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Engaging Religious Actors to Counter Hate Speech

The UN Human Rights Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (OHCHR- ROMENA) has launched in partnership with the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG) a booklet on “Engaging Religious Actors to Counter Hate Speech, Prevent Incitement to Violence, and Build Inclusive and Peaceful Societies”.

The concise publication celebrates the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief, both cornerstones of pluralist, diverse and inclusive societies.  It aims to foster understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief is essential for sustained peace and stability, while combatting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

Religious actors are powerful agents of peace building and reconciliation in conflict and post conflict situations, as they have the potential to influence their followers. Faith actors, like other human rights defenders, are the custodians of shared values for all religions and beliefs. They should optimize this custodianship through concrete social engagement aimed at building peaceful, inclusive and just societies.

The booklet also highlights the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which represents the commitment of the United Nations system to address and counter hate speech globally, in line with international human rights standards, and with freedom of expression and opinion in particular. Enhanced partnership, including with religious actors, is a key element of the implementation of this strategy

Both OHCHR and OSAPG engage closely with faith actors, community members, policymakers, and civil society to promote dialogue on issues of freedoms of expression, religion or belief, equality, and non-discrimination as means to prevent atrocity crimes.

Learn more about OHCHR and the "Faith for Rights" framework

Download the booklet here 

OHCHR_OSAPG_Engaging Religious Actors to Counter Hate Speech_0.pdf