There was much discussion in breakout group three about the importance of non-criminal or non-judicial mechanisms where victims of hate speech or hate crimes may have recourse. In that regard, Uruguay has a ‘Commission on non-discrimination,’ which does not take judicial decisions but rather issues non-binding recommendations to those involved, especially the perpetrators. Uruguay’s Ambassador to the Netherlands and former President of the UN Human Rights Council, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, explained that such recommendations can be very useful to help resolve disputes, including those involving religious intolerance. Offering one example, she referred to the case of a hotel that had accepted or rejected clients based on their religion or belief. The Commission had recommended that the hotel be closed, at least under its then ownership, and that is what, in the end, had happened.
The Ambassador also joined others in arguing that such non-judicial mechanisms also play an important role in data collection, which helps national and local authorities identify problems at an early stage, understand the root causes of hatred and discrimination, and take early remedial action.