The rights to equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones of human rights law and the prohibition of racial discrimination constitutes an erga omnes obligation. Yet in many parts of the world we are witnessing, with great concern, discriminatory practices and increasingly xenophobic and racist responses, including racial, ethnic, religious and nationality based profiling and incitement to hatred.
It is regrettable that refugees and migrants are particular targets of racial, ethnic, religious and nationality based profiling, and incitement to hatred. In the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (General Assembly resolution 71/1), Member States strongly condemned acts and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance against refugees and migrants, and the stereotypes often applied to them, including on the basis of religion or belief. They commit to a range of steps to counter such attitudes and behaviours, particularly regarding hate crimes, hate speech and racial violence.
The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action urged States to design, implement and enforce effective measures to eliminate racial profiling. Under international human rights standards, the prohibition of incitement to hatred is clearly established in article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
We would like to seek views of the panellists regarding the need for a legally binding instrument to explicitly criminalize racial and religious profiling and hate speech.
I thank you.