UN Rights Chief Calls To End Online Hate And ‘dehumanizing Identity Politics’

High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Office Volker Turk.

‘There is no place for dehumanizing the other by using reductionist labels or identity politics’

UN rights chief Volker Turk called Friday for protection from online hatred and an end to dehumanizing identity politics, as part of a more considerate social media environment in 2023.

“My hope for next year is that we lead our lives, individually and collectively, with kindness, empathy and unity, in how we relate to each other,” Turk said as 2022 drew to a close. The United Nations high commissioner for human rights called for people to disagree with respect and make the world a more dignified place in the coming year.

“As we navigate our lives online, I hope we will have the freedom to express ourselves, with the assurance of protection from hatred and disinformation,” he said in a statement.

“That we will be considerate when we share our views. To think of the person on the other side of the screen. To disagree with respect and to embrace diversity. There is no place for dehumanizing the other by using reductionist labels or identity politics.”

In 2023, “We must ensure women’s rights, for example, are respected at home and in public, that women and girls have full equality and freedom from discrimination,” Turk insisted Friday.

And on the environment, he added: “In safeguarding the rights of current and future generations, let’s treat our planet with the kindness and the humility it deserves.” Turk said that when one person is hurt, “a ripple of pain and suffering is triggered that ultimately hurts us all”.