Charting the Charter: Internet Rights and Principles Online

22 October 2013 - A Workshop on Bali,Indonesia


Since the Charter of Internet Rights and Principles was developed dialogue about diverse internet related human rights issues have emerged in various UN human rights mechanisms e.g. racism/racial discrimination, human rights defenders, women's human rights, freedom of association, business and human rights, protection of cultural heritage.  The workshop will map the issues under discussion in the UNHRC against those in the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet (‘IRP Charter’) and explore multistakeholder perspectives and best practice examples of adherence to the Charter and human rights standards from diverse regions.  
The focus is on progress, opportunities and challenges to monitor and advocate for the IRP Charter provisions particularly for marginalised groups e.g. rural and indigenous peoples, disabled people, urban poor as the second part of the two workshops put forward by the IRP Coalition and partners. Wider questions that the workshop looks to cover include: How are understandings about the interrelationship of internet governance and human rights standards developing at the Human Rights Council?  Aside from freedom of expression and the right to Privacy, what other human rights are important in relation to the internet? How can the Charter be used to broaden the engagement of the Human Rights Council in internet governance issues? How does the work of the HRC inform the Charter, and other internet policy documents and mechanisms? 
Since the 2009 IGF, the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition has organised a range of workshops and Coalition meetings looking at the application of human rights standards (primarily those espoused in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) to the Internet. In 2010 the previous draft of the IRP Charter ( was launched with a rigorous discussion about what correct interpretation of existing standards is and the role of different stakeholders in relation to these. 

In 2011 the IRP Charter was distilled down to 10 key advocacy points, the Ten Internet Rights and Principles ( These were debated as the Coalition undertook a closer analysis of the issue of copyright protection and how it interrelated with human rights on the internet. In 2012 the Coalition looked at how the Charter was feeding in to a derivative initiative at the Council of Europe to create a user-friendly Compendium of rights of internet users. The Coalition made a close analysis of the issue of anonymity online. This year we want to focus on human rights which, while contained in the Charter, have not received high levels of attention. We also want to loop in the work of Coalition members working on human rights, women’s rights, social, cultural and economic rights as well as the recent work of the Human Rights Council (which is the most authoritative global body applying human rights to the Internet) to incorporating human rights as an integral part of the internet governance field.