When members of the international community meet next week in Marrakech, Morocco to sign the U.N.’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, the freedom to speak openly about migration will come under threat.
The pact, which is “politically binding” but is not an international treaty that is actual international law, will include a section that criminalizes speaking negatively about migration, including the ability ot shutter media outlets that publish content oppositional to open migration.
The organizers say they hope that pact will be adopted on a national level.
Dutch member of Parliament, Marcel de Graff, recently warned that the pact expands the definition of hate speech to include criticism of migration.
“One basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech,” de Graaff said in a recent press conference. “The agreement wants to criminalize migration speech. Criticism of migration will become a criminal offense. Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down.”
The final draft of the document attests: “By implementing the Global Compact, we ensure effective respect, protection and fulfilment of the human rights of all migrants, regardless of their migration status, across all stages of the migration cycle. We also reaffirm the commitment to eliminate all forms of discrimination, including racism, xenophobia and intolerance against migrants and their families.”
“To realize this commitment,” the document states, one key component will be:
Promote independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets, including internetbased information, including by sensitizing and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology, investing in ethical reporting standards and advertising, and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants, in full respect for the freedom of the media
The report follows a recent speech from the United Nations’ Human Rights Office’s assistant secretary, Andrew Gilmour, titled, "Words Matter: Role and Responsibility of the media in shaping public perceptions about migrants and refugees and promoting inclusive societies," which calls for grouping criticism of migration into a broader hate speech category.
Liberty Nation reports:
Gilmour explains how his office will help states “to distinguish free speech from hate speech” that, of course, has no right to exist. He points out that media reporting that is not sufficiently pro-migration cannot be tolerated. “It is clear to us all that many media outlets are deliberately failing to promote the concept of common humanity,” Gilmour says, again defining mass migration as a basic human right. “Words obviously do matter: dehumanising racist rhetoric frequently leads to hatred, tensions, violence and conflict. It requires a greater effort from the international community to confront those in the media who seek to stir up hatred.”
The pact is scheduled to be signed during a conference in Marrakech December 10th to 11th.