The UN reaffirms internet access as a human right infopost

The UN Human Rights Council voted in favor, this past July 1, of a resolution condemning censorship measures and blocking access to information on the Internet, and reaffirms freedom of expression online as a basic human right. The resolution expands on two previous decisions of the Human Rights Council in the same vein that declared the digital law as a Human Right.

The latest resolution emphasizes the importance of an open and accessible internet to achieve development goals, and calls for ensuring charges against any kind of violence, arrests, or harassment against people for expressing themselves online. Likewise, any measure to block or disrupt access to information on the Internet is unequivocally condemned. Also calls on governments to work to reduce the digital gender gap , and to promote Internet access for people with functional diversity.

The resolution will not have immediate practical effects, since the body lacks sufficient powers, and looking at the list of countries that have co-sponsored the resolution, we can wonder about the hypocrisy of the governments – the United States and the mass surveillance systems , Turkey and the blocking of Internet services -, but it serves to reinforce the awareness that the universal human rights of the offline world, although unfortunately they are continually undermined in their fulfillment, apply equally to the online world.