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Hate speech and Xenophobia

In conjunction with Index on Censorship

Speakers: Professor Kevin Boyle, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex; Nick Fraser, author The Voice of Modern Hatred (Picador, 2000); Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, author After Multiculturalism (Foreign Policy Centre, 2000)
Chair: Professor Fred Halliday, LSE
June 2001

The issue of xenophobia and hate-speech will be at the centre of a major UN Conference to be held in Durban at the end of August. Over recent years the attention of human rights and legal experts has turned increasingly to the issue of hate-speech, the abuse of others on grounds of race, ethnicity and religion. This is in part a result of the tide of abuse that has accompanied inter-ethnic conflicts, be it in the Balkans, Central Africa or the Middle East, in part because of the use made of new forms of communication, be they local radio or the Internet, by those promoting hatred.

Concern about this trend is, however, further intensified by the human rights and legal issues it raises, with regard to the prevention of conflict on the one side, and the preservation of freedom of expression on the other. This seminar, jointly sponsored by Index on Censorship and the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE, will examine the legal and human rights dimensions of hate-speech and seek to inform a broader audience of the issues involved