Dynamic Coalition for Internet Rights and Principles Contribution
Output Document: The Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet
The IRP Coalition hereby presents the IRPC Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet for endorsement and feedback as part of the Dynamic Coalition Main Session scheduled for the 2015 IGF meeting in Brazil.
Currently available in booklet form and in eight languages (English, Arabic, German, Turkish, Spanish, Farsi, and Mandarin, the Portuguese edition is in press and a Thai edition underway), the IRPC Charter has been gaining in stature and recognition since its launch in Workshop 8 of the 2011 European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) meeting in Belgrade.
The 4th English edition of the IRPC Charter Booklet (2015) accompanies this overview of the last six years of the Coalition’s work with the IRPC Charter since its inception, drafting, and public dissemination in 2010-2011.
To date the IRPC Charter has received twenty-five endorsements from a range of stakeholders, available on the IRPC website and Hivos Click Rights campaign page. The Charter Booklet and earlier campaigns have been achieved with funding and support from Global Partners, Access, the Web We Want Foundation, and Hivos.
Below is an overview of the IRP Coalition output over the last six years, in light of the impact that the IRPC Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet has had in the area of cross-sector recognition that fundamental freedoms and rights apply online, and in work to implement these rights and principles in the internet governance domain. It accompanies our main output, the IRPC Charter booklet, and draws on the IRPC Five Year Review, IRPC Submission to the 2014 Net Mundial conference, and contributions to the UNESCO WSIS+10 Meeting (2013) and the UNESCO Connecting the Dots Internet Conference (2015).
A review of the IRPC Charter (v 1.1) content was launched during the IRPC Meeting at the 2014 IGF in Istanbul with contributions from representatives of Amnesty International and Article 19 along with those from the Danish Institute of Human Rights, CNRS, and Global Partners (UK) who were members of the IRPC Charter’s Group of Experts.
IRP Coalition: Five-Year Review Plus One
The IRPC Charter of Human Rights & Principles for the Internet
- i) Shared reference point for dialogue and cooperation between different stakeholder priorities
- ii) An authoritative document for framing policy decisions and emerging rights-based norms for the online environment
- ii) A policy-making and advocacy tool for governments, businesses, and civil society groups
The IRPC Charter – an authoritative framework anchored in international human rights law & norms
2: The Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet (v 1.1)
Table of Contents
1) Right to Access to the Internet
2) Right to Non-Discrimination in Internet Access, Use and Governance
3) Right to Liberty and Security on the Internet
4) Right to Development through the Internet
5) Freedom of Expression and Information on the Internet
6) Freedom of Religion and Belief on the Internet
7) Freedom of Online Assembly and Association
8) Right to Privacy on the Internet
9) Right to Digital Data Protection
10) Right to Education on and about the Internet
11) Right to Culture and Access to Knowledge on the Internet
12) Rights of Children and the Internet
13) Rights of People with Disabilities and the Internet
14) Right to Work and the Internet
15) Right to Online Participation in Public Affairs
16) Rights to Consumer Protection on the Internet
17) Right to Health and Social Services on the Internet
18) Right to Legal Remedy and Fair Trial for actions involving the Internet
19) Right to Appropriate Social and International Order for the Internet
20) Duties and Responsibilities on the Internet
21) General Clauses
3: How does the IRPC Charter Work?
It works by articulating fundamental rights and freedoms under international law for the online environment as rights (hard law) and as principles (soft law): For example:
- Existing Rights (hard law)
Article 8) Right to Privacy …
(f) Freedom from surveillance: Everyone has the freedom to communicate without arbitrary surveillance or interception (including behavioural tracking, profiling, and cyber-stalking), or the threat of surveillance or interception. …Any agreement regarding access to online services that includes acceptance of surveillance shall clearly state the nature of the surveillance
- Aspirational (soft law)
Article 1) Right to Access to the Internet …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 leisure….
4: Outreach and Education for laypersons, judiciaries, technical and human rights experts: The IRPC Ten Internet Rights and Principles (currently in 25 languages) were derived from the full Charter:
Universality and Equality; Rights and Social Justice; Accessibility; Expression and Association; Privacy and Data Protection; Life, Liberty and Security; Diversity; Network Equality; Standards and Regulation; Governance
Since their release in 2010, the Ten IRP Principles have proven their worth as an advocacy tool and source for future outcome documents on rights-based principles for Internet governance at the local and global level.
5: Production and Dissemination Timeline
Below are some of the milestones in the Charter’s production and public circulation.
Stage 1) 2010-2011
- 10 Principles Flyer Campaign (25 languages) in 2010-2011
- The full Charter (v 1.1) finalized and launched digitally in 2011
- 2012-2014: “Charter 2.0 Project”: Communicate, Educate, and Disseminate the full Charter e.g. UNESCO WSIS+10 Review Meeting, 2013
- 2013-2014/15: Digital is good but printed matters too: IRPC Charter Booklet – English edition at Bali IGF 2013
- 2014/15: Charter Review and ongoing outreach within IG venues and beyond; e.g. NetMundial IG Principles, 13 Principles, IANA Transition, WSIS+10 Review process
6: How to track tangible outcomes
- Formal recognition
- Referencing in official documentation (e.g. FRA 2013 Report: 91), written & spoken proceedings (e.g. transcripts)
- Part of online and offline archives/official record of IG and Human Rights consultations & outcomes (Section 8 below).
