Advocacy Statements

HRC47 – MRG calls on UN Genocide Prevention Office to increase efforts to combat hate speech against minorities

Advocacy Statement |

Human Rights Council – 47th Session – Interactive dialogue with the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide – Item 3

Statement by Ifra Asad, South Asia Programme Assistant at Minority Rights Group – 25 June 2021

Madam Special Adviser,

Minority Rights Group warmly welcomes your first direct dialogue with the Human Rights Council.

MRG would like to highlight the potential of hate speech in both offline and online spheres to contribute to exclusionary dynamics and to sow the seeds of violence and atrocity crimes against certain groups. Dehumanising or derogatory rhetoric online and offline foster conditions that are not only conducive of violence and discrimination, but that tolerate or even encourage it. MRG is particularly concerned by the prevalence of hate speech targeting minorities in India, Iraq, and Pakistan currently.

Emerging mechanisms to oversee and intervene in such spaces are in their infancy and are deserving of increased attention and focus.

We also want to stress that genocide against minorities and indigenous peoples typically occurs against a background of social, legal, political and cultural marginalisation that perpetuates a social hierarchy of communities. To seek genocide prevention, efforts must be directed to addressing long-term drivers of insecurity and root causes of discrimination such as inequity in economic or political life, as well as factors such as hate speech that help sustain these conditions.

Madam Special Adviser,

What can your Office do to support civil society initiatives aimed at preventing, monitoring and countering hate speech? And how can states better support you in this important endeavour?

We and our local partners stand ready to collaborate with you towards achieving equal, inclusive and peaceful societies.

I thank you.

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