Home News Countering Hate Speech Panacea To Sustainable Development -Ojukwu

Countering Hate Speech Panacea To Sustainable Development -Ojukwu

Countering Hate Speech Panacea To Sustainable Development -Ojukwu

Princess-Ekwi Ajide

Hate speech is said to be intricately related to human rights, either in its form or outcome.

From the purveyor, it is about right to freedom of expression, opinion, speech or belief and to the recipient, it is a violation of the rights to dignity of human person and the freedom from discrimination based on religious belief, political, ethnic, gender, cultural or other affiliations, amongst many other human rights.

Hate speeches promote discrimination, divisions, incites violence, all of which impedes voter participation and access in the elections as has been seen in some parts of the country during the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

Hate speech can lead to the violation of multiple human rights including freedom from discrimination, freedom of association, right to dignity of human person, right to participation amongst others.

It is given this background that the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Barrister Tony Ojukwu, said that if not checked and countered, propagation of hate speech will be retrogressive to the building of peaceful and progressive societies.

Speaking at an event in commemoration of the 2024 International Day for Countering Hate Speech in Abuja, tagged “Investing in the Power of Youths for Countering and Addressing Hate Speech”, Human Rights Chief explained that this will harm not only individual or group rights but the achievement of sustainable development.

According to Barrister Ojukwu, scale and impact of hate speech are amplified by new technologies and communication platforms which are widely used by young people in social, cultural, and political interactions hence the event targets young people to understand and embrace their roles in countering hate speech.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mohammed Fall, represented by Phillipe Delanghe, said the UN considers hate speech as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language and contradicts all the values and principles enshrined in international human rights law.

He reechoed the need to check hate speech as it can harm peace and development, lay the ground for conflicts and tensions, undermine social cohesion, and contribute to wide scale human rights violations and atrocity crimes if left unchecked.

The event was jointly organised by the National Human Rights Commission and the United Nations in Nigeria in pursuance of their unique mandates to promote and protect human and in recognition of the roles of the youth in nation building.


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