UN human rights office is concerned about racist hate speech over the internet

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The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has raised concern about what it says is the rapid spread of racist hate speech across borders via the internet and social media networks.

The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said the problem is compounded by the lack of a universally acceptable definition of what constitutes hate speech.

Ms. Pansieri spoke at the start of the latest session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva on Monday.

She said incorporating human rights education in schools would go along way in the prevention and eradication of all forms of discrimination and intolerance.

"Where does the right of expression which we all want to respect stop and the need to sanction and prevent hate speech begin? What is the point in time when one right has to recognize that it cannot be exercised if it implies the violation of another one? Persons with albinism have been dismembered live. There have been abductions in 15 African states and the special Rapporteur has strongly urged governments to really engage in raising awareness and understanding that the different colour of skin of persons with albinism doesn't make them less human beings and any less deserving or having all the rights respected and protected."

The Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the committee to examine and come up with concrete measures to curb discrimination and barbaric acts faced by persons living with albinism.

In its current session the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination will review reports submitted by Chile, Chad, Venezuela, Burkina Faso, Belarus, Jamaica, Sweden and Cyprus.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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Source: UN Radio