Table of Contents
INTERNET RIGHTS & PRINCIPLES CHARTER
Welcome to the dedicated website for the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet and related 10 Rights and Principles for Internet governance. Both of these initiatives have been developed by the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (IRP), an open network of individuals and organisations working to uphold human rights in the Internet environment.
You can use this site to download the 10 Internet Rights and Principles – a set of international standards that must be upheld in order to protect and advance human rights online. Use the flyer to raise awareness and push policy makers to make human rights a cornerstone of Internet governance.
You can also participate in the development of the Charter. This goes into more depth than the Principles, applying international human rights standards to the Internet and examining the roles that different stakeholders need to play to uphold them. We’ve already drafted a beta version of the Charter. We’re now actively seeking your comments and contributions to make sure that we’ve covered all of the issues in the right way. You can use this site to comment on each article, as well as to make more general comments. Please do get involved – we all need to work together to build an Internet that is truly empowering and liberating for all of humankind.
This website uses the WordPress plugin Digress.it Through the use of this plugin, IRP offers its members paragraph-level commenting along the side margins of the charter. Digress.it is a tool used to "comment, gloss, workshop, debate." Read more about this plugin. How to navigate the site Mouse over one of the sections listed under Table of Contents (in left margin) to view the first paragraph of the content in the content box to the right. Click on a section listed under Table of C [...]
About the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet This Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet has been developed by the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles and draws inspiration from the Association for Progressive Communications’ Internet Rights Charter and other pertinent documents. The Charter builds on the WSIS Declaration of Principles of Geneva and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, which both recognize that Information [...]
Preamble Whereas the Internet is a place where people communicate, meet and congregate and a basic utility for people, communities, organizations and institutions to accomplish all sorts of activities in all areas of human and society endeavor; Whereas affordable and knowledgeable access to the Internet has become a fundamental need to fully realize all human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy, development and social justice; Whereas the governance of the Internet, from its infr [...]
(1) Right to access to the Internet Everyone has the right to access to, and make use of, the Internet. This right underpins all other rights in this Charter. Access to and use of the Internet is increasingly indispensible for the full enjoyment of human rights including the right to freedom of expression, the right to education, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the right to take part in the government of a country, the right to work, and the right to rest and lei [...]
(2) Right to Non-Discrimination in Internet Access, Use and Governance As enshrined in Article 2 of the UDHR: everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, "such as ethnicity, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status". Nothing in the present Charter may be interpreted as preventing affirmative action designed at ensuring substantive equality for marginalized peoples or groups. [...]
(3) Right to liberty and security on the Internet As enshrined in Article 3 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person". All security measures must be consistent with international human rights law and standards. This means that security measures will be illegal where they restrict another human right (for example the right to privacy or the right to freedom of expression) except for in exceptional circumstances. All restrictions must be precise and narrowl [...]
(4) Right to development through the Internet All UDHR human rights require economic, social, cultural and political development in order to be fully realized, as recognized in the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986. The Internet has a vital role to play in helping to achieve the full realization of human rights, in particular in eradicating poverty, hunger, and diseases and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women. The right to development includes the full enjo [...]
(5) Freedom of expression and information on the Internet As enshrined in Article 19 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. As laid out in the ICCPR, the right to freedom of expression may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are nece [...]
(6) Freedom of religion and belief on the Internet As enshrined in Article 18 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion". This right includes freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his or her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. This right also includes freedom from religion. This right must not be used to illegally limit any other human rights.
(7) Freedom of online assembly and association As enshrined in Article 20 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association". On the Internet, the right to freedom of assembly and association includes: a) Participation in Assembly and Association on the Internet Everyone has the right to form, join, meet or visit the website or network of an assembly, group or association for any reason. Access [...]
(8) Right to privacy on the Internet As enshrined in Article 12 of the UDHR: "no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy, family, home or correspondence. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks". On the Internet the right to privacy includes: a) National legislation on privacy States must establish, implement and enforce comprehensive legal frameworks to protect the privacy and personal data of cit [...]
