Equality and hate speech

Equality and hate speech

Hate and discrimination present increasing challenges to ensuring that all people are able to enjoy their right to freedom of expression, and other human rights, equally.   Removing discriminatory barriers so that all people can speak out and be heard, and ensuring that no one is censored on the basis of who they are, is central securing the right to freedom of expression.

“Hate speech”, as a form of discriminatory expression, is a serious human rights concern.  It is a tool often used to silence and intimidate minorities, and to scapegoat whole groups in society while stifling dissent. Whether promulgated by politicians or spread by media outlets or online, “hate speech” can create environments conducive to violence and other human rights violations against minority groups.

While international human rights law requires States to prohibit the most severe forms of “hate speech”, censorship is rarely an effective means of tackling its root-causes.    Broadly framed “hate speech” laws are also frequently misapplied to target minority and dissenting expression.

ARTICLE 19 advocates for States to engage in a range of law and policy measures to counter “hate speech” with more speech, seeking to maximise inclusivity, diversity and pluralism in public discourse. That means clearly defining the circumstances in which certain types of “hate speech” can or must be limited, and ensuring those measures are only used exceptionally, and as a last resort.

Iran: Lawmakers must urgently drop the Bill that criminalises fundamental rights and freedoms
10.12.2020 12 min read

Iran: Lawmakers must urgently drop the Bill that criminalises fundamental rights and freedoms

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The Politics of Hate Speech
27.11.2020 12 min read

The Politics of Hate Speech

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Working Paper: ချစ်စကိုရှည်စေ၊ မုန်းစကိုတိုစေ: Structures and vocabularies of counter-speech on Facebook in Myanmar
27.11.2020 2 min read

Working Paper: ချစ်စကိုရှည်စေ၊ မုန်းစကိုတိုစေ: Structures and vocabularies of counter-speech on Facebook in Myanmar

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UN Forum on Minority Issues: Comprehensive action needed on online hate speech
20.11.2020 3 min read

UN Forum on Minority Issues: Comprehensive action needed on online hate speech

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UN Forum on Minority Issues: Free expression vital in tackling hate speech
19.11.2020 3 min read

UN Forum on Minority Issues: Free expression vital in tackling hate speech

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US: Voting is an act of expression and must be protected
04.11.2020 4 min read

US: Voting is an act of expression and must be protected

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News release: We are in the midst of a freedom of expression crisis
20.10.2020 4 min read

News release: We are in the midst of a freedom of expression crisis

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Global Expression Report: Headlines and Highlights
15.10.2020 6 min read

Global Expression Report: Headlines and Highlights

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Kenya: Use of “hate speech” laws and monitoring of politicians on social media platforms
14.09.2020 6 min read

Kenya: Use of “hate speech” laws and monitoring of politicians on social media platforms

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