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SWM 2014: Legislating against and countering hate speech in East Africa 

Case study by Laura A. YoungEast Africa and the Horn has been one of the most volatile regions in the world in recent years. Several states have passed legislation that addresses hate speech, trying to clamp down on incitement to violence, but according to Article 19’s Director for Kenya and Eastern Africa, Henry Maina, these laws often end up punishing minorities instead of protecting...

SWM 2014: Countering hate content in Pakistan's school textbooks 

Case study by Nicole Girard‘The education system in Pakistan is dominated by people having a particular religious ideology and extremist mindset. These people desire this extremist ideology to be inculcated into the curriculum and thus manipulate the education system.’ Cecil Shane Chaudhry, Executive Director of Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and PeaceEducation has a central role to play in countering violence and discrimination against...

SWM 2014: The role of civil society in countering hate speech in Burma 

Case study by Hanna HindstromThe rise of extremist rhetoric against Burma’s Muslim minority has been facilitated by the government’s reluctance to take meaningful steps to curb this hate speech. Even pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has attracted criticism for her apparent silence on the targeted abuse and displacement of tens of thousands of Rohingya. The escalation of the violence since the recent thawing...

SWM 2014: The unequal application of hate crime legislation in Hungary 

Case study by Eszter JovánovicsWhile the conviction, almost five years on, of four people in 2013 for the serial killing of six Roma in 2008 and 2009 is a welcome step in the fight against Hungary’s endemic hate crime, the community is still poorly protected against a rising wave of targeted violence. This is reflected in the fact that the suspected perpetrators were only...

SWM 2014: The experience of Central Asian migrants in Moscow, Russia 

Case study by Anastasia DenisovaThis research is the result of an extended participatory research study between March and April 2014, undertaken by the Civic Assistance Committee and funded by MRG with support from CAFOD.Trapped in the margins – the challenges of being a migrant in RussiaRussia’s migrant population, comprising around 11 million people, is the second largest in the world. The majority are nationals...

SWM 2014: Understanding the dynamic of communal riots against Muslims in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, Uttar Pradesh, India 

Case study by Sajjad HassanThis research is the result of an extended participatory research study between January and March 2014, undertaken by the Centre for Equity Studies in partnership with Aman Biradari, funded by MRG with support from CAFOD. Context – Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts before the riotsMuzaffarnagar and Shamli districts are part of the agriculturally rich western Uttar Pradesh (UP) region, dominated by...

Sri Lanka: Buddhist extremists attack innocent Muslims 

Warning - this post contains graphic and potentially disturbing imagesBudu Bala Sene and its supporters attacked innocent Muslims in some Muslims villages in the South of Sri Lanka today (15-6-14). Buddhist extremists’ movement Budu Bala Sene had its demonstration against Muslims today in Aluthgama town. The following the demonstration they had a meeting. The general secretary of BBS spoke with his vulgar tones and...

SWM 2014: The impact of violence on communities in Boma Sub-County, South Sudan 

Case study by Paul Oleyo LongonyThis research is the result of a month-long participatory research study undertaken by the Boma Development Initiative, funded by MRG with support from CAFOD. In December 2013, a confrontation between Dinka and Nuer soldiers quickly escalated into a major civil conflict between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former Vice-President Riek Machar. The ensuing violence, which has taken on a...

SWM 2014: Addressing the vulnerability of South Africa’s migrant communities 

South Africa’s relative wealth and economic opportunities have for many years attracted migrants from other countries in the region, such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique, to live and work in the country. However, the outbreak of anti-migrant riots in 2008, beginning in Johannesburg and spreading to other cities across the country, left at least 62 people dead and highlighted the ongoing stigmatization that foreign...

Uganda: Local rights organisation deeply concerned about tension between Batwa and Bakiga and calls for immediate investigations of incidents of arson 

United Organisation for Batwa Development (Uobdu) condemns the recent attack on a Batwa community in Rubuguri in which 13 homes were razed after a night bar brawl between a Mutwa, only identified as Akakwasa, and Aggrey Masente and his wife from the majority Bakiga ethnic group on 7 June 2014. Masente with the assistance of a group of errant youth, adults and...

