Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue on Combatting Racism, 4 October 2021
Human Rights Council – 48th session
Interactive Dialogue on Combatting Racism
4 October 2021
We thank the Special Rapporteur for her reports.
Australia condemns in the strongest terms racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances, particularly where this incites further hate, violence, discrimination and exclusion.
The reports are a timely reminder that we must all remain vigilant and commit to preventing hate from dividing communities.
We have seen a significant rise in hate speech online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia deplores the use of online platforms, including social media, to spread racism and xenophobia.
We are dismayed that antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racist treatment against people of African and Asian descent, ethnic and national minorities, and indigenous peoples continue in both online and offline spaces.
Australia is building on, and investing in, social cohesion as a successful multicultural and multi-faith country.
We call on States to work with National Human Rights Institutions and civil society in exploring methods to combat racism in all its forms.
We ask the Special Rapporteur, what more can States do to stop the use of online platforms to spread racism and xenophobia, while ensuring openness and transparency in addressing systemic racism?