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[liberationtech] Who controls the Internet? Final statement of the Pan African Civil Society Workshop

Rebecca MacKinnon rebecca.mackinnon at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 10:40:51 PDT 2012


http://www.apc.org/en/news/who-controls-internet-final-statement-pan-african

Who controls the Internet? Final statement of the Pan African Civil Society
Workshop

By Anriette Esterhuysen for APC

NAIROBI, Kenya, 02 August 2012

*Final Statement of the Pan African Civil Society Workshop on Who Controls
the Internet? Held in Nairobi, 26-27 July, 2012*

We, participants comprising representatives of diverse civil society
organizations from the human rights, media and ICT policy sectors, meeting
at the Pan African Civil Society Workshop on “Who Controls the Internet”
held in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 26 and 27, 2012:

   - Affirm the importance of the Internet as an enabling medium for
   democratisation and the promotion, exercise and enjoyment of human rights;


   - Recognize that the ability to access and use the Internet has become
   inextricably linked to the rights to freedom of expression, association
   and assembly, as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’
   Rights , and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights .


   - Stress the capacity and potential of the Internet to contribute to
   social, economic, cultural and human development;


   - Express strong support for the report of the Special Rapporteur on
   Freedom of Expression and Opinion on the right to freedom of opinion and
   expression exercised through the Internet presented in June 2011 to the
   Human Rights Council (HRC) and HRC Resolution A/HRC/20/L.13 of July 5,
   2012 on “the Promotion, Protection and Enjoyment of Human Rights on the
   Internet” which affirms that the same rights that people have offline must
   also be protected online;


   - Welcome the establishment in 2011 of the African Platform for Access
   to Information and the Freedom Online Coalition ;


   - Affirm that multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet at the
   national, regional and international levels founded on the guiding values
   of fundamental human rights and the public interest is essential for the
   effectiveness and legitimacy of Internet governance;


   - Note that current Internet governance arrangements as well as recent
   proposals for global Internet governance reform from some governments
   and discussed in various intergovernmental forums do not adequately address
   civil society participation.

*We call upon African States:*

   - To promote and facilitate affordable and equitable access to the
   Internet;


   - To review and repeal policies, regulations, legislation and practices
   that are restrictive or inconsistent with regional and international human
   rights standards and that interfere with freedom of expression,
   association and assembly on the Internet;


   - To prioritise the application of UN Human Rights Council Resolution
   (A/HRC/20/L.13, July 5, 2012) which “affirms the same rights that people
   have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of
   expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any
   media of one’s choice, in accordance with articles 19 of the Universal
   Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and
   Political Rights”;


   - To guarantee that all Internet-related policies, regulations and
   legislation are developed within a framework which ensures the inclusion
   and full participation of all stakeholders, particularly civil society;


   - That those who have not yet done so to endorse the African Platform on
   Access to Information (APAI) and apply the principles contained in the
   APAI Declaration to advance the right to Access to Information in all
   its dimensions, nationally, regionally, and internationally on the African
   continent;


   - To apply the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights , also known
   as the “Ruggie Principles”, in their interaction with and regulation of the
   Internet and telecommunications industry.

*We call upon the African Union and regional bodies:*

   - To strengthen its support of and collaboration with the African
   Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, particularly with the Special
   Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information;


   - To facilitate in partnership with the African Commission on Human and
   Peoples’ Rights the implementation of regional and international human
   rights standards in relation to the Internet as enshrined in the African
   Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on
   Civil and Political Rights, among others instruments;


   - To encourage the expansion and effective implementation of African
   initiatives to extend the right to information, such as the African
   Platform on Access to Information.

*We call upon all global governance institutions, inter-governmental
organizations and standard setting bodies that deal with Internet-related
issues:*

   - To facilitate the effective and continuous participation of civil
   society in all their decision-making processes;


   - To ensure transparency of and access to information related to these
   decision-making processes;


   - In particular, we call on the International Telecommunication Union (
   ITU) in the process of discussions reviewing of the International
   Telecommunications Regulations to ensure and facilitate the involvement of
   civil society and make relevant information publicly available in the
   process leading up the World Conference on International Telecommunications.


   - We call on Internet and telecommunications companies:*


   - To provide, fair, affordable and equitable access to
   telecommunications services and the Internet;


   - To adhere to the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights, also
   known as the Ruggie Principles.

*We call on Civil Society Organizations:*

   - To recognize the importance of freedom of expression, association and
   assembly on the Internet as an essential element of their work and mandate;


   - To participate actively in Internet related policy and governance issues
   at national, regional and international levels;


   - To work together in Africa and globally to ensure that Governments and
   industry are accountable in upholding freedom of expression, association
   and information on the Internet.

Signed by:
African ICT Consumers Network
Article 19, East Africa
Association for Progressive Communications
CIPESA
CIVICUS
Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance
Global Partners & Associates
Human Rights Watch
ICT Consumers Association of Kenya
iHub
Kenya Human Rights Commission
Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
Kictanet
Kubatana
Media Foundation for West Africa
Media Rights Agenda
Media, Empowerment and Democracy in East Africa
Social Development Network
Ushahidi
________________________________________________________________

For further information please contact:

Anriette Esterhuysen (Executive Director)
Association for Progressive Communications
anriette [at] apc.org
+27 11 726 1692

Beryl Aidi (Media and Communication Officer)
Kenya Human Rights Commission
baidi [at] khrc.or.ke

Dixie Hawtin (Project Manager, Freedom of Expression and Digital
Communications)
Global Partners and Associates
dixie [at] global-partners.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7549 0338

PDF here:
http://global-partners.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Final-Statement-of-the-Pan-African-CS-Workshop-on-Who-Controls-the-Internet_02082012.pdf

-- 
Rebecca MacKinnon
Author, Consent of the Networked <http://consentofthenetworked.com/>
Schwartz Senior Fellow, New America Foundation<http://newamerica.net/user/303>
Co-founder, Global Voices <http://globalvoicesonline.org/>
Twitter: @rmack <http://twitter.com/rmack>
Office: +1-202-596-3343
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