International Day for Countering Hate Speech: History, significance

International Day for Countering Hate Speech: History, significance

International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2022: The International Day for Countering Hate Speech is observed on June 18.

Key Points:

  • This day is observed to highlight the need for combating hate speech and promoting tolerance and dialogue between different communities.
  • According to the UN, hate speech is any kind of speech or writing that attacks or discriminates against a person or a group based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, descent, gender, race, color, or any other identity factor.
  • This year marks the first time the day will be observed.

Theme:

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”.

History:

  • In July 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution “promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech”.
  • The global body also drew attention to concerns over the proliferation of hate speech all around the globe.
  • The resolution recognizes the need to counter discrimination, xenophobia and hate speech.
  • UNGA further called on all relevant actors, including States, to increase their efforts to address this phenomenon, in line with international human rights law.
  • It declared June 18 as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

Significance:

  • This day is significant for countering hate speech as hate speech goes against the core principles of the UN Charter such as equality, peace, and respect for human dignity.
  • It has the ability to undermine social cohesiveness and tolerance, as well as produce violence and conflict, as well as physical, emotional, and psychological suffering to those impacted.
  • The catastrophic impact of the phenomenon has been further compounded by social media and other forms of communication.
  • Hate speech, if allowed uncontrolled, can result in widespread human rights violations, escalate conflicts, and destabilize peace and development efforts.
  • The escalation from hate speech to violence has had a major role in the most horrific crimes of the modern world, from the antisemitism driving the Holocaust, to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Background:

  • This initiative which was started in 2019, builds upon the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech.
  • It emphasizes the "need to combat hate in a comprehensive manner while maintaining complete respect for freedom of expression and opinion."
  • It also provides a framework for the global body to complement states in resolving this issue.

When is International Day for Countering Hate Speech observed?
A) June 21st
B) June 20th
C) June 19th
D) June 18th