Urgent call to Council of the EU: human rights must come first in Dual Use final draft

Brussels, BE —  Access Now, with Amnesty International and other leading civil society actors, is calling out the Council of the European Union for failing to reconsider and strengthen the EU dual-use recast compromise amendments. Council members must urgently reevaluate their positions to meet their human rights obligations. 

“Since our first calls for the export controls reform in 2011, we have seen numerous revelations of European-made technologies sold all over the world, from Turkey to China, and used to violate human rights,” said Natalia Krapiva, Tech-Legal Counsel at Access Now. “The final draft shows us, however, that the EU policymakers have learned nothing from these abuses and are not willing to fulfill their duty to protect human rights around the world.”

Access Now and the coalition, via an open letter, highlight specific requests by civil society, and where the final proposal fails to meet them. The letter makes a final call for the Council to urgently reconsider the proposed amendments to meet its human rights obligations and to prevent European-based surveillance companies from “licence shopping” among the states with weaker implementation of current export controls rules.

Recommendations made in June to the European Commission, urging it to strengthen its position on the dual use recast, have not been met. 

Other signatories to the letter include Brot für die Welt, International Federation For Human rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).