Human Rights Council 46th Session.
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on minority issues
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith,
Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden)
Check against delivery
15 March 2021
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
We fully agree with the Special rapporteur that states should ensure that hate speech regulations are not used to suppress persons belonging to minorities, and equally important: Nor should such regulations be used to stifle the right to freedom of expression.
We have witnessed restrictions on human rights and severe limitations of civic space to silence dissenting voices, under the pretext of security and counterterrorism. To address hate speech, we need free speech and open dialogue. It is essential to secure a safe and enabling space for human rights defenders advocating the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Certain political actors are using social media to manipulate information. We need a new generation of citizens with digital skills empowered to recognize, reject, and stand against misinformation and hate speech. All relevant actors must contribute to combating hate speech. We second the special rapporteur’s idea of dialogue between tech companies and human rights organizations to ensure better protection of minority groups.
How are the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights useful in following up social media companies’ responsibility to prevent human rights violations and abuses in their value chains, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities?