Many IHRA Member Countries confront common challenges domestically, and overcoming these can often benefit from sharing knowledge at the intergovernmental level. The IHRA’s working definitions of antisemitism (2016) and Holocaust denial and distortion (2013 ) – drafted by IHRA experts and approved by IHRA Member Countries – provide an essential mutual starting point for addressing these issues at the national level.
Our working definitions and charters are available in multiple languages. Click on each individual document to see which languages the resource is available in. While we try to ensure the accuracy of all of our translations, in the event of any discrepancies the English translation takes precedence.
Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion
The Working Definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion was adopted by the IHRA in October 2013. To guide the IHRA in its work, IHRA’s Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial drafted a paper on Holocaust distortion and denial. The paper is a living document which will be regularly updated.
Working Definition of Antisemitism
The Working Definition of Antisemitism was adopted by the IHRA in May 2016. For further information, please consult the Fact Sheet on the Working Definition of Antisemitism which outlines the background of the working definition.
To date, the working definition has been adopted or endorsed by the following governments and bodies:
the United Kingdom (12 December 2016), Israel (22 January 2017), Austria (25 April 2017), Romania (25 May 2017), Germany (20 September 2017), Bulgaria (18 October 2017), Belgium (14 December 2018), Slovenia (20 December 2018), Sweden (27 January 2018 and 21 January 2020), Lithuania (24 January 2018), the Republic of North Macedonia (6 March 2018), the Netherlands (27 November 2018), Slovakia (28 November 2018), Republic of Moldova (18 January 2019), Czech Republic (25 January 2019), Hungary (18 February 2019), Canada (27 June 2019), Luxembourg (10 July 2019), Greece (8 November 2019), France (3 December 2019), Cyprus (18 December 2019), Italy (17 January 2020), Uruguay (27 January 2020), Serbia (27 February 2020).
In June 2017, the Scottish Government formally adopted the working definition of antisemitism.
On 17 September 2019, the Government of Jersey adopted the working definition.
According to the US State Department, “As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.” The working definition has also been adopted for domestic use by the US Department of Education.
On 1 June 2017, the European Parliament voted to adopt a resolution calling on member states and their institutions to adopt and apply the working definition of antisemitism.
In September 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres acknowledged “the efforts of the 31 member countries of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance to agree on a common definition of antisemitism.”
On 17 January 2020, Chelsea FC and West Ham United adopted the working definition. Crystal Palace FC, AFC Bournemouth, Burnley FC, and Brighton & Hove Albion FC also pledged to use the working definition in their working practices.
Working Definition of Holocaust-related Materials
The Working Definition of Holocaust-related Materials outlines which types of materials can be considered to fall under "Holocaust-Related Materials".
International Memorial Museums Charter
The International Memorial Museums Charter (adopted in 2012) puts forth internationally agreed principles and ethics for commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, helping to avoid the politicization or nationalization of their memory.