[cc-humanrights] Question: FoE & privacy? FoE & Privacy & Social & Economic Rights? Or more?

Niels ten Oever niels at article19.org
Wed Sep 23 13:10:27 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA256

Hi all,

There is a question I would like to ask you, and your comments would
really help our work on the paper forward:

While human rights principles dictate that human rights are
indivisible and one cannot pick and choose rights, it is also true
that some rights are more relevant than others in certain circumstances.

Should ICANN start with privacy and freedom of expression for the time
being, or go a little wider and include some economic, social and
cultural rights?

Our draft paper has a bit of discussion on this point. It is
reproduced below.  I also thought it might be interesting to see the
31 indicators used by Ranking Digital Rights
https://rankingdigitalrights.org/project-documents/2015-indicators/ -
it is a set of more detailed indicators (around commitment, privacy,
and freedom of expression) to be used to rank ICT companies and so
these are more corporate footprint oriented rather than focusing on
policy development per se.  Again, a bit of apples and oranges but
this different approach may stimulate more discussion.

It would be great to hear what you all think about this in the coming



In the ICT sector, it is generally understood that the most prevalent
human rights issues are freedom of expression and privacy.  For
example, Yahoo! states that the Yahoo Business & Human Rights Program
was created to coordinate and lead its efforts to protect and promote
free expression and privacy.[1]  Likewise, the Ranking Digital Rights
project plans to use 31 indicators focused on disclosure of policies
and practices of ICT companies that affect users’ freedom of
expression and privacy.[2]  ARTICLE 19’s June 2015 paper on ICANN’s
corporate responsibility to respect human rights examines freedom of
expression and the right to privacy and data protection principles in
detail in the context of ICANN’s operations.

Others suggest that a broader list of human rights should be
considered in the context of Internet governance.  As mentioned
already, the Council of Europe report suggested pluralism and cultural
and linguistic diversity, as well as respect for special needs of
vulnerable groups should be considered.  Other sources suggest freedom
of association, right to religion, and non-discrimination, as well as
international human rights principles.[1] The Panel on Global Internet
Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms, convened by the World Economic
Forum and ICANN, suggests that human rights dimensions of Internet
governance entails culture and linguistic diversity, security and
stability and open unfragmented space, among others.

Finally, the UNGPs suggest that all internationally recognised human
rights should be considered in the impacts assessment process.  This
means as a minimum “those expressed in the International Bill of Human
Rights and the principles concerning fundamental rights set out in the
International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental
Principles and Rights at Work” (Principle 12).  Of course, it is
possible that some of these rights are more relevant than others in
the ICT context, and that only few may be triggered in connection with
ICANN’s policy development process.  The ICT Sector Guide mentions the
rights to privacy and freedom of expression, government requests to
ICT companies, and labor issues, as well as business relationships,
particularly with suppliers.

The decision on what rights should be addressed by ICANN will affect
the scope and complexity of its human rights impacts assessment, and
its reporting on matters related to its responsibility to respect
human rights. One approach for the first HRIA could be to begin with
impacts already being discussed within ICANN, such as freedom of
expression and privacy, and then expanding the HRIA to include other

- -- 
Niels ten Oever
Head of Digital

Article 19

PGP fingerprint    8D9F C567 BEE4 A431 56C4
                   678B 08B5 A0F2 636D 68E9
Version: GnuPG v2


More information about the cc-humanrights mailing list