UN Human Rights Council resolution on protection of human rights on the Internet a milestone for free speech, says OSCE Representative

The United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, in session. (Wikipedia)

VIENNA, 5 July 2016 – OSCE Media Freedom Representative Dunja Mijatović today welcomed the latest UN resolution on “the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet” – a resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council by consensus, supporting human rights online.

“This resolution is a milestone for free expression on the Internet,” Mijatović said. “It clearly shows that all members of the UN Human Rights Council, the world’s highest human rights body, overwhelmingly agree that the rights people have offline must also be protected online.”

The UN Human Rights Council’s resolution also specifically condemns measures to prevent or disrupt access, and calls on all States to refrain from and cease such measures. It further recognizes the importance of access to information and privacy online for the realization of the right to freedom of expression and to hold opinions without interference.

The UN Human Rights Council had previously affirmed by consensus that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online” in resolutions adopted in 2012 and 2014. This is the third such declaration by the UN body.