19 Jun 2012

UN Human Rights representative calls for balance in Fiji

12:43 pm on 19 June 2012

The region's representative of the United Nations Human Rights Office, Matilda Bogner, has outlined how Fiji should balance freedom of expression with the need to control hate speech and racism.

She says although Fiji has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, that document is an authoritative guide on the issue.

Ms Bogner says Article 20's limitations on freedom of expression are specific and they're not intended to suppress critical views, controversial opinions or politically incorrect statements.

She says regional human rights courts have recognized the right to express ideas that offend, shock or disturb as well as inoffensive opinions.

She says it's a big challenge to ensure all rights for all people in Fiji.