The National Peace Council in partnership with the National Media Commission has launched guidelines on hate speech and other forms of indecent expressions.
The guideline was launched on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
Speaking at the launch, Chairman of the Peace Council, Reverend Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi cited the 1994 Rwanda genocide amongst others as a product of hate speech while emphasizing the need for media space to be sanitized.
He lamented the recent increase in hate speech and indecent forms of expression in the media landscape adding that it has become a threat to Ghanaian society.
He also noted that such behaviours become rife at the height of election years as political actors make pronouncements that threaten the peace and stability of the country
“In Ghana, the story is not different as the phenomenon of hate speech and indecent forms of expression have suddenly grown and now become a threat to Ghanaian society. The proliferation of such behaviour is more noticeable and enhanced during election years. Potentially explosive political statements from different sides of the political divide were observed in the run-up to the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana,” Reverend Adu-Gyamfi observed.
The worrying trend which threatens the peace and stability of the country according to the Chairman of the Peace Council made it come up with guidelines on hate speech and other forms of indecent expressions in collaboration with NMC.
Deputy Executive Secretary of the NMC, Alexander Bannerman, also speaking at the event said the guidelines will serve as a source document for the Commission going forward adding that it was working to address hate speech being promoted in certain parts of the country.
“…If you go to Bawku, it’s there. The National Peace Council was there with the National Media Commission. If you go to Adidome, we have it. If you go to Ada, if you go to Nzema that is Axim…I don’t want to mention the specific radio stations. The Media Commission is in the process of resolving all these issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, deputy Minister o Interior and MP for Gomoa Central Naana Eyiah has urged the Peace Council to ensure effective implementation of the guidelines.
ABOUT THE GUIDELINES ON HATE SPEECH AND OTHER FORMS OF INDECENT EXPRESSION
The guidelines on hate speech and other forms of indecent expression are aimed at aiding the media and other stakeholders to have a better understanding of the phenomenon of hate speech, indecent expression, their consequences and how to avoid it in their operations.
In addition, the guidelines are intended to help improve the capacity of the media in peacebuilding and conflict sensitization, sensitive journalism and enhance decent communication between and amongst political stakeholders and help sanitize public discourse.