SWM 2014: Rising hostility against Bulgaria’s refugee population 

Case study by Yuliana MetodievaMinority groups in Bulgaria, such as Roma and ethnic Turks, have long suffered discrimination and marginalization – and this has also translated into hate speech and bias motivated violence. However, the arrival of thousands of refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria has provided right-wing groups and extremists with a new target. MRG discussed this troubling new trend with Yuliana...

USA/Africa: A Farewell To Elombe Brath 

The life of African freedom-fighter Elombe Brath was celebrated in Harlem last month. A pillar of the pan-African movement, Brath made it his life-long mission to empower the black community both in Africa and around the world. The Brooklyn-born activist died age 77 at Amsterdam Nursing Home in Harlem on Wednesday 19th May.International ambassadors, local politicians and family members gathered in Harlem to pay...

VIDEO: Speaking out for minority women in Somalia 

At the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, Minority Rights Group hosted an interactive storytelling event at London's ExCel centre. The event featured influential guest-speakers who had travelled from Somalia in order to raise awareness about the plight of minority clans in their home country.Frequently overlooked by international media, female members of minority clans took centre stage at the MRG event. Hon. Bibi...

SWM 2014: Countering racism in South American football 

Case study by Antonio Cicioni and Natalia TorresIt is well known how enthusiastic South Americans are when it comes to football. However, while the region has attracted positive attention for the passion and commitment it invests in the game, this image has also been tarnished by incidents of racism. As in other regions, South American stadiums are places where hate speech and xenophobia have...

SWM 2014: Using the internet to pre-empt hate speech in Kyrgyzstan 

Case study by Katya Quinn-JudgeKyrgyzstan has one of Central Asia’s most vibrant and fastest-growing internet scenes, and online platforms are playing an increasingly important role in the country. These have the potential to serve as an information bridge not only between Kyrgyzstan and other countries, but also among its different regions, which are relatively isolated due to the country’s harsh topography. At the same...

SWM 2014: Action against untouchability in Bangladesh  

Case study by Livia SaccardiAbul Basar is a Bangladeshi activist who for years has been working on a variety of development and human rights issues in the country. In particular, his focus has been on the ongoing marginalization of Dalit communities and the best ways to address the root causes of their situation. Here he discusses with Livia Saccardi the daily discrimination Dalits face...

SWM 2014: Vietnam: raising awareness and challenging prejudice in the media 

Case study by Hanna HindstromIn 2011, the Hanoi-based Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), supported by MRG, launched a new campaign to boost coverage of the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples in the media.‘As the public knew very little about ethnic minority rights and the duties of the state, the project was intended to improve their knowledge and increase social...

SWM 2014: The disturbing rise of hate speech against Koreans in Japan  

Case study by Lailah Nesbitt-AhmedAnti-Korean demonstrations in Tokyo during 2013 brought international attention to a troubling trend in Japan – an apparent rise, in recent years, of xenophobic sentiment towards the country’s ethnic Korean population. Crowds of protesters, carrying banners with nationalist symbols and racist slurs, repeatedly targeted the Shin-Ōkubo neighbourhood, where many Korean businesses are based, during the year. Denigrating graffiti has also...

SWM 2014: Ukraine fails to address hate crime against migrants and other groups 

Case study by Irene FedorovychThe Ukrainian state has been slow to recognize the reality of hate crime in the country. Even now, there continues to be a clear gap between the small number of cases officially reported each year and the much larger number of incidents recorded by NGOs and rights groups. Furthermore, until recently, while Ukraine had legal provisions (Article 161 of the...

SWM 2014: Tackling Islamophobia in the United Kingdom 

In the United Kingdom, extremist organizations such as the English Defence League have launched vocal attacks against the Muslim minority. However, while these groups remain at the fringe politically, their activities comprise only a small fraction of the true extent of Islamophobic hate speech and violence. Fiyaz Mughal, director of the charity Faith Matters, discusses the challenges with MRG and how his organization’s Tell...


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