Human Rights Advisory Services

Human Rights Advisory Services
Human Rights Advisory Services

What is hate propaganda?

Hate propaganda

Under sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code, advocating or promoting genocide against any identifiable group; communicating statements in a public place that incite hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a Breach of the Peace; and communicating statements, other than in private conversation, that wilfully promote hatred against any identifiable group are all classified as hate propaganda offenses. The Criminal Code defines an identifiable group as any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, and sexual orientation.

Hate propaganda can come in the form of pamphlets, business cards, flyers, posters, articles, websites, etc.

When you see content:

Asserting that all members of a certain group deserve to be harmed or killed...Describing certain groups of people, particularly historically equity-seeking groups, as subhuman...Asserting that groups identifiable by race, sexual orientation, religion etc. are conspirators responsible for the degeneration and collapse of society... are probably looking at hate propaganda.

If you encounter hate material

  • Remove it, if possible, but DON'T THROW IT AWAY. Evidence of hate propaganda strengthens our response to hate by helping us track the activity of hate groups.
  • If hate material has been emailed to you, DON'T DELETE IT. Keep a copy of the offensive message; police investigators are sometimes able to trace their origin.
  • Keep a written or photographic record of hate propaganda that can't be removed, such as graffiti.
  • In all cases, contact Campus Security at 533-6111 or the Human Rights Office at 533-6886. If possible, provide them with originals of the material.
  • If you find hate material off-campus, contact the Hate Crimes Unit of the Kingston Police directly at 549-4660. If the propaganda was posted in a store or building, also let the owner/manager know that a hate group has been distributing material there.
  • Take advice from someone with hate activity expertise e.g. Kingston Police, Campus Security, the Human Rights Office before using news or electronic media to inform the public about the incident.  This will help avoid overexposure of the hate messages and the possibility of "copycat" incidents.


Graffiti can be a very meaningful form of artistic expression. However, graffiti which defaces private property is typically illegal; at Queen's, unauthorized defacement of campus property can result in serious sanctions. In addition, anti-Semitic, sexist, racist or homophobic forms of graffiti may, in fact, be considered hate propaganda.

In a university community, everyone is responsible for respecting the laws of the land as well as internal policies, such as the Code of Conduct, the Harassment/Discrimination policy, and the Signage Policy. Queen's Security should be notified immediately of any incident of racist, sexist or homophobic graffiti. Security staff will arrange for the material to be removed as quickly as possible, and will take the necessary steps to record and monitor the situation. For a person who encounters such graffiti, reporting the incident is a means of challenging hateful acts. It is a way of dealing with the anger and fear that such messages generate. It also contributes to creating a more secure environment by allowing the university administration to respond appropriately. The staff at the Human Rights Office are available to provide assistance and personal support for anyone wishing to take steps to report such incidents.

If you would like to file an online report now, please click here..