Item 3 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. NB8 Denmark. (06.03.2024)

Human Rights Council 55th session.

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief. 

Statement by Denmark on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

6 March 2024

                                                                    [Check against delivery]

Mr President,

I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for the comprehensive overview of the human rights framework on hatred based on religion or belief.

In many parts of the world, including in our own countries people continue to experience hate and discrimination because of their opinion, or religion or belief. It is deeply concerning that religious or belief-based hatred often is facilitated and exacerbated through online platforms, which can rapidly escalate tensions.

We must stand united in condemning all acts of hatred, discrimination or violence against individuals on the basis of religion or belief and in combatting hate, discrimination and violence while upholding the right to freedom of opinion and expression. More speech, not less, is the key means to address hate speech.

Fortunately, as your report shows, we have a robust framework to combat hate speech and standards on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence. We recall our full commitment to these standards and to our collective efforts to promote them in countering hatred.

Special Rapporteur, how can we best make use of existing tools to tackle online and offline expressions of religious hatred?