Human rights and ICTs
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.
In this brief submission, APC identifies the nexus between domestic violence and online gender-based violence in the context of COVID-19, drawing on some issues to consider from country-led and regional case studies.
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.
Upon the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Kenya, the government enacted various legislation to deal with the pandemic. While the measures were well intended, the manner in which existing laws have been implemented has caused some concern among civil society organisations.
Gender-based violence against women and girls remains a global threat to the public health of women and girls during emergencies. As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens the economic and social stress, coupled with restricted movement and social isolation measures, gender-based violence against women and girls is increasing exponentially.
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.
In the third session of “Speaking of Hatred: A three-part presentation on hatred, religion and gender in South and Southeast Asia", Dr. V. Geetha spoke about civil society resistance at various levels and through various approaches to counter hatred, hate speech and violence.
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.
The second episode of Pretty Good Podcast delves deeper into the Philippine court cyber libel ruling against journalists Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr. of Rappler, a Philippine news organisation known to be critical of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.