On June 12, 2019, UN Special Rapporteur Clement Voule issued a report (A/HRC/41/41) on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association in the digital era. As technology plays an increasingly vital role in the freedom of assembly and association, the Special Rapporteur finds that many governments are not fulfilling their obligations under international law. In fact, government measures restricting online space have become all too common. Furthermore, technology companies act as gatekeepers to people’s ability to exercise these rights, creating new issues. The report addresses these challenges, with a focus on developing guidance to preserve and expand the digital civic space.
ICNL was pleased to support to UNSR Voule on a series of consultations with civil society organizations around the world, as well as extensive research, in preparation of the report. An unofficial summary of the report follows.