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.

08.11.2018 3 min read

Tanzania: LGBTQ activists arrested and held without charge during official anti-gay campaign in Dar es Salaam

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31.10.2018 4 min read

Brazil: ARTICLE 19 urges all public authorities in Brazil to protect and defend freedom of expression and human rights

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18.10.2018 5 min read

ACHPR: Withdrawing Coalition of African Lesbians’ observer status threatens civil society participation

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Twitter: Proposed dehumanisation policy fails to address concerns
17.10.2018 17 min read

Twitter: Proposed dehumanisation policy fails to address concerns

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19.09.2018 4 min read

HRC39: Oral statement on violations to the rights of indigenous communities in Mexico

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18.09.2018 3 min read

HRC39: Oral statement on countries’ violations to human rights

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18.09.2018 4 min read

HRC39: Interactive Dialogue with the UN Fact-finding Mission on Myanmar

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10.09.2018 8 min read

Rwanda: Analysis of the Penal Code

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Myanmar: International community must act to support accountability and human rights
28.08.2018 7 min read

Myanmar: International community must act to support accountability and human rights

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