Digital rights

UN roundup and delegate guide: digital rights at the United Nations

Over the last several months, including during the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC50), delegates and stakeholders made multiple strides to protect human rights online. This includes the notable UN report on internet shutdowns that makes the intrinsic link between civil and political and economic, social, and cultural rights in the digital age.  Our new brief, UN roundup and delegate guide: digital rights at the United Nations, aims to educate delegates on what took place and provide next steps for advancing international norms and standards to safeguard human rights online. 

We also hope to prepare stakeholders to advocate for digital rights in upcoming and ongoing UN processes, from the General Assembly’s 77th session to the UN Human Rights Council’s 51st session, and beyond. Our brief therefore centers on HRC50 but includes other relevant UN processes, such as the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the Open Ended Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies II (OEWG on ICTs II), the Security Council, and the Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime (AHC on Cybercrime).

We focus on five main topics: (1) internet shutdowns; (2) disinformation; (3) surveillance and spyware; (4) new and emerging technology; and (5) cybercrime and cybersecurity. In addition, we address the impact of sanctions on digital rights.


Stay tuned to our work at the UN by following Access Now (@accessnow) and Laura O’Brien, our Senior UN Advocacy Officer (@lo_brie) and Peter Micek, our UN Advocacy Manager (@lawyerpants) on Twitter, and please reach out to us if you’d like to work together.

Access Now UN Advocacy Intern Aditi Rukhaiyar contributed to this report.