On June 10 a group of 40 countries submitted a joint statement to the Human Rights Council commending the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression’s report following the initiative of the Swedish government. Countries from all regions were in attendance including India, Brazil, South Africa, Chile and New Zealand.
APC has had some direct input into this report as we were asked to comment on the draft. We provided a paragraph that was included in the final version, and this paragraph was identified as coming from civil society when it was being negotiated:
“As governments, we should encourage cooperative efforts by the private sector to promote respect for human rights online. Such efforts can address human rights impacts of action taken by the private sector and can encourage respect for human rights. Yet, while adherence to human rights principles by businesses has become essential to ensuring online freedom of expression, it cannot be a substitute for the responsibility of governments to uphold human rights and the rule of law in all Internet and telecommunication policy and regulation.”
Other than that paragraph, the statement includes strong points that APC has being advocating for: it stands for a “less restrictive standard for intermediaries regarding freedom of expression and not to hold intermediaries liable for content that they transmit or disseminate.”