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.

11.05.2020 2 min read

Malaysia: ARTICLE 19 and partner organisations urge Malaysia Prime Minister to respond to ‘hate speech’ against the Rohingya

Click here to go to article
21.04.2020 4 min read

Briefing Paper: The Right to Freedom of Expression in the Context of Myanmar’s 2020 General Election

Click here to go to article
Coronavirus: Impacts on freedom of expression
15.04.2020 1 min read

Coronavirus: Impacts on freedom of expression

Click here to go to article
Myanmar: Immediately lift ban on ethnic news websites
01.04.2020 7 min read

Myanmar: Immediately lift ban on ethnic news websites

Click here to go to article
Malaysia: End online attacks, ensure the safety of journalists
16.03.2020 3 min read

Malaysia: End online attacks, ensure the safety of journalists

Click here to go to article
12.03.2020 7 min read

Spain: Briefing on the Penal Code and threats to freedom of expression

Click here to go to article
Coronavirus: ARTICLE 19 briefing on tackling misinformation
06.03.2020 5 min read

Coronavirus: ARTICLE 19 briefing on tackling misinformation

Click here to go to article
HRC43: Oral statement during Item 3 General Debate
06.03.2020 2 min read

HRC43: Oral statement during Item 3 General Debate

Click here to go to article
Italy: Hate speech working group must include civil society
28.02.2020 1 min read

Italy: Hate speech working group must include civil society

Click here to go to article