In June 2017 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance presented a report on his mission to Australia to the Thirty-fifth session of the UN Human Rights Council (6-23 June 2017). The report, UN document AHRC/35/41/Add.2,  on page 15 makes use of and cites the Online Hate Prevention Institute’s Anti-Muslim Hate Interim Report:

“59.          The Special Rapporteur was also made aware of cyberracism on the Internet and social media platforms. In a study released in 2011, it was reported that around 20 per cent of respondents had experienced some form of racist hate speech, including verbal abuse, name-calling, racial slurs and offensive gestures.[1] In 2012/13, cyberracism represented 40 per cent of the complaints of racial hatred received by the Australian Human Rights Commission.[2] In particular, anti-Muslim hate speech has been on the increase in recent years, especially on social media platforms.[3]

Footnotes:

[1]   Helen Szoke, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission, “Racism exists in Australia — are we doing enough to address it?”, statement made on 16 February 2012. Available from www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/racism-exists-australia-are-we-doing-enough-address-it.

[2]   Australian Human Rights Commission, “Cyber racism”, 1 January 2014. Available from www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/race-discrimination/projects/cyber-racism.

[3]   Online Hate Prevention Institute, “Spotlight on anti-Muslim Internet hate: interim report” (2015). Available from www.scribd.com/document/292853385/Anti-Muslim-Hate-Online-Interim-Report.

Additionally, the above, including the citation of OHPI’s report, was noted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in its 30 October 2017 report “Information concerning Australia’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination” presented as a submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Page 25 says:

“124. The Commission is concerned at the high prevalence of negative attitudes towards Muslim Australians, as reported in the Scanlon Survey. Of particular concern is the finding from the 2016 survey that strong negative views towards Muslims increased from 11% to 14%.[i] The Special Rapporteur on racial discrimination noted that anti-Muslim hate speech has been on the increase in recent years, especially on social media platforms.[ii]

Footnotes:

[i] Andrew Markus, Mapping Social Cohesion: The Scanlon Foundation surveys 2016 (Monash University, 2016) 3–4, 41–44. At http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/research/surveys (viewed 30 October 2017).

[ii] Mutuma Ruteere, Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on his mission to Australia, Human Rights Council, 35th sess, UN Doc A/HRC/35/41/Add.2 (9 June 2017) 15 [59]. See Online Hate Prevention Institute, ‘Spotlight on anti-Muslim Internet hate: interim report’ (2015). At www.scribd.com/document/292853385/Anti-Muslim-Hate-Online-Interim-Report.

The Online Hate Prevention Institute is incredibly pleased to see our work having this sort of impact and use both in Australia and in these United Nations forums. We hope it contributes to the global efforts against the growing problem of anti-Muslim hate. We also hope it encourages both further work in this space, and funding to support such work. It is unfortunate that having collected the data, we were unable to release a more detailed final report due to the lack of funding. The work of the Online Hate Prevention Institute is almost entirely funded by donations from the public. How much we can do is therefore limited by the level of support we receive. Anyone wishing to donate to support our work and increase the impact we are having can do so here.