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Join us in putting the internet on the human rights agenda

OTTAWA, Canada, Dic 8

APC members and networks have highlighted internet-related human rights issues in the Universal Period Review (UPR) process — we call on others to do the same.

The Association for Progressive Communications, in coordination with local members and networks, has achieved a major milestone in our efforts to have human rights standards, as recognised under existing treaties, applied to the internet. UPR submissions for India, Brazil, South Africa and Ecuador, focused on internet-related human rights issues and will be considered at the United Nations in May 2012.

This marks the first time that these issues have been raised in the UPR processes of these four countries. These reports show not only the crucial importance of the internet in discussions of human rights, but the diversity of ways in which ICT policy intersects with governments’ human rights obligations.

Key issues highlighted in the submissions include:

  • The obligation to report on internet rights issues (all country reports)
  • Access to the internet as a multi-faceted concept including infrastructure, regulatory policy, language and content diversity (Ecuador, India, South Africa)
  • The right to information, freedom of expression and the links to democracy (India, South Africa, Ecuador, Brazil)
  • Women’s human rights: access to sexual and reproductive health information (Brazil), the need for a rights-based approach to internet-related policy (India)
  • Freedom of expression and content control including privacy, cybercrime law, and surveillance (South Africa, Brazil, and India)
  • Internet governance: the need for human rights to be expressly included and for multi-stakeholder processes (India, Brazil, South Africa)

Now is the time to lobby governments and national human rights commissions to take up these issues. We call on civil society groups and governments to lobby for internet-related rights issues to be on the agenda in their respective countries. We need your support to encourage your government to take action on the reports’ recommendations, and to recognise the crucial importance of monitoring, protecting and promoting human rights online.

(FIN/2011)

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