Saturday 03 June 2023 - 5:49:23 am

UAE participates in IPU Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights

MANAMA,14th March, 2023 (WAM) -- The Federal National Council (FNC) Parliamentary Division at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) participated in the meeting of the IPU Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, which was held today as part of the IPU's 146th General Assembly meeting and the 211th session of its Governing Council, held in Manama, Bahrain.

The debate focused on the parliamentary impetus in favour of the fight against disinformation and hateful and discriminatory content in cyberspace. The committee said that initially designed as a space of freedom and emancipation, the internet has become, over the years, a repository and distribution channel of hateful, discriminatory and dishonest content. At a time when democratic ideals are weakened and even sometimes contested, it is essential to ensure that parliaments around the world endeavour to create a robust legislative framework to protect both individuals and institutions in full respect of freedom of expression.

Dr. Sheikha Al Tunaiji, a member of the FNC Parliamentary Division, highlighted the essential legislative and supervisory role parliaments could play to curb misuse of e-space in spreading hateful content, discrimination and disinformation online.

"There are tough challenges for parliaments and legislators to reconcile when considering how to respond to hate speech and disinformation online and enact proactive legislations to limit potential harms in the online space," she said.

She also presented the UAE's experience in this respect, noting several laws in place to prohibit discrimination and hatred based on caste, race, religion or ethnic origin. She added that in July 2015, the UAE issued Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 on Combating Discrimination and Hatred to protect everyone in the UAE and thus bring the concept of social security to a new level.

Tariq Al Fahaam/ Amjad Saleh