the hate that they have experienced (including online hate speech).

Mistrust of the authorities, but also either unwillingness or fear to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity, is the main reason hate crimes are under-reported in the LGBT community. (OSCE-ODIHR)

The platform can be used by victims, witnesses and/or anyone who wishes to report a discriminatory incident (for example related to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression). The reports can be made anonymously or with personal details, which enables the case to be processed. Every submitted report goes to the related NGO in the country the report was made in, in some cases it can go directly to the police, but the process differs from country to country and depends on local legislation.

In Estonia, all reports submitted through the app and the website reach an expert in the Estonian Human Rights Centre who guarantees the privacy of the proceedings. If the report includes personal details, the specialist will contact whoever submitted the report to counsel them and give information and advice on when and how to contact the police. There’s also an option to note right on the report form whether you’d like the Centre’s help in contacting the police. Currently in Estonia, the reports don’t go to the police directly. All submitted reports will be gathered (anonymously) into a database to help map the situation in Estonia.

The website of the UNI-FORM platform is uni-form.eu. The app is available for free Google Play and Apple Store.

Help stop the hate. Report via uni-form.eu.


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