[IRP] FW: APC Statement of Support for An Expert Panel on Freedom of Expression and the Internet at the UN HRC

shaila mistry shailam
Thu Sep 15 21:51:06 EEST 2011


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From: Dixie Hawtin <Dixie at global-partners.co.uk>
To: "irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org" <irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 3:35 AM
Subject: [IRP] FW: APC Statement of Support for An Expert Panel on Freedom of Expression and the Internet at the UN HRC

Dear IRPers ? let?s endorse this Statement ?by APC supporting the Swedish government proposal for an expert panel on freedom of expression and the Internet at the UN!
Please say if you agree or not,
Thanks, Dixie
From:henrik.almstrom at gmail.com [mailto:henrik.almstrom at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Henrik Almstr?m APC
Sent: 14 September 2011 19:42
To: afapredesa2 at yahoo.org; fouadbajwa at gmail.com; sheherwzade at arc-international.net; aipazcomun at gmail.com; rasha at aucegypt.edu; wlasky at gmail.com; motabac at imber.rc; helsinkitadiu at yahoo.com; renate.bloom at gmail.com; judith.kron at yahoo.de; anne.pineau at csn.qc.cn; skujur at creaworld.org; annvetron.schmicler at gmail.com; laura.stefani8 at gmail.com; onvginebra at mmrree.gov.ec; sza at eda.admin.ch; vrho85 at gmx.de; katyn.fokin at forman.fi; fungaijames at gmail.com; Dixie Hawtin; Rebecca Zausmer; adv_igit at hrm.org; acsanyi at kum.hu; fbadii at unog.ch; ferguson at ichrp.org; m.theidren at ishc.ch; b.kaur at ishr.ch; myewon at kocsc.or.kr; saleemwani at hotmail.com; rjparson13 at gmail.com; normanlizamo at ties.it.int; marult at um.dk; sybilla.levenston at gmail.com; welius.dragomir at opf-eu.org; gbenja.seson at pinigeria.ng; marian.delemontex at gmail.com; helsack at gmail.com; libert.expresion at gmail.com; jsorensen at gmail.com; arthit at thanetizon.org; sheyna.arthur at unctad.org; shaffeam at plu.edu; framet at state.gov;
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Cc: Joy Liddicoat; Anriette Esterhuysen; Valeria Betancourt; Karen Higgs; Grady Johnson; Johan Hallenborg; irina.schoulgin-nyoni at foreign.ministry.se
Subject: APC Statement of Support for An Expert Panel on Freedom of Expression and the Internet at the UN HRC
Dear all,
Following the activities during the HRC 17 in June, including the APC parallel event on Frank La Rue's report and the cross-regional Statement by Sweden, we are now excited to inform you about the most recent developments on the subject:
*** Swedish Government will during the current HRC session propose an expert panel to be convened at the next session (HRC19). APC is issuing the statement below to support this proposal and we hope you are interested in endorsing this statement to support this important process. ***
Please find the statement online at http://rights.apc.org, where you will also find APCs other work on Internet Rights.
Kind regards
Henrik Almstrom and the internet Rights team at APC


JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (APC) Wednesday September 14 -- At this extraordinary time for human rights, social media and the internet, we strongly endorse the proposal of the Swedish Government for an expert panel on the promotion and protection of freedom of expression on the internet ?to be convened at the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council.

We call on all UN Member States to support this initiative.

Following the annual report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council, forty governments affirmed that the same human rights that apply offline, also apply online, to the internet and social media. Those governments stated that ?Only in a few exceptional and limited circumstances can restrictions on content be acceptable. Such restrictions must comply with international human rights law, notably Article 19 of the ICCPR.?

APC agrees that international human rights standards are the foundation for all States to respect, protect and promote human rights. These standards must apply to new technologies, including social media and the internet which are used by billions of people around the globe. The interface of human rights and the internet is a new issue for the Human Rights Council, but one that is quickly emerging in multiple areas. The Council?s recently released General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) includes specific reference to the internet in the context of freedom of expression.

To be effective, the proposed panel must be constituted through an open process and ensure the engagement of all, particularly vulnerable and marginalised groups, in accordance with the rights based approach and principles of multi-stakeholder participation, information-sharing, participation and transparency.

There is a clear need for a process through which the Council can consider these issues across its mandate. The consideration of human rights online must be institutionalised if it is to be effective. ?An expert panel will start the necessary dialogue in the HRC which we believe should eventually extend beyond freedom of expression to include all human rights, civil and political as well as cultural, social and economic rights.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.?www.apc.org

If you wish to endorse this statement please send your name and organisation (if applicable) to?grady at apc.org?with ?Endorsement? in the subject line.


Henrik Almstr?m
Association for Progressive Communications, APC
Johannesburg, South Africa
henrik at apc.org
mobile: +27 72 311 9613

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