This article is an extract based on OHPI’s Annual Report for the 2016 Financial Year. Return to the Report.

IHRA Pilot Project

On the 4th June 2019 in Luxembourg, Australia officially became the 33rd member state of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. OHPI played a crucial role in Australia’s admission as a full member. Our Managing Director served as one of the expert members of the Australian Government’s delegation. The online reporting system of Fight Against Hate has also played an important role in Australia’s application, demonstrating our expertise in tackling online hate, Holocaust denial and Holocaust distortion.

OHPI has been leading a pilot project on behalf of the Australian Government that seeks to increase the capacity for governmental and non-governmental institutions to effectively and meaningfully prevent and counteract Holocaust denial and distortion occurring on social media. The Australian IHRA delegation collaboratively created an ontology for categorising antisemitic content based on the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and the IHRA Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion. We implemented this in the configuration of our Fight Against Hate reporting tool.

In November 2018 our Managing Director presented a briefing on the pilot project at a meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in Italy. This presentation was made on behalf of the Australian delegation and formed part of our engagement with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. The pilot project “Countering Distortion & Safeguarding the Record Online” has been implemented by OHPI on behalf of DFAT and approved by the Australian Federal Cabinet.

While the initial multilateral project involves Australia, Italy and Luxembourg, delegates from other countries expressed interest in joining the project if it is expanded. There is potential for Australia to take the lead using this project, in a major part of IHRA’s work on its priority theme of “protecting the record” of the Holocaust from denial and distortion which is spread online.

OHPI has been at the forefront of this project. In February 2019, our Managing Director presented a brief summary of the project in Federal Parliament to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Human Rights Subcommittee, and as part of his visit to Italy in June, he worked with Italy’s Antisemitism Reporting and Documentation Centre, Osservatorio Antisemitismo, to get our online hate reporting system working for them in Italian. A follow up meeting in Italy in December 2019 has put in place plans for 2020 when Osservatorio Antisemitismo will launch the Italian version of the software and run training sessions to increase engagement and participation by other Italian organisations. Work with Luxembourg for 2020 is also progressing and preliminary discussions have taken place with other IHRA member countries.

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This article is an extract based on OHPI’s Annual Report for the 2016 Financial Year. Return to the Report.