Joint Statement on Protecting Human Rights Defenders Online & More Trending News


The textual content of the next assertion is launched by the Governments of the United States of America and the European Union prematurely of the third U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Ministerial in Washington, D.C. on December 5, 2022.

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The U.S.-EU partnership is a cornerstone of our shared energy, prosperity, and dedication to advancing freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights around the globe.  In the framework of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council, we deal with the misuse of expertise threatening safety and human rights and have dedicated to strengthen our cooperation on defending human rights defenders on-line; selling the open, free, international, interoperable, safe, and dependable Internet as said within the Declaration for the Future of the Internet; combatting on-line harassment and abuse; eliminating arbitrary and illegal surveillance; combatting government-imposed Internet shutdowns; and countering disinformation and overseas info manipulation and interference.

Digital applied sciences are a significant useful resource for human rights defenders and civic actors around the globe, together with within the context of documenting human rights violations and abuses, and worldwide humanitarian regulation violations.  However, these applied sciences will also be misused to focus on human rights defenders and undermine civic house.  The United States and the European Union (EU) are deeply involved by the speedy development of on-line threats towards human rights defenders and the continuing contraction of civic house around the globe.  Human rights defenders proceed to face threats and assaults, together with arbitrary or illegal on-line surveillance, censorship, harassment, smear campaigns, disinformation to incorporate gendered disinformation, focused Internet shutdowns, and doxing.  Online assaults usually pave the way in which for bodily human rights violations and abuses, together with beatings, killings, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention.

Women human rights defenders are disproportionately impacted by threats and assaults, that are extra usually gendered and sexualized than threats towards their male counterparts and more and more happen on-line.  Many ladies human rights defenders face a number of and intersecting types of discrimination and sexual and gender-based violence, together with on the premise of different traits, together with race, faith, ethnicity, incapacity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic standing, or gender id.  Acts of gender-based on-line harassment and abuse have a chilling impact, resulting in self-censorship and disengagement of girls from public life and discouraging the political and civic ambitions of adolescent women.

Given these developments, and consistent with our respective insurance policies, the EU Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024 and the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and the Guidelines for U.S. Diplomatic Mission Support to Civil Society and Human Rights Defenderswe reaffirm our joint dedication to defending human rights defenders from threats and assaults and selling freedoms of expression, affiliation, and peaceable meeting, each on-line and offline.

The United States and EU firmly condemn the misuse of expertise by each state and non-state actors to focus on human rights defenders.  We reaffirm that every one human rights and basic freedoms apply each on-line and offline.  We recall, that in keeping with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by consensus by UN member States, States “shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”.  States ought to work to stop assaults towards human rights defenders and convey perpetrators of assaults to justice.

We additionally emphasize the accountability of the personal sector, particularly expertise corporations and digital platforms throughout the digital ecosystem, to respect human rights consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  We urge corporations to stop the misuse of their merchandise and platforms, conduct due diligence, take efficient motion to handle all types of on-line violence and illegal or arbitrary surveillance towards human rights defenders, assist victims and survivors of their seek for treatment and accountability for violations and abuses, and supply a secure house for human rights defenders to hold out their work.  We encourage corporations to ascertain a grievance mechanism for inside and exterior reporting of misuse.  We additionally assist stronger accountability for expertise platforms and acknowledge the function of presidency to boost on-line security, safety and privateness.

We will proceed leveraging our joint experience to determine and mitigate threats confronted by human rights defenders on-line.  The United States and EU will work to develop efficient insurance policies to mitigate threats to democracy and human rights on-line, and to advertise applicable oversight and safeguards for the usage of surveillance applied sciences.  We will take a multistakeholder strategy, together with by working with accomplice governments, personal sector, academia, civil society together with human rights NGOs and human rights defenders, survivors of on-line harassment and abuse, multi-stakeholder organisations, and worldwide organisations.  We decide to counter the proliferation of overseas industrial spy ware and hacking instruments by actors that misuse them to focus on human rights defenders and others, and to advertise accountability for corporations which might be complicit in enabling human rights abuses.

We will proceed to provide human rights defenders a platform to spotlight the web threats they face, together with by public occasions, as we did within the framework of the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council.  We recognise the vital function that the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN Special Procedures have in figuring out revolutionary options for the web safety of human rights defenders.  We are dedicated to working intently to raise these points inside the UN system, together with with the UN Special Rapporteur on the scenario of Human Rights Defenders and the UN Tech Envoy.  We name on likeminded nations to hitch within the effort and to publicly amplify their assist for human rights defenders.  The EU and the United States are dedicated to make sure entry and significant participation of civil society in conversations round human rights within the multilateral fora.

The United States and EU will proceed to assist mechanisms, together with the Digital Defenders Partnership, the Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund, and DefendDefenders.EU that present sources for at-risk HRDs and civil society organizations, together with for stopping digital assaults and for supporting digital safety wants.  In the framework of the Trade and Technology Council, we decide to increasing cooperation and mutual studying between U.S.- and EU-funded emergency mechanisms and the broader group of observe, with the purpose of increasing the useful influence of those sources for human rights defenders worldwide.

The United States and EU are additionally dedicated to fostering cooperation by our missions across the globe. U.S. Embassies and EU Delegations play an instrumental function in monitoring developments and conducting joint outreach on points surrounding human rights defenders’ safety.  The United States and the EU stand prepared to interact with authorities companions to strengthen and assist their nationwide efforts, together with capacities and establishments, to stop and deal with threats towards human rights defenders.

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Joint Statement on Protecting Human Rights Defenders Online

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Joint Statement on Protecting Human Rights Defenders Online

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