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32nd Session of the Human Rights Council Item 3

Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to education and on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Statement by the Association for Progressive Communications
Delivered by Deborah Brown

Thank you Mr. President.

The Association for Progressive Communications welcomes the report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to education. We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s focus on “the right to education in the digital age” and his observation that the digital divide persists and continues to result in unequal opportunities for education both between and within countries. Using technology in education in disadvantaged areas need to be accompanied by a holistic approach involving skills development, with special attention to marginalised groups and to gender disparities.

States have an obligation to harness the potential of the internet to meet the right to education through structured, coherent and rights-oriented internet policy and curricula. For example, publicly funded educational resources, such as those paid for by the state, should be published under open licenses for educational purposes.

Efforts to expand internet access must be rights-based. We call on all member states to respect, protect and fulfill all human rights, and in this context to examine their laws, policies, and regulations relating to the internet so that they are in line with their obligations in this regard. APC urges states to support the resolution on the internet and human rights.

Mr. President,

We wish to thank the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association for his important contribution during his mandate. The internet has become an essential tool for the exercise of freedom of assembly and association, yet civic space online is shrinking rapidly. Common threats include surveillance, censorship, filtering, network shut downs, cyber bullying, stalking, gender-based violence, hacking, privacy violations, corporate control, and misinformation.

We call on the Council to renew this critical mandate and encourage the next mandate holder to continue examining the impact of the internet on the exercise of freedom of assembly and association.

Thank you.