Available translations: English العربيّة
News : Article

Tackling hate and promoting inclusion

Graphic: Group shot of participants at the conclusion of the conference in Seoul

The urgent need to build partnerships to tackle the rise of hate speech, especially during COVID-19, was the focus of a one-day conference.

The urgent need to build partnerships to tackle the growing incidence of hate speech and discrimination online and in the community was the focus of a one-day conference hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.

Around 100 participants took part in the event, which included representatives from national human rights institutions in the Asia Pacific, United Nations agencies, EU member countries, government bodies and civil society organisations.

Many speakers noted that COVID-19 had only added to problem of hate speech and discrimination in many communities, often with vulnerable groups being held responsible for the spread of the virus.


The Asia Pacific is home to a greater diversity of races, ethnicities and religions than any other region in the world, which is why it is vital we build partnerships to counter hate and prejudice in all its forms.

Asia Pacific Forum Logo Kieren Fitzpatrick, Director, APF secretariat

The discussions explored a range of topics, including:

  • Strategies to counter hate and discrimination on social media
  • The extent to which laws and policies can prevent hate speech and discrimination
  • Examples of effective national or community-level partnerships to tackle prejudice and promote inclusion.

The Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, Young-ae Choi, highlighted the need for the passage of an equality law that would provide strong protection for vulnerable groups in the country.

The 2020 Conference on Combatting Hate Speech, held on 17 September 2020, was supported by the APF and the European Union.

Around 30 participants took part in the conference in-person at Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul, with others joining the discussions online from countries across the Asia Pacific and Europe.

The conference proceedings can be viewed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/cxDhhB_ecmI

Date: 22 September 2020


Image credits

  1. Group shot of participants at the conclusion of the conference in Seoul - National Human Rights Commission of Korea