UNESCO Commission Holds International Workshop on Freedom of Expression on the Internet


The German Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication and Information at the University of Hamburg will convene in December 2013 an international workshop to promote and inform current debates on approaches to handling online content that violates freedom of expression.

The workshop, which will take place on December 10 and 11, 2013 in Berlin, Germany, is aimed at contributing to a dialogue among high-profile representatives of business, governments, NGOs and academia.

Thirty representatives from governments, international organizations, private enterprises, civil society and academia will participate in the discussions.

The workshop will give an overview on structural changes in communication by the use of private online services and will complement as well as build on the work being done in this field by UNESCO, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, academics worldwide and various NGOs and Think Tanks.

The workshop outcomes will be summarized and streamlined into a publication to be distributed to key decision-makers in governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society worldwide.

The workshop is motivated by the realization that in times of a rapidly changing communication landscape, the protection of the basic human right to freedom of expression has become a challenge.

Besides, national governments, private companies, civil society, generators and users of online content at times take differing positions on how to protect freedom of expression on the Internet, particularly when handling controversial online content.

In addition, private companies have become critical intermediaries between the generator and the consumer of online content.

Identifying practices of intermediaries regard issues such as monitoring, surveillance, anonymity and take-down of content and discussing their applicability in different contexts has therefore become an important step to be taken to reduce potential conflicts.

Click here for more information about the workshop.