There was broad participation from the IDSN network in the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities” to provide insights on caste discrimination, which will feed into the thematic work of the Special Rapporteur on minority issues for his report to the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2021.

Dalit human rights defenders from Nepal, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh spoke up at the forum highlighting the need for online and offline spaces to become much safer for women and marginalised communities to engage in.

They shared information and experiences of how Dalits are targeted for online and offline bullying and how very often hate crimes have been preceded by escalated hate speech. Recommendations were offered by Dalit participants on ways to address caste hate speech online and offline and create a more open civic space where threats and abuse are not everyday occurrences.

IDSN also participated in the European Regional Forum on “Hate Speech, Social Media and Minorities”, offering insights into caste hate speech in a European context and recommendations.

The discussions and input provided at the Regional Forums will also inform the work and recommendations of the 13th Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, which will take place in Geneva, on 19 and 20 November 2020.