Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities”

The forum covered the Asia-Pacific region and was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 145 people representing states, international organizations, civil society, academia and minority groups participated in the regional forum. The main purpose of the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum was to provide regional insights to feed into the thematic work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for his report to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2021. Furthermore, discussions at the Regional Forum will also inform the work and recommendations of the 13th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which will take place in Geneva on 19 and 20 November 2020.

The Asia-Pacific Regional Forum also had the following five more specific objectives:

  • Raise awareness about and to promote understanding of the forms of online hate speech, including incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, against persons belonging to minorities, and the role played by social media in its dissemination, and its harmful impact, including the ‘chilling effect’;
  • Identify legal, institutional and policy challenges concerning the dissemination of online hate speech, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, on social media against minorities;
  • Explore and identify appropriate responses – especially those of states, social media platforms and civil society - to the dissemination of hate speech against minorities on social media platforms, referring to good practices, in accordance with international human rights law and standards;
  • Strengthen the participation of persons belonging to minorities and their representatives in the development of laws and policies, as well as global discussions on online hate speech and the promotion of human rights and ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity;
  • Strengthen partnerships among various stakeholders and to build their capacity to address hate speech against minorities, especially incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence on social media platforms.

Based on the discussions at the Regional Forum and the input of panelists and participants, a set of regional recommendations on the issue of “hate speech, social media and minorities” were developed.

Below you will find the documentation from the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities.