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Human Rights Council resolution on the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet (2016)

GE.16 -12327(E)
 
Human Rights Council
Thirt y-second session
Agenda item 3
R esolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 1 July 2016
32/13. The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights
on the Internet
The Human Rights Council ,
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming the human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and relevant international human rights treaties, including the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Recalling all relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and the
Human Rights Council on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in particular
Council resolution s 20/8 of 5 July 2012 and 26/13 of 26 June 2014, on the promotion,
protection and enjo yment of human rights on the Internet, and resolutions 12/16 of 2
October 2009, on freedom of opinion and expression, 28/16 of 24 March 2015, on the right
to privacy in the digital age, and 23/2 of 13 June 2013, on the role of freedom of opinion
and expres sion in women’s empowerment, and 31/7 of 23 March 2016, on the r ights of the
child: information and communications technologies and child sexual exploitation , and
recalling also General Assembly resolutions 68/167 of 18 December 2013 and 69/166 of 18
Decem ber 2014, on the right to privacy in the digital age, 70/184 of 22 December 2015, on
information and communications technologies for development, and 70/125 of 16
December 2015, containing the outcome document of the high -level meeting of the General
Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World
Summit on the Information Society,
Welcoming the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ,1 and
recognizing that the spread of information and communications t echnology and global
interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital
divide and to develop knowledge societies,

1 General Assembly resolution 70/1.

United Nations A /HRC/ RES/ 32/13

General Assembly

Distr.: General
18 July 2016

Original: English

A/HRC/RES/32/13
2
Taking note of the Global Multi -stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet
Governance, held in São Paulo on 23 and 24 April 2014, which acknowledged, inter alia,
the need for human rights to underpin Internet governance and that the rights that people
have offline must also be protected online,
Taking note also of the previous sessions of the Internet Governance Forum,
including the most recent meeting, held in João Pessoa , from 10 to 13 November 2015,
Noting that the exercise of human rights, in particular the right to freedom of
expression, on the Internet is an issue of increasing interest and impor tance , as the rapid
pace of technological development enables individuals all over the world to use new
information and communication s technolog y,
Noting also the importance of building confidence and trust in the Internet, not least
with regard to the fre edom of expression, privacy and other human rights so that the
potential of the Internet as, inter alia, an enabler for development and innovation can be
realized, with full cooperation between Governments, civil society, the private sector, the
technical community and academia,
Recognizing that privacy online is important for the realization of the right to
freedom of expression and to hold opinions without interference , and the right to freedom
of peaceful assembly and association,
Emphasizing that access to information on the Internet facilitates vast opportunities
for affordable and inclusive education globally, thereby being an important tool to facilitate
the promotion of the right to education, while underlining the need to address digital
literacy and the digital divide, as it affects the enjoyment of the right to education,
Expressing concern that many forms of digital divides remain between and within
countries and between men and women, boys and girls, and recognizing the need to close
them,
Stressing the importance of empowering all women and girls by enhancing their
access to information and communication s technology, promoting digital literacy and the
participation of women and girls in education and training on information and
communication s technology , and encouraging women and girls to embark on careers in the
sciences and information and communication s technology ,
Recalling articles 9 and 21 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities , which, inter alia , call upon States parties to take appropriate measures to
promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communication s
technolog y and systems, including the Internet,
Recognizing that, for the Internet to remain global, open and interoper able, it is
imperative that States address security concerns in accordance with their international
human rights obligations, in particular with regard to freedom of expression, freedom of
association and privacy,
Deeply concerned by all human rights viola tions and abuses committed against
persons for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and by
the impunity for these violations and abuses,
Deeply concerned also by measures aiming to or that intentionally prevent or disrupt
access to or dissemination of information online , in violation of international human rights
law,
Stressing the importance of applying a comprehensive human rights -based approach
when providing and expanding access to the Internet and for the Internet to be open,
accessible and nurtured by multi -stakeholder participation,

A/HRC/RES/32/13
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Taking note with appreciation of the reports of the Special Rapporteur on the
promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, submitted to
the Human Rights Cou ncil at its seventeenth , twenty -third, twenty -ninth and thirty -second
sessions, 2 and to the General Assembly at its sixty -sixth session, on freedom of expression
on the Internet, 3 and taking note of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to
priv acy, submitted to the Human Rights Council at its thirty -first session, 4
Considering the key importance of government engagement with all relevant
stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, the technical community and academia,
in promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms online,
1. Affirms that 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 article 19 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights;
2. Recognizes the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in
accelerating progress towar ds development in its various forms, including in achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals;
3. Calls upon all States to promote and facilitate international cooperation
aimed at the development of media and information and communication s facilities and
technolog y in all countries;
4. Affirms that quality education plays a decisive role in development, and
therefore calls upon all States to promote digital literacy and to facilitate access to
information on the Internet, which can be an important tool in facilitating the promotion of
the right to education;
5. Also a ffirms the importance of applying a comprehensive human rights -based
approach in providing and in expanding access to the Internet , and requests all States to
make efforts to bridge the many forms of digital divide;
6. Calls upon all States to bridge the gender digital divide and to enhance the
use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to
pro mote the empowerment of all women and girls;
7. Encourages all States to take appropriate measures to promote, with the
participation of persons with disabilities, the design, development, production and
distribution of information and communications techn olog y and systems, including
assistive and adaptive technologies, that are accessible to persons with disabilities;
8. Calls upon all States to address security concerns on the Internet in
accordance with their international human rights obligations to ens ure protection of
freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy and other human rights online,
including through national democratic, transparent institutions, based on the rule of law, in
a way that ensures freedom and security on the Internet so that it can continue to be a
vibrant force that generates economic, social and cultural development;
9. Condemns unequivocally all human rights violations and abuses, such as
torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention , expulsion,
intimidation and harassment, as well as gender -based violence, committed against persons

2 A/HRC/17/27, A/HRC/23/40 and Corr.1, A/HRC/29/32 and A/HRC/32/38.
3 A/66/290.
4 A/HRC/31/64.

A/HRC/RES/32/13
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for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and c alls upon
all States to ensure accountability in this regard;
10. Also c ondemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt
access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights
law , and calls upon all States to refrain from and cease such measures;
11. Stresses the importance of combating advocacy of hatred that constitutes
incitement to discrimination or violence on the Internet, including by promoting tolerance
and dialogue;
12. Calls upon all States to consider formulating, through transparent and
inclusive p rocesses with all stakeholders, and adopting national Internet -related public
policies that have the objective of universal access and enjoyment of human rights at their
core;
13. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to
prepare a report on ways to bridge the gender digital divide from a human rights
perspective, in consultation with States, the special procedures of the Human Rights
Council, international organizations , national human rights institutions, civil society,
industry, t echnical community and academia and other stakeholders, and to submit it to the
Council at its thirty -fifth session;
14. Encourages the special procedures to take these issues into account within
their existing mandates, as applicable;
15. Decides to conti nue its consideration of the promotion, protection and
enjoyment of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, on the Internet
and other information and communication s technology, and of how the Internet can be an
important tool for foster ing citizen and civil society participation, for the realization of
development in every community and for exercising human rights, in accordance with its
programme of work.
43rd meeting
1 July 2016
[Adopted without a vote.]

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