Report on the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

The 43rd regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC43 ) was held in two segments, as the session had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first segment took place from Monday 24 February until Friday 13 March. The 43rd session resumed on Monday 15 June and ended on Tuesday 23 June 2020. As it is the …

‘Unfriending’ online hate: The contribution of the World Jewish Congress

by Leon Saltiel, WJC’s Representative in Geneva and Project Manager on Countering Antisemitism and Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

There is little doubt that one of the modern world’s principal political challenges is the rise of hate speech, particularly in the cyber arena. Such hateful and intolerant expression, especially when widely circulated via the internet, promotes populism, extremism and radicalisation and deplorably leads to violence and murderous attacks. This incitement tears societies apart, threatens democracy and the rule of …

The UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech: tackling discrimination, hostility and violence

by Rodrigo Saad, former Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

‘Hate speech is a challenge from which no country is immune,’ stated Adama Dieng, Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide at the launch event  of the  UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech . The system-wide strategy was launched amid a backdrop of surging levels of xenophobia, racism, and overall intolerance throughout the world. This trend has been amplified by social media and information communication technologies, which have …

The Arc of the Covenant: The unfinished business of UN efforts to combat religious intolerance

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

A ‘Lost Covenant’ The combating of religious discrimination is one of the oldest thematic topics of discussion within the UN human rights system. Originally bound closely with discussions on racial discrimination, particularly in the context of resurgent anti-Semitism in the aftermath of World War 2, it harks back to the mandate first handed the Commission on Human Rights by the …

Does the UN already have the tools to prevent violent extremism? The newly discovered role of social exclusion and discrimination in violent extremism

by Samuel Gordon, URG Blog, Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

When the United Nations was established in 1945 one of its fundamental ambitions was to create a world that wasn’t plagued by religious and racial persecution and discrimination. In the aftermath of WW2, the mantra of never again, was continuously used to represent the new commitment to the protection of religious and minority rights. This immediately began to manifest itself …

Time to scrap the world’s remaining blasphemy laws

by Joelle Fiss and Geneva Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

Last May, Ireland woke up to the strange news that the Irish police were investigating remarks made by actor Stephen Fry, which, it was alleged, might be considered blasphemous. In a 2015 television interview, Fry had accused God of being a selfish maniac, and asked: ‘why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is …

‘No fear, no hate, no wall, no ban:’ the world – and freedom of expression – at a critical juncture

by Dr Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University and Geneva Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In Focus: Human rights and religion

In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons crisis’ in 2005, the political, policy and academic world was replete with debates over the benefits or risks of ‘blasphemy laws.’ The debates highlighted a profound gap between those who believed that mocking religion (the faith, the tenets, the sacraments, the symbols, etc.) should not be tolerated and those who argued that …

How to move forward with the implementation of resolution 16/18 and with global efforts to combat religious intolerance and discrimination

by Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

Incitement to religious hatred, discrimination and violence needs to be addressed by everyone, and at all levels. That is especially so when one considers the increasingly globalised and interconnected world in which we live — events on one side of the planet can have immediate and far-reaching consequences for people on the other side. News relating to religious discrimination or …

URG Board Member, Nazila Ghanea, addresses Human Rights Council during panel discussion on preventing violent extremism

by the URG team Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Prensa, URG News

On 17th March 2016, URG Board member Nazila Ghanea participated in the Human Rights Council “Panel discussion on preventing violent extremism,” alongside Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN; Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights; Gastón Garatea, Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and former Chair of the National Bureau for the Fight against Poverty; Mehreen …

Implementing Resolution 16/18: the role of Rabat and the importance of civil society space

by Andrew Smith, Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19 and the URG team Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

The 31st session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) is a significant marker: not only will the HRC celebrate its 10th birthday, but the session will mark five years since the adoption of resolution 16/18 on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief .” In the current geopolitical context, the consensus that underpins resolution 16/18 is increasingly precarious, despite being more important than ever. In March, the HRC will consider …