We believe that the rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination are complementary, foundational rights, both of which are essential to the enjoyment of other human rights.
We work to promote equal enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and to combat expression which aims to incite violence or discrimination against particular groups.
How We Promote Freedom of Expression
Promoting equality in the enjoyment of freedom of expression and combating hate speech is a feature of our work in many countries, and the main focus of our work in a small number of countries.
We have been working to promote freedom of expression and non-discrimination in Sudan since 2010. Our work has involved strengthening and supporting the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network, helping it to expand from an informal grouping of committed activists to a network with more than 100 members. Working with the JHR, we supported a number of vulnerable journalists to escape detention and torture.
In 2014, we documented discriminatory denial of freedom of expression in our report In Search of Confluence: Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Sudan. We have also provided journalists with training on safety and security, the rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination, combating hate speech and safe and ethical journalistic practice.
In 2012, we expanded our work to cover South Sudan, establishing an informal JHR network there, providing training and – crucially – bringing journalists from Sudan and South Sudan together to discuss the protection of freedom of expression and challenging hate speech.
Our research has identified hate speech as a key factor in fuelling ethnic conflict both within and between the two countries. As a result of our work, 230 journalists have endorsed a common statement setting out their commitment to combating hate speech and promoting equality.
In 2015, we began work on the link between freedom of expression and equality in Kazakhstan.
This will see us provide legal support to journalists who face criminal charges or other persecution as a result of their work, or need to use the law to protect their freedom of expression.
We will also provide training on the relationship between the rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination and we will support the documentation of discrimination, hate speech and denial of freedom of expression by 80 civil society activists, journalists and bloggers.