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2021: engaging GAAMAC’s community to decode hate speech under a new leadership

Hate speech is a serious indicator along the path that leads towards atrocities and new technologies and social media platforms may serve as amplifiers.
 

As all man-made calamities, experience shows that when addressed early enough through pertinent prevention policies, it is possible to contain or stop it. Even better, prevention initiatives have positive consequences for our democracies: based on the principles of the common good and constitutional rights, they protect and strengthen democratic values. Addressing hate speech requires a coordinated response from governments, civil society and the private sector.

 

Throughout 2020, GAAMAC’s community has mobilized to act against hate speech. As a landmark activity, on 1 September, GAAMAC launched together with its partner the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies the “Decoding Hate Speech” online series with the aim to increase the understanding of and raise awareness about online hate speech within the atrocity prevention community and beyond in the lead up to GAAMAC IV.

 

GAAMAC’s community has strengthened its knowledge and expertise on some of the key vectors of hate speech such as the weaponization of new technologies. In 2021, it will further build upon this rich knowledge through in-depth discussions with diverse stakeholders and experts on vectors of hate speech and how to tackle them. All learnings and recommendations from these discussions will feed into and enrichen the exchanges that will take place during GAAMAC’s fourth Global Meeting which will take place in November 2021.

 

2021 will be a year when GAAMAC’s community is convened under a new leadership; Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi. On 16 November 2020, GAAMAC’s Chair officially passed over from Switzerland to Argentina during a virtual event titled “High-level event on atrocity prevention on the occasion of the handover of the Chair of GAAMAC”, premiering a video featuring voices from its community to mark the occasion. Founding members, partners, regional initiatives members, atrocity prevention experts and former global meeting participants shared their reflections and recommendations for the prevention platform.  On this occasion GAAMAC also highlighted the role of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council as well as other multilateral institutions in promoting atrocity prevention. The High Commissioner for Human Rights delivered a keynote speech to that end.

 

By Jelena Pia-Comella, Managing Coordinator

 

 

Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) is a global and inclusive network of states, civil society and academic institutions that aim to support states in establishing national architectures and policies for the early and permanent prevention of atrocities.
 
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