On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council declared freedom of expression on the internet to be a basic human right. They affirmed that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression…”. “As the only NGO who is working to promote internet access as a human right, this is an exciting and important step towards the extension of access to everyone,” said Kosta Grammatis, Founder and CEO of A Human Right. “The UN joins Estonia, France, Finland, Greece, and Spain in considering access to the internet a human right.” “The UN’s call for member states to ‘promote and facilitate access to the internet’ is powerful. 68% of the world’s population, some 5 billion people, are still disconnected from the internet. The fight for internet freedom isn’t limited to SOPA, PIPA and ACTA—access is still the most pressing issue we’re facing today.” “When authoritarian regimes interfere with their citizen’s right to internet access, like Egypt and Syria did during the Arab Spring, it should be easier to hold them accountable for their actions. In the future, we hope the UN will clarify that no one should be denied access to the internet.”
Last year, A Human Right signed a memorandum of understanding with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to work on bringing internet access to relief and development efforts. A Human Right is a San Francisco-based NGO working on several initiatives to get everyone connected.
Read our full press release here.