(9) Right to Digital Data Protection As enshrined in Art 12 of the UDHR everyone has the right to privacy. An important aspect of this right is that everyone has the right to protection of personal data concerning him or her. On the Internet, the right to protection of personal data includes: a) Protection of Personal data Fair information practices should be enacted into national law to place obligations on companies and governments who collect and process personal data, and give r [...]
(10) Right to Education on and about the Internet As enshrined in article 26 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to education". Everyone has the right to be educated about the Internet and to use the Internet for education. On the Internet the right to education includes: a) Education through the Internet Virtual learning environments and other sorts of multimedia, learning and teaching platforms shall take into account local and regional variations in terms of language, pedagogy and [...]
(11) Right to Culture and Access to Knowledge on the Internet As enshrined in Article 27 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits". Also enshrined in Article 27 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production" of which he or she is author. Intellectual p [...]
(12) Rights of Children and the Internet Children are entitled to all of the rights in the present Charter. Furthermore, as enshrined in Article 25 of the UDHR: childhood is "entitled to special care and assistance". As enshrined in Article 5 of the CRC young people are entitled to respect for their “evolving capacities”. In terms of the Internet this means that children must both be given the freedom to use the Internet, and also protected from the dangers associated with the Internet. [...]
(13) Rights of People with Disabilities and the Internet People with disabilities are entitled to all of the rights in the present Charter. As enshrined in Article 4 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), “States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability”. The Internet is important in [...]
(14) Right to Work and the Internet As enshrined in Article 23 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to work". On the Internet, the right to work includes: a) Respect for Workers’ Rights Everyone has the right to use the Internet to form trade unions, including the right to promote one's own interests and gather in freely elected organs of representation. b) Internet at the workplace Workers and employees shall have Internet access at their work place, where available. Any res [...]
(15) Right to Online Participation in Public Affairs As enshrined in Article 21 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to take part in the government of his [or her] country, directly or through freely chosen representatives". On the Internet the right to take part in the government of one’s country includes: a) Right to equal access to electronic services Article 21 of the UDHR also states that “everyone has the right of equal access to public service in the country”. Everyone has [...]
(16) Rights to Consumer Protection on the Internet Everyone must respect, protect and fulfill principles of consumer protection on the Internet. E-Commerce must be regulated to ensure that consumers receive the same level of protection as they enjoy in non-electronic transactions.
(17) Right to Health and Social Services on the Internet As enshrined in Article 25 of the UDHR: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself [or herself] and of his [or her] family, and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his [or her] control". On the Internet the right to a standard of living adequa [...]
(18) Right to Legal Remedy and Fair Trial for actions involving the Internet a) Right to a Legal Remedy As enshrined in Article 8 of the UDHR: "everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him [or her] by the constitution or by law". b) Right to a Fair trial As enshrined in Article 10 of the UDHR: "everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribuna [...]
(19) Right to Appropriate Social and International Order for the Internet As enshrined in Article 28 of the UDHR: "Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized". On the Internet the right to an appropriate social and international order includes: a) Governance of the Internet for Human Rights The Internet and the communications system must be governed in such a way as to ensure that it uph [...]
(20) Duties and Responsibilities on the Internet As enshrined in Article 29 of the UDHR: "Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible". On the Internet the duties of everyone to the community include: a) Respect for the Rights of Others Everybody has the duty and responsibility to respect the rights of all individuals in the online environment. b) Responsibility of power holders Power holders must exercise their [...]
(21) General Clauses a) Interdependence of all rights in the Charter All rights contained in this Charter are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. b) Limitations on rights in the Charter Any measures which limit the rights contained in this Charter will be illegal except for in exceptional circumstances. All restrictions must be precise and narrowly defined. All restrictions must be the minimum necessary to meet a genuine need which is recognized as legal under International law, and [...]