APC Convenes Meeting for African NHRIs and Internet Governance Community in Johannesburg

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The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) will convene a three-day meeting of African National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and the African Internet Governance Communityin May 2017 to explore internet-related human rights issues.

Focusing on African NHRIs, the meeting will examine how the institutes perceive and understand the application of human rights online; the experiences of NHRIs in respect of their responses to rights violations online; NHRIs’ understandings of rights violations offline vis-à-vis online; NHRIs’ responses to online rights violations which almost always have offline implications for victims; tools and/or interventions needed by NHRIs to strengthen their role in responding to rights violations online more effectively; and whether NHRIs consider digital security as a priority in the implementation of their mandates.

Scheduled to hold at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg from May 24 to 26, 2017, APC is holding the meeting in collaboration with the Secretariat of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms; the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria; Legal Resources Centre; Media Rights Agenda; Media Monitoring Africa and the South African Human Rights Commission.

The meeting is expected to strengthen NHRIs’ understanding of the challenges, needs and requirements for the application of the human rights framework online from their counterparts across the region. It will also facilitate the exchange of experiences and lessons learnt in translating and applying their respective domestic human rights frameworks in respect of online rights and violations.

The meeting which will convene at least one representative of NHRIs from West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa will also bring together the Internet Governance Community in Africa, particularly civil society organisations working on internet rights and freedom of expression sector. As a result, the gathering is expected to expose NHRIs to the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms as a framework for the application of human rights online, while also facilitating better relationships between NHRIs and regional civil society role-players working in the realm of online and communication rights.