Clinton on Resolution on Promotion of Human Rights on Internet

Clinton on Resolution on Promotion of Human Rights on Internet
05 July 2012

Office of the Spokesperson
July 5, 2012


Resolution on the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the Internet

Today, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution with the message that there can be no division or double standard regarding human rights online. The landmark resolution makes clear that all individuals are entitled to the same human rights and fundamental freedoms online as they are offline, and all governments must protect those rights regardless of the medium.

The free flow of news and information is under threat in countries around the world. We are witnessing an alarming surge in the number of cases involving government censorship and persecution of individuals for their actions online – sometimes for just a single tweet or text message.

This resolution is a welcome addition in the fight for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms online, in particular the freedom of expression, as well as the freedoms of religion or belief, assembly and association, and the right to be free of arbitrary interference with privacy.

The United States was proud to work with the main sponsor, Sweden, and over 80 co-sponsors, including Brazil, Turkey, Nigeria, and Tunisia, to help pass this resolution. We will continue to stand with our partners to address challenges to online freedom, and to ensure that human rights are protected in the public square of the 21st century.

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U.S. Envoy Donahoe on Protection of Human Rights on Internet
05 July 2012

U.S. Mission Geneva
Office of Public Affairs
Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Comments at Press Availability
July 5, 2012

Following the HRC’s Consensus Adoption of Resolution L13
The Promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet

(Excerpt from Press Availability with the Ambassadors of Sweden, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia and Nigeria)

Text of the Resolution

I want to just express how happy we are. The United States is so proud to have these colleagues as friends and leaders from all around the world — from Turkey, Tunisia, Brazil, Nigeria and Sweden on such an important issue.

This outcome is momentous for the Human Rights Council. It’s the first ever UN resolution affirming that human rights in the digital realm must be protected and promoted to the same extent and with the same commitment as human rights in the physical world.

So in that sense we can all say that human rights in the on-line world are as real as human rights in the off-line world.

President Obama and Secretary Clinton have both put a great emphasis on internet freedom and human rights combined, and this is a really foundational moment for the international community as it builds recognition that internet freedom and human rights on-line must be protected as they are off-line.

I have to emphasize also the numbers. It was consensus outcome with 85 co-sponsors who signed on to support the text as it was, and 30 of those were members of the Council.

So it’s just a remarkable accomplishment and we have to point also to the phenomenal leadership, particularly by Sweden. They just were so thoughtful and respectful of all delegations, but very clear on what the outcome should be and they got the job done. We are really thankful.

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