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This submission, co-authored by APC (with input from APC member TEDIC) and Derechos Digitales, was produced in response to the call by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for input to a report on internet shutdowns and human rights that will be presented to the 50th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2022.

The submission begins with an overview of mandated disruptions of communications during the past five years – ranging from complete national internet shutdowns to regional internet shutdowns to social media shutdowns – in four regions (Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa), based on the work and reports of APC members.

It then addresses the impacts of internet shutdowns, focusing on the following areas:

  • The gender impact of internet shutdowns

  • The impact of shutdowns on media and journalism

  • The economic impact of internet shutdowns

  • The impact of shutdowns on education

  • Social and psychological impacts

  • Impacts on human rights.

The third section of the submission explores various initiatives to promote internet connectivity and bridge digital divides, given the crucial role played by access to the internet for the full exercise of the entire spectrum of human rights, in a world where billions of people remain "unconnected".

Finally, the submission ends with a series of recommendations, aimed primarily at states.

Read the full submission here.