The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) and the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions held the 2020 Conference on Combating Hate and Discrimination on 17 September in support of implementing plans of actions, such as the enactment of the Equality Law.
The conference, which convened government institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and related organisations dedicated to issues of hate and discrimination, as well as human rights experts, identified and shared best policies and practices, particularly focused on the implementation of international regulation and legislation of equality and anti-discrimination law.
Participants of the conference voiced concerns that the global COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences are deepening pre-existing inequalities and exacerbate hate and discrimination, notably against persons in vulnerable situations.
“Tackling all forms of discrimination and hatred, including hate speech, is an important strand of the European Union’s human rights foreign policy said EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore in his congratulatory remarks. “The European Union has a number of instruments to combat discrimination and hate speech at home… this workshop is a good opportunity to share experiences and success stories, inspiring further and more targeted action against hate speech and discrimination,” he added.
Luisa Klingvall, policy officer of the European Commission, Maria Westergren, policy director at the UN Genocide Prevention and Protection Office and Jeong Moon-ja, standing member of the NHRCK presented the trends of hate and discrimination at home and abroad and ways to resolve them through keynote presentations.
The speakers concluded the event with an oral statement supporting all efforts including those of the NHRCK to fight hate and discrimination and encouraging the adoption of an anti-discrimination law.
The forum, which was organised in hybrid format that combines in-person and virtual meetings, strictly complied with social distancing regulations by the quarantine authorities in line with the government’s COVID-19 response. With the exception of key presenters, general participants attended the meetings online via ZOOM or real-time YouTube broadcasting.
The conference was supported by the TAIEX Partnership Instrument. TAIEX is the European Commission's Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument. It provides short-term, peer-to-peer assistance to government administrations to support them in the approximation, application and enforcement of the EU acquis, to share EU best practices, and to help implement bilateral and regional agreements.
Press and information officer, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea