UN rights chief calls for new measures to fight genocide Internet hatemongering

“Stamping out discrimination is not only a matter for lofty statements, it is a matter for determined, preventive action,” Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan told the intergovernmental working group on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of the 2001 World Conference against Racism. Mr. Ramcharan asked the panel at its four-day meeting in Geneva to look at five specific areas for further standard setting. These are the need for an international convention on the prevention of ethnic cleansing; an international convention on human rights education; a protocol to the Genocide Convention enshrining strong measures for the prevention of genocide; an international declaration to counter discrimination against indigenous populations; and an instrument to prevent the propagation of hatred through the Internet. “At the start of the twenty-first century it is overdue that we set new courses for the prevention of discrimination and the prevention of gross violations of human rights,” Mr. Ramcharan declared. “It is a sad fact of the contemporary world that hatred is being spread through the Internet by unscrupulous and misguided people. The Internet is one of the most effective medium of communication we have in the contemporary world,” he said, calling for an international convention to work out the strategies and norms required. He called ethnic cleansing “the most shocking form of discrimination in the contemporary world” and stressed the need for human rights education to begin with the minds of the young.

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