Saturday, July 7, 2012

UNHRC Confirms Internet Access as Human Right!

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), in its 20th session, has unanimously passed a resolution confirming Internet access being a fundamental human right. The resolution states that people should be able to express themselves freely on the Internet, same as they do in the real world.

Even countries like China, who are known for their internet censorship have backed the resolution along with all the 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council.

India, who had previously opposed this idea was also one of the members who have supported the resolution.

Highlights of UNHRC resolution on Internet Freedom :

1. Affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one ’s choice, in accordance with articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

2. Recognizes the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms

3. Calls upon all States to promote and facilitate access to the Internet and international cooperation aimed at the development of media and information and communications facilities in all countries

4. Encourages special procedures to take these issues into account within their existing mandates, as applicable
5. Decides to continue its consideration of the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, on the Internet and in other technologies, as well as of how the Internet can be an important tool for development and for exercising human rights, in accordance with its programme of work.
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