WJC @ UNHRC: COVID-19 related hate speech

Representative delivering the statement: Chanel Chauvet

Thank you Madam President, 

I am delivering this statement on behalf of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, the World Jewish Congress and the European Union of Jewish Students. 

Madam High Commissioner, we commend you for your report where you referred to the linkage between nationalism and hatred, with outspoken racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and other forms of discrimination.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shows us once again what we already knew, when times get tough, extremism spikes. The pandemic has given rise to a new wave of hate speech and discrimination: “COVID-19” related hate speech. This wave targets minorities, including with the renewal of age-old antisemitic myths and blood-libels against Jews. 

The rights to freedom of opinion, and freedom of expression, enshrined in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are substantial ones. However, these rights are not unlimited, and must not be abused for the proliferation of hate speech 

Madam President, if left unaddressed, hate speech leads to acts of violence and conflict on a wider scale. The time for action is now. We must ensure that governments, traditional media, online platforms, including social media ones, educators, politicians and all relevant stakeholders take decisive measures against hate speech and its spread online.  

Thank you Madam President.
 

To read more about WJC's activities at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Right's Council, click here

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