Human rights

The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online is the underlying principle for human rights on the Internet.

Human rights issues are cross-cutting and interdependent. For example, freedom of expression and information is strongly related to access to the Internet. Protection of minority rights is influenced by multilingualism and the promotion of cultural diversity. Ensuring the protection of privacy is important in dealing with cybersecurity.

The human rights basket includes online aspects of the following human rights:

In 2022, the following four main trends are likely to increase the relevance of human rights online: 

  1. Human rights will be impacted by the Biden administration’s value-driven global digital strategy. The centrality of values will have a direct impact on freedom of expression and information, access to the internet, etc. These issues will land on the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council and other international human rights bodies. 
  2. The EU-driven push for cross-cutting coverage on digitalisation and human rights will be further mainstreamed in the work of the UN Human Rights Council in 2022. For example, privacy will be addressed in the context of child safety, freedom of expression, and other human rights.
  3. Digital standards have important human rights aspects. Thus, when they design new standards for the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital systems, standardisation bodies will focus increasingly on the protection of privacy, access, rights of people with disabilities, and other human rights.
  4. AI and ethics will accelerate in the relevance after the UNESCO recommendation in this field. Human rights are the most concrete and direct way for AI and ethics interplay.