dialogue bubbles of different colors
Hate speech is: “any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity,
Photo:#NoToHate

Hatred is a danger to everyone – and so fighting it must be a job for everyone."

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Hate speech is on the rise

Hate speech is on the rise worldwide with the potential to incite violence, undermine social cohesion and tolerance, and cause psychological, emotional, and physical harm to those affected.

Hate speech not only affects the specific individuals and groups targeted, but societies at large.

The devastating effect of hatred is sadly nothing new. However, its scale and impact are amplified today by new technologies of communication, so much so that hate speech, has become one of the most frequent methods for spreading divisive rhetoric and ideologies on a global scale. If left unchecked, hate speech can even harm peace and development, as it lays the ground for conflicts and tensions, wide scale human rights violations.

Background

In July 2021, the UN General Assembly highlighted global concerns over “the exponential spread and proliferation of hate speech” around the world and adopted a resolution on “promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech”.

The resolution recognizes the need to counter discrimination, xenophobia and hate speech and calls on all relevant actors, including States, to increase their efforts to address this phenomenon, in line with international human rights law.

The resolution proclaimed 18 June as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, which will be marked for the first time in 2022.

To observe the Day, the United Nations invites governments, international organizations, civil society groups, and individuals to hold events and initiatives promoting strategies to identify, address and counter hate speech. The President of the General Assembly convened an informal High-level Meeting to mark the commemoration of the first International Day to take place Monday, 20 June 2022, at 10 a.m. EDT at the General Assembly Hall in New York City.

Whether as Member States the private sector, the media and internet corporations, faith leaders, educators, actors of civil society, those affected by hate speech, youth, or simply as an individual, we all have the moral duty of speaking out firmly against instances of hate speech and play a crucial role to in countering this scourge.

Origin

Hate speech is not only a denial of the essential values of the Organization, but it also undermines the UN Charter's very core principles and objectives, such as respect for human dignity, equality, and peace.

Advancing human rights and fighting hate are at the heart of the Organization’s mission and the United Nations has the duty to confront the global issue of hate speech at every turn.

The impact of hate speech cuts across numerous existing United Nations areas of focus, from human rights protection and prevention of atrocity crimes to sustaining peace and achieving gender equality and supporting children and youth.

The International Day of Countering Hate Speech is an initiative that builds on the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech launched on 18 June 2019. This first UN system-wide initiative designed to tackle hate speech provides an essential framework for how the Organization can support and complement States' efforts.

The strategy emphasizes the need to counter hate holistically and with full respect for freedom of opinion and expression, while working in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, media outlets, tech companies and social media platforms.

#NoToHate

illustration of person drowning in speech bubbles

 

The #NoToHate website reflects the UN’s response to the global phenomenon of hate speech, as well as the resources available to counter it.

Events

Informal High-level Meeting to mark the commemoration of the first International Day for Countering Hate Speech

Date: Monday, 20 June 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. EDT (New York time)

Place: General Assembly Hall

Watch: UN WebTV.

 

High Level Event Commemorating the first International Day for Countering Hate Speech

The Kingdom of Morocco and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention have the honor to invite you to a High-Level Event to mark the celebration of the 1st International Day for Countering Hate Speech, with the theme: “Role of education to address the root causes of hate speech and advance inclusion, non-discrimination, and peace”

Date: Friday, 17 June 2022

Time: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT (New York time)

Place: Trusteeship chamber

Watch: UN WebTV

 

Fighting Hate Speech: Global Perspectives

invitation to the event

A virtual event to recognize the significant role of higher education and academics, in the global efforts to promote human dignity and inclusion in times when dissemination of hatred is alarming and rising.

Date: Thursday, 16 June 2022

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. EDT (New York time)

 

Resources

Portrait of the Special Adviser

To prevent atrocity crimes, it is critically important to understand their root causes. Crimes, such as genocide and crimes against humanity, are not spontaneous acts. They develop as a process over time, during which it may be possible to identify warning signs, including hate speech targeting specific groups. Therefore, the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide is the focal point for the implementation of the UN Strategy on Hate Speech.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.