Press release

ICANN Board agrees to human rights commitment

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ARTICLE 19

04 Feb 2016

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A human rights promise that was made during the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society and the NetMundial conference is about to be delivered upon.

The ICANN Board has agreed with the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) on improving ICANN’s accountability that a commitment to respect human rights should be part of ICANN’s by-laws. This is part of a process during which the oversight of ICANN is transitioning from the US Government’s Department of Commerce to the global Internet community. This step by ICANN will contribute to mainstreaming human
rights into Internet Governance.

“This is a long awaited moment for all Internet users – human rights are just as important on-line as off-line. By taking this important step of making human rights part of the management of the Internet's infrastructure, the Internet as a whole is strengthened. As the Internet is a global public space, concrete steps should be taken to ensure that space is a rights-enabling environment.” said Niels ten Oever, Head of Digital Programmes at ARTICLE 19.

It is expected that the CCWG will soon reach consensus on its plans to improve ICANN’s accountability after which this plan will be forwarded to the US Department of Commerce.

ICANN’s human rights policy will be developed through a framework of interpretation, during the next part of the transition process. The ICANN Board also signalled that it will produce a human rights statement of its own.


NOTES TO EDITORS:

ARTICLE 19 actively works in ICANN to mainstream human rights in Internet Governance. It does so by chairing the Cross Community Working Party on ICANNs Corporate and Social Responsibility to Respect
Human Rights and participation in the CCWG on Accountability in ICANN.

ARTICLE 19 also works on mainstreaming human rights in Internet Protocol development.

For more information or media interviews, please contact communications@article19.org

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