Freedom of expression

 

Freedom of expression is one of the main fundamental human rights, enshrined in several international human rights treaties. This right applies both offline and online. The Internet, with the opportunities it offers people to express themselves, is an enabler of the exercise of this right. 

Online freedom of expression has featured highly on the diplomatic agenda over the past few years. It is an important issue for the UN Council of Human Rights, and for regional intergovernmental bodies such as the Council of Europe. It has also been discussed at numerous Internet governance-related processes. 

Despite being enshrined in various legal instruments and in national constitutions, online freedom of expression has been a contentious policy area. As of late, this right is being curtailed through governmental content control, censorship, and surveillance in many countries, often for political reasons.

Ms Virginia Paque

Internet Governance and E-diplomacy Programmes, DiploFoundation

Born (and currently residing) in the United States, Ms Virginia (Ginger) Paque lived in Venezuela for more than 35 years. An educator and administrator by profession, she has 25 years’ experience in business and manufacturing systems consulting. As a board member of the United Nations Association of Venezuela, her work as the Venezuelan member of the World Federation of United Nations Associations Task Force on WSIS marked her entry to the world of Internet governance (IG) during the Geneva PrepComs. Active in Civil Society discussions on IG, Ginger served as IG Caucus co-coordinator for two years. She was a member of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) from 2015 to 2017. Having completed a Master in Contemporary Diplomacy with a thesis focusing on the importance of IG as a new diplomatic priority, Ginger currently lectures on IG for Diplo and curates human rights topics for the GIP Digital Watch observatory.

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