Ukraine: stronger digital rights protections mean a stronger democracy

Technology experts, policy makers, journalists, international organizations, and civil society from different countries gathered in Kyiv, Ukraine on September 11, 2019 for the Good Governance Forum to discuss how to nurture democratic governance and develop solutions to common problems in the age of digital technologies.

Access Now was among those invited to share our perspective, in particular on the digital threats to democracy in Ukraine. Based on this presentation, we prepared a short report summarizing four core challenges to human rights in Ukraine’s emerging democracy: connectivity, censorship, digital security, and privacy and data protection.

The report highlights the fact that, while there has been some progress, Ukrainian legislators and policymakers must do more to secure their citizens’ digital rights. In particular, they should pay special attention to those who are most at risk, such as journalists, human rights defenders, and LGBTQ persons, as well as individuals in rebel-held or occupied territories, who are often uncertain about which authorities are responsible for protecting their rights and, therefore, are left with no recourse.

We encourage Ukraine’s leaders to fully acknowledge the importance of respecting human rights in the digital space in Ukraine and to implement the necessary changes to secure those rights and strengthen Ukraine’s young democracy.