UN chief calls for serious actions to completely eradicate hate speech

On the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, observed on June 18, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated that “hate speech has no place, and we must all work to completely eradicate it.”

Guterres affirmed that hate speech is a sign of discrimination, abuse, violence, conflict, and even crimes against humanity, noting that its impact has been seen in Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Bosnia, and other places.

He added that hate speech currently targets a wide range of groups, often based on racial, ethnic, religious, ideological, or political affiliation, confirming that the recent months have seen an increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate speech online and in public comments by influential leaders.

Guterres stated that under international law, countries have an obligation to prevent and combat incitement to hatred and to promote diversity, understanding, and solidarity.

He declared that the UN’s strategy and action plan for combating hate speech provide a framework for addressing the root causes and effects of this scourge, pointing out that youth are the most affected by hate speech and, therefore, must be part of the solution.

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