(Concept Note) 2020 Conference on Combating Hate and Discrimination
The 2020 Conference on Combating Hate Speech will take place in Seoul, the Republic of Korea on 17 September 2020. The theme of the Conference hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, the European Union and the APF is “Implementing Strategy and Plan of Action to address Hate and Discrimination.”
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and are entitled to all the rights and fundamental freedoms set forth in the International Human Rights documents, without distinction of any kind, such as religion, race, colour, descent, national or social origin, gender or other identity factors. Yet, currently, hate and discrimination caused by bias and stereotyping against the targeted social minorities such as migrants,
refugees, women, LGBTI etc. is spreading in most of the societies, and social media and other forms of communication are used as platform for bigotry and discrimination, stigmatizing minorities. The targeted minorities are getting more vulnerable and increasingly exposed to incendiary rhetoric and incitement to discrimination in social disaster situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hate speech is moving into the mainstream, even in democracies and not only does it infringe on human rights, but it also poses a menace to democratic values and stability, hampering inclusive and just societies. The
fight against hate speech is a daunting challenge for the human rights community since the acts of hate and discrimination rather stem from structural discrimination that is entrenched in society, and as the United
Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech points out, it requires a coordinated response that tackles the root causes and drivers of hate speech, as well as its impact on victims and societies more broadly.
Tackling hate speech is the responsibility of all – governments, societies, the private sector and individuals. In particular, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), international organizations, civil society organizations,
and human rights defenders all play a crucial role in protecting human rights and countering hate speech.
Against this backdrop, the NHRCK, the European Union and the APF will host the 2020 Conference on Combating Hate Speech : "Implementing Strategy and Plan of Action to address Hate and Discrimination" to raise
awareness and come up with effective ways to counter hate and discrimination, a common challenge facing societies across the world.
2020 Human Rights Conference will convene government institutions, NGOs, and related organizations dedicated to issues of hate and discrimination, as well as human rights experts to identify and share best policies and
practices, particularly focused on the implementation of international regulation and legislation of equality and anti-discrimination law, as well as information communication technologies.
The conference will give an impetus to the efforts to legislate the long awaited ‘equality and anti-discrimination law’ which is regarded as an effective mechanism to address hate speech in the Republic of Korea. Also, the conference will give participants an opportunity to build coalitions on the issues of tackling hate speech in the international community.
The Conference may be attended by NHRIs, EU member countries, UN agencies, government and NGO representatives, relevant institutions and academics and activists working on hate and discrimination issues, who
have been invited to observe or address the Conference. Approximately 100 participants are expected to attend the conference.
4. Areas of Discussion
• In dealing with the issue of hate speech, what approaches can be taken to implement ‘hate speech’ regulation in international human rights law? In domestic contexts, what are the main challenges in implementing international human rights laws and relevant guidelines? How can the implementation policy at the national level be
strengthened by legislation of equality and anti-discrimination law?
• Which policies and practices can be suggested as exemplary ones in combating hate and discrimination? How do we define the roles of governments, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and businesses in countering hate speech?
• What are the measures that can be taken to prevent hate and discrimination in the social media and on the internet and to protect victims in the context of information communication technologies?
• What should be taken into account when trying to improve laws, policies and practices, to promote education and awareness on the issue of hate speech?
• What are the accomplishments and challenges in the EU member countries and other areas, particularly, focused on legislation and guidelines? What implications can have these precedents to other countries?
5. Composition of Conference
The conference is 1 day program, composed of 3 regular sessions. In each session, one facilitator, four to five presenters will participate.
6. Conference Venue
The conference will be held at Westin Chosun Hotel(Grand Ball Room on high lobby floor) near the NHRCK head office in downtown Seoul. The official language of the conference is English, and Korean-English
simultaneous interpretation will be provided.
2020 Conference on Combating Hate and Discrimination Secretariat
5F, 27, Nonhyeon-ro 76-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea, 06224|Tel. +82 70-8670-3162|E-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
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