- Informal: conversations, allusions, minuted meetings, imitation
- Application of content – in various formats & languages – to specific situations; e.g. Chilean Internet & Human Rights report, 2013
- Visibility online; availability & accessibility offline as printed matter
- Implementation –projects at local, national, international levels for range of needs across sectors using and adapting the IRPC Charter for their own needs (Section 8)
- Sustained two-way engagement between stakeholders on Charter framework;
7: Impact Timeline: Selected Highlights
2010 Council of Europe Guide on Human Rights for Internet Users 2010, adopted 2014
2011 Frank La Rue Report to the UNHRC
2012/2014 UNHRC Resolutions on human rights online
2013 IGF Meeting in Bali: Human Rights main theme
2014 NetMundial – IRPC Submission & Content of Outcome Document
2014 Brazilian Marco Civil passes into Law
2014 Hivos IGMENA Program – Arabic Booklet Edition & Click Rights Campaign
2014 NZ Greens – Internet Rights & Freedoms Bill
2014 Turkish Booklet Edition with Pirate Party Movement Turkey
2014 African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms drawing on IRPC Charter
2014 IGF Istanbul: WS 83, WS146, WS225, IRPC Meeting
2015: Presentation of Spanish edition of the Charter booklet to the Spanish Senate
2015: Italian Declaration of Internet Rights drawing on IRPC Charter
8: Impact Pathway-Illustrative Examples: The IRPC Charter in Action
- i) Source for National Political Processes – Asia-Pacific (New Zealand)
“The Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill is designed to protect human rights in the digital Environment…. The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition, hosted by the UN Internet Governance Forum, recognises that ‘the full and universal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms requires the effective realization of these rights on the Internet.’ The enactment of the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill will protect and strengthen New Zealanders’ fundamental Internet freedoms.” Green Party Aotearoa, Draft for Consultation: Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, 2014: 1
- ii) Outreach and Education – The Middle East and North African Region
“Now is the opportune moment to structure freedom of the Internet and freedom of expression into regional action plans and new national laws. It is new, it is urgent and there is a need to advocate Internet rights to help bring this about. To this end, Hivos’
Internet Governance for Middle East and North Africa programme (IGMENA) launches its campaign advocating the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet” http://igmena.org/Click-Rights-and-get-it-Right
iii) Impact on Multistakeholder Outcomes – 2014 Net Mundial Outcome Statement
“As…a success story, I would like to underline the crucial role of the IRPC Charter as a reference at international level: it was very useful at the Netmundial Conference in Sao Paulo…in the first group on Internet Governance Principles and Human Rights, and it was quite a difficult challenge to compile the various sources, inputs and contributions, converging on some issues, diverging on others. .. Therefore, it was important to refer to a neutral tool quoting the legal basis of the relevant human rights – the IRPC Charter… The consensus finally reached at Netmundial was based on this Charter … “
(Ms Helga Mieling, Austrian Government)
- iv) A Framework for National Initiatives
Italian Declaration of Internet Rights (2015) presented to the Italian Parliament, July 2015
“In July 2014 the President of the Chamber, Hon. Laura Boldrini, established a study commission made of 10 MPs … and 13 experts… The mandate for our Commission was to survey existing Internet Charters / Declarations (starting with the IRPC Charter, of course) and to produce a draft Declaration of Internet Rights before of the end of Italy’s Presidency of the European Union (31 Dec 2014). The political aim was to try to influence the Italian Government to take (or at least facilitate) action in this important area.” (IRPC listserv, 21/02/2015; Prof Juan Carlos De Martin, Co-Director, Nexa Center for Internet & Society, Turin, Italy)
- v) Agenda-Setting Role for Internet Governance Processes
“Within the framework of the Internet Governance Forum, the Internet Rights & Principles Coalition was created in 2009 with the mission “to make rights on the Internet and their related duties, specified from the point of view of individual users, a central theme of the internet governance debate held in the IGF context”. In 2010-11 the Internet Rights & Principles Coalition (IRPC) developed its Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet, distilling its 21 clauses into 10 Rights and Principles for the Internet based on international human rights laws and norms” (Issue report for the Cross Community Working Party on ICANN’s Corporate and Social Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: Practical recommendations for ICANN, presented at ICANN 53, June 2015. Page 12).
- vi) Recognition of the IRPC Charter’s contribution to Multistakeholder Consultations
In 2015 the IRP Coalition was granted Observer status at the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI)
vii) From Global to Local Level: IRPC Charter Translations
The IRPC Charter is currently available in seven languages with an eighth edition (Thai) underway. The Ten IRP Principles are also available in 25 languages. Every language edition of the full Charter has been the product of translating and editing teams based locally and liaising with the IRPC Charter Booklet team.
Cooperative efforts to translate the Charter and also the Charter booklet engage and mobilize language communities for outreach and implementation at the local and national level. The full Charter is now available in almost all of the world’s most spoken languages.
9: Summing up
As the above examples show, the IRPC Charter has been acknowledged as an authoritative framework for implementing human rights for the online environment, and as an integral part of internet governance processes since it was launched in 2011.
We hereby submit the IRPC Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet for endorsement and feedback from the wider IGF community. Contact details are below.
We thank the MAG for providing this opportunity to present the output of the Dynamic Coalition for Internet Rights and Principles to the João Pessoa IGF meeting this year.
We look forward to continuing to work together to contribute to future work in this area and receiving written comments to the IRPC Charter, either as a whole or to specific articles.
IRPC Steering Committee (31 July 2015)
 More information is available from the IRPC website and the IRPC Charter Booklet for a full reference and resource list.