Access to information
Because of the pandemic, India has been under lockdown since March. What does this mean for rural communities, only 20% of whom have access to the internet? Community networks established by organisations like Digital Empowerment Foundation are bringing critical services to 100 villages of India.
Last month the Economic Community of West African States Community Court of Justice ruled that the 2017 internet shutdown in Togo was illegal. But barely a week later, Ethiopia initiated a nationwide shutdown, serving as a reminder of the persistent threat of internet shutdowns on the continent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the dissemination of vast amounts of information, both verified and unverified. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations recently launched the Disinformation Tracker, an interactive map to track disinformation laws and policies across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Students are facing infrastructural challenges in attending online classes, which are mandatory. The unavailability of quality access to the internet is causing massive challenges for students who are solely dependent on online platforms for education during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how citizens become vulnerable when governments do not protect and promote human rights in the online environment. The pandemic has critically affected the global education sector, potentially compromising the right to education.
This article seeks to examine the extent to which national and regional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted on the regime of human rights online. The article also examines the widening digital divide and the role that telecommunication policy and regulatory frameworks play in closing this gap.
APC submits this written statement ahead of the Human Rights Council's 44th session to express our concerns about the online human rights implications of states’ measures adopted to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown why the protection of human rights online is more important now than ever before. The internet has been a gateway for access to critical information, services and opportunities available to many people for the first time, as noted by the GSMA mobile gender gap report.
Rights and advocacy organisation VOICE expresses deep concern over the arrest of journalists, online activists, teachers, students, writers and cartoonists, among others, under the Digital Security Act 2018, and urges the Bangaldeshi government to scrap the law.
APC welcomes this consultation, as it is timely and integral to our work. The pandemic poses challenges for content moderation, and while we recognise that these are extraordinary times, human rights laws and principles should be the default standards guiding companies’ policies and procedures.