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Item 9 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

44th session of the Human Rights Council - Item 9 – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Statement delivered by First Secretary Sean Lobo

15 July 2020

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Mdm. President,

Norway strongly condemns all kinds of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Racism and discriminatory attitudes do not just harm and stigmatize individuals or groups, it also deteriorates societies and fundamental democratic values.

While freedom of speech should be the very fundament of any democracy, we all have a responsibility to act against hate speech, negative convictions or harmful stereotypes.

We strongly support the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation for governments to develop comprehensive frameworks to combat hate speech.

The Norwegian Government recently launched a national action plan against racism and discrimination based on ethnicity and religion, with 50 wide-range follow-up actions.

One of these points of action is to finance research on the state of racial discrimination, another is promoting tolerance in the schools. Norway is also developing a specific action plan to combat hate and discrimination against Muslims.

The recent global protests also underline the need to listen to those who are victims of racism and take necessary actions.

We would like to ask the special rapporteur; as hate crime often takes place online and in social media, what can states do to increase their efforts to combat online racism and hate speech?

Thank you.