APC Internet Rights Charter

25 May 2011

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First developed in 2001-2002 by APC members and partner organisations at Internet Rights workshops held in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa and updated in 2006, the APC Internet Rights Charter enshrines the rights of people and organisations to use the internet freely, particularly in their work for social, economic and environmental justice. The Charter refers specifically to the internet; however, these principles are relevant to all other information and communication technologies (ICTs), including telephone, radio, and others.

APC believes that the ability to share information and communicate freely using the internet is vital to the realisation of human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976) and the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1980).

The Charter was originally published in English, Spanish and French but it has now also been translated into other languages by the members of the APC national policy network, including more widely spoken languages such as Portuguese (sixth in the world), Bengali (seventh), Russian (eighth) and Urdu (twentieth) and multiple lesser-spoken languages such as Macedonian and Jju (a minority language in Nigeria).

According the Charter, the following rights should be recognised, protected and respected:

* Theme 1: Internet access for all
* Theme 2: Freedom of expression and association
* Theme 3: Access to knowledge
* Theme 4: Shared learning and creation – free and open source software and technology development
* Theme 5: Privacy, surveillance and encryption
* Theme 6: Governance of the internet
* Theme 7: Awareness, protection and realisation of rights

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