Presentation on theme: "Human Rights and ICT Policy. By the end of this session you should: Be aware of the body of international human rights law and the key principles and."— Presentation transcript:
By the end of this session you should: Be aware of the body of international human rights law and the key principles and concepts of Human Rights instruments Understand the difference between social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights Understand the concept of ‘communication rights’ and how existing human rights can be interpreted as guaranteeing ‘communication rights’ in the ‘information society’
By the end of this session you should: Understand which rights are key to promoting fundamental economic, social and cultural rights (including affordable access to infrastructure, access to education and health services etc) in ‘the ‘information society’ Appreciate the importance of approaching ICT policy from a human rights perspective
Incorporating a human rights perspective into ICT Policy work Centrality of certain Human Rights to the WSIS Process Marginilisation of Economic, Social, Cultural, Civil and Political Rights Opportunities in ICT Policy work at the national level
Human rights conventions The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) The African Charter on Peoples and Human Rights (1981) Together with additional protocols comprise the ‘International Bill of Human Rights’
Human rights basic concepts Universality Individual protection (individual – collective rights) Not absolute (modifications, interferences, margin of appreciation) Complexity (negative obligation, positive obligation) Indivisible, interdependent and interrelated Respect, protect, fulfil
‘Generations’ of Rights Human Rights The rights people are entitled to simply because they are human beings, irrespective of their citizenship, nationality, race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexuality, or abilities; human rights become enforceable when they are Codified as Conventions, Covenants, or Treaties, or as they become recognized as Customary International Law.CodifiedConventionsCovenants Treaties Customary International Law
‘Generations’ of Rights Civil and Political Rights – first generation The rights of citizens to liberty and equality; sometimes referred to as first generation rights. Civil rights include freedom to worship, to think and express oneself, to vote, to take part in political life of their communities and societies, and to have access to information.
‘Generations’ of Rights Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – second generation Rights that concern the production, development, and management of material for the necessities of life. The right to preserve and develop one’s cultural identity. Rights that give people social and economic security, sometimes referred to as security- oriented or second generation rights. Examples are the right to food, shelter, and health care.
Internet/communication rights Human rights is based on the ‘understanding that everyone in society should be free to participate fully in social and political activities and to be protected from attempts to restrict the exercise of this right to citizenship. That in ‘various countries it has been extended further, to include cultural and socio- economic rights (such as the right to health care, housing and clean environment), also known as second and third generation rights.
Internet/communication rights The ability to share information and communicate freely using ICTs is vital to the realisation of human rights as enshrined in the UDHR (1948) and the International Covenants on Civil and Political (1976) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976)
Internet/communication rights …. we urge government delegates to retain reference to the international bill of human rights as a whole and in particular to rights that make possible new platforms for real community-based and people- centered communications. These should be called communication rights and are of immediate and direct concern to the development of inclusive information and knowledge societies.”
Communication Rights in the Information Society.. a means to enhance human rights and to strengthen the social, economic and cultural lives of people and communities. Crucial to this is that civil society and other stake-holders come together to help build an information society based on principles of transparency, diversity, participation and social and economic justice, and inspired by equitable gender, cultural and regional perspectives.
Securing equitable and affordable access (CRIS Campaign) The majority of the world’s people lack access to the infrastructure and tools needed to produce and communicate information and knowledge in the information society. Many initiatives, including the WSIS, aim to address this. They usually rest on assumptions that universal access to ICTs will be achieved through market driven solutions and that more widespread access will necessarily contribute to poverty alleviation and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. We question these assumptions.
Securing equitable and affordable access Goals: - To lobby for equitable and affordable access to ICTs for all people, specifically the marginalized such as women, the disabled, indigenous people and the urban and rural poor - To promote access as a fundamental right to be realised in the public domain and not dependent on the market forces and profitability - To secure access to information and knowledge as tools for empowerment - To outline and pursue the conditions for securing access not just to ICTs but to information societies as a whole, in a way that is financially, culturally, and ecologically sustainable.
ICTs and the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights Ensuring affordable access to critical public infrastructure, information, communication tools and services is a fundamental first step in securing economic rights (for example, the right to work), social rights (for example, the right to an adequate standard of living, including food, clothing and housing) and cultural rights (for example, the right to education and the right to enjoy benefits of scientific progress).
Human Rights and ICT Policy Approaching ICT policy from a human rights perspective will contribute to creating a policy environment that will enable all to benefit equally from subsequent activities and actions.
Exercise The exercise accompanying this session will allow participants to explore these issues further through: - Identifying ICT policies, or elements of policies, which impact on people’s access to the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights - Assessing these policies from a human rights perspective using existing human rights instruments - Make recommendations for creating a ‘human rights enabled’ policy framework which is consistent with economic, social and cultural human rights principles