International Day for Countering Hate Speech

The International Day for Countering Hate Speech was marked on June 18, highlighting the need of combating hate speech as well as promoting tolerance and dialogue between communities. The day was marked for the first time in 2022.

UNGA Resolution

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted a resolution in 2021 “to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech”.
  • UNGA also drew attention to concerns over proliferation of hate speech across the world.
  • The resolution highlighted the need of countering xenophobia, discrimination and hate speech.
  • It further called all relevant actors and member states, to speed up their efforts of addressing these issues, in accordance with international human rights law.
  • It declared June 18 as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

Background

This initiative builds upon UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which was started in 2019. It emphasises on the “need of countering hate holistically and with full respect for freedom of expression and opinion. It also provides a framework for global body to complement states in resolving this issue.

Significance of the day

This day is significant for countering hate speech, because hate speech is against the core principles of UN Charter like equality, peace, and respect for human dignity. It gives rise to violence and disharmony and causes physical, psychological and emotional harm to affected people or communities. Social media and other means of communication has also amplified the devastating impact of hate speeches. If it is left unchecked, it can lead to wide-scale human rights violations and increase conflicts.

Theme of the day

The first International Day of Countering Hate Speech was observed under the theme “Role of education to address the root causes of hate speech and advance inclusion, non-discrimination, and peace”.

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