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Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions

7 October 2020 @ 9:15 AM - 9 October 2020 @ 5:00 PM BMT

Across Asia hate speech based on fake news has led to an increase of violent incidents as disinformation divides communities during periods of political and communal tensions. With rising internet penetration and use of mobile devices, abusive and threatening remarks both in speech and writing are going viral over social media. Often such content expresses intense prejudice against individuals or particular groups, on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, political ideology, race, religion or sexual orientation which can rise up to a frenzy leading to violent outcomes. Governments have enacted laws to preserve public order as well as to protect human dignity. They have also sponsored and assembled inter-faith dialogues and embarked on social cohesion efforts. Other stakeholders such the UN, international organisations, civil society and faith-based groups are also doing their part to combat hate speech. In the search for solutions to these challenges, there is also a need for an evidence-based discussion to critically examine the phenomenon of hate speech and its impact on democracy, the rule of law and human rights.  This conference seeks to address the issue of hate speech from an evidence-based and a solution grounded approach while upholding freedom of expression.

See concept note here

The key issues that will be examined are as follows:

  • Blasphemy, hate speech, “harmony” (national, social, religious) laws and bills
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
  • Human rights mechanisms (UN [UPR/Special Procedures], AICHR, NHRIs)
  • Non-legal interfaith dialogues and social cohesion or social harmony initiatives
  • Perspectives from religion, race, ethnicity and nationalities
  • Political and nationality-based discrimination and hate
  • Social protection of gender and LGBTIQ stakeholders
  • Role of media, social media and technology
  • Impact on democracy, freedom of expression, human rights and the rule of law
  • Any other relevant or related themes

The conference aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Convene interested individuals and organisations researching hate speech;
  • Exchange information and trends around legislation to prevent hate speech;
  • Examine non-legal measures to promote social cohesion and harmony;
  • Evaluate hate speech’s impact on democracy, freedom of expression, human rights and the rule of law

Conference Structure
The conference will consist of short remarks, keynote speeches and plenary and breakout sessions made of thematic panels and country-specific discussions.

Conference Participants
Registration is open to all presenters and participants from academic institutions, businesses, national and regional civil society organisations, international NGOs, political parties and intergovernmental organisations to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking. Due to the stability of internet connection available, Asia Centre is not able to accommodate online presentations and participation.

Conference Publications
Following the international conference, Asia Centre will undertake following publishing efforts:

  • Conference Proceedings
    Publish a set of peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings. Guidelines for the conference proceedings can be found here. Style sheet guidelines can be found here.
  • Book Project
    Asia Centre will invite selected authors and presenters (10-12) to participate in book proposal to Palgrave Macmillan (International Edition) and Gerakbudaya (Regional Edition). See guidelines here
  • Special Issue Journal
    Asia Centre will also assemble a small number of papers (5-6) for submission as a special issue to a journal drawn from its pool of partners’ publication. Guidelines will be updated later.

Programme Outline

  • 7 October 2020
    • 9:15-9:30 | Welcome Remarks
    • 9:30-12:30 | Morning Panels (In-person)
    • 14:00-17:00 | Afternoon Panels (In-person)
      • Venue: Thammasat University, Faculty of Law, Tha Phra Chan Campus
    • 18:30-20:00 | Evening panel (Webinar)
      • Venue: Asia Centre 
  • 8 October 2020
    • 9:30-17:00 | Morning & Afternoon Panels (Webinar)
    • 18:30-20:00 | Evening Panel (Webinar)
      • Venue: Asia Centre
  • 9 October 2020
    • 9:30-17:00 | Morning & Afternoon Panels (Webinar)
      • Venue: Asia Centre

Conference Fee
This is a self-funded conference, hence a flat fee of USD$300 that will be charged to all keynote, paper and poster presenters, participants and drop-in visitors. This will go towards covering the cost of the venue, equipment and logistics, coffee breaks on all days, certificates for participants, conference communications and staff.

Submission Guidelines

  • Paper Presentations and Speeches
    Researchers and practitioners wishing to present papers or share their experiences are invited to submit a title, an abstract in English of 300-350 words along with a biographical paragraph of 100 words here. For those submitting papers, full papers should be 5000 words.
  • Poster presentations
    Limited space is available for 4 to 5 poster presentations. Your presentation may be submitted in word / pdf format to the Asia Centre for consideration. A 60×80 cm poster will be printed and displayed during the conference. Full conference fees apply

Key Dates

  • Accepting abstracts now (on a rolling basis until 30 August 2020)
  • Payment due following acceptance of abstract
  • Full papers (deadline 30 September 2020)

Conference Partnership

Asia Centre welcomes organisations and individuals to be a partner. Conference partners are invited to organise a panel or sponsor a keynote speaker; will have the opportunity to network and forge linkages with academia, businesses and civil society in the region; and can promote their organisation and activities.

Partner Benefits

  • Logo on all publicity materials online and at conference venue
  • Social media and mailing list promotion through Asia Centre’s networks
  • Display and also distribute promotional materials from partner organisation to participants
  • Develop expertise on the issues covered by the conference themes

Partner Requirements

  • Purchase minimum 4 tickets (USD 300 x 4 = USD1,200)
  • Market the conference within their networks
  • Partners can also buy additional conference tickets

Additional Options

  • Sponsor participants by buying conference tickets
  • Sponsor a keynote speaker by providing a financial grant to the conference.
  • Provide corporate sponsorship (in-kind and/or financial grants) and be featured on promotional materials

Convener: Dr. James Gomez

Asia Centre, 128/183 Phayathai Plaza Building (17th Floor), Phayathai Road, Thung-Phayathai, Rachatewi Bangkok 10400 Thailand.

Registration and Inquires

Enquiries: research@asiacentre.org

Pay your conference fees online

Conference Fee_Hate Speech in Asia: Challenges and Solutions

*Please be aware that all conference fees are not refundable.
**All costs regarding the transfer of the conference fees (Transfer fees) are to be covered by the applicant.



7 October 2020 @ 9:15 AM BMT
9 October 2020 @ 5:00 PM BMT
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