IRIS Actions / SMSI / Droits de l'homme - Human Rights

Proposal for the Declaration of Principles

Human Rights in the Information Society (HRIS) Caucus
WSIS PrepCom3 - September 16, 2003

Submitted to governement representatives at PrepCom3, September 15-26, 2003, Geneva, Switzerland

Paragraph 1:
- Replace current paragraph 1 with the following text:
"We the representatives of the peoples of the world, assembled in Geneva from 10-12 December 2003 for the first phase of the World Summit on Information Society, declare our common desire and commitment to build an information and communication society based on human rights and human dignity. With the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human rights as our foundation, we reaffirm the universality and the indivisibility of all human rights - civil, political, economic, social and cultural - and we recognize their centrality to democracy, the rule of law, non-discrimination and sustainable development. Our challenge is to harness the potential of the information and communication society to ensure that human needs are met and that all human rights are realized. We are determined to meet this challenge."

Paragraph 7:
- Replace current paragraph 7 with the following text:
"We seek to build an information and communication society that is inclusive, and where all people, without distinction of any kind, can achieve their full potential. We will take all possible action to promote non-discrimination and diversity in the design and realization of the information and communication society. We commit to mainstreaming the principles of non-discrimination and diversity with regard to gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, faith, and disability in all ICT policies, programmes and related areas.

Paragraph 10:
- Replace the item "The respect for internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms" with the following text:
"The recognition of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including labor standards". - Insert the following new item: "An effective public service, which should remain in the hands of democratic and accountable agencies".

Paragraph 21-22:
- Replace first sentence with full reference and quote to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"As stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Paragraph 34:
- Add a new paragraph 34A at the beginning of section 5 addressing privacy
- Replace current paragraph 34 by new paragraph 34B
- Delete paragraphs 35C and 35D
"34A: The right to privacy is a human right and is essential for self-determined human development in regard to civic, political, social economic and cultural activities. It must be protected in public spaces, online, offline, at home and in the workplace. Every person must have the right to decide freely whether and in what manner he or she wants to receive information and communicate with others. The possibility of communicating anonymously must be ensured for everyone. The increased use and abuse of personal information by the private sector and government, including monitoring, surveillance, and discrimination, must be checked and regulated legally and technologically. The collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal data, no matter by whom, should remain under the control of and determined by the individual concerned."

"34B: Building a transparent framework including, inter alia, dependability, authentication, privacy and consumer protection, is a prerequisite for the maturation of the information and communication society and for building confidence among all users of ICTs. Governments should develop and implement a framework of ICT dependability in close cooperation with private enterprise, civil society and with international expert bodies in the field of ICT dependability, consumer protection and privacy. Within this framework, measures to enhance dependability must be consistent with international privacy standards. In addition, it must take into account the level of social and economic development of each country and respect, inter alia, the development-orientation of the Information Society."

Paragraph 38A:
- Replace current paragraph 38A with the following text:
"National regulation, in compliance with international human rights standards, adhering to the rule of law, is essential for building confidence in information and communication society. The rights of individuals shall be protected and government administration and justice shall be more open, efficient and transparent. State regulation, built and enforced in the full respect of human rights, is the only way to ensure the reality of the rule of law."

Paragraph 40C:
- Replace current paragraph 40C with the following text:
"Intellectual property regimes and international agreements on patents, copyright and trademarks should be compliant with Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which balances the rights of authors and the rights of all people to participate in cultural life, to enjoy arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits."

Paragraph 52:
- Replace current paragraph 52 with the following text:
"The information and communication society shall be subject to universally held values such as justice, solidarity and tolerance. The use of ICT shall not undermine the human dignity and integrity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of others."

Contacts in Geneva for Human Rights Caucus
Diana Bronson, Rikke Frank Jorgensen, Meryem Marzouki
Web site and mailing list of the HRIS caucus:

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