Rights organisations call on UN Human Rights Council to establish Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

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Rights organisations call on UN Human Rights Council to establish Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

Today, on behalf of 92 human rights organisations around the world, an oral statement was delivered before the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling on the Council to establish a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy

Negotiations are on-going at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy. If established, the Rapporteur will provide much-needed leadership and guidance on developing an understanding of the scope and content on the right to privacy, as well as strengthening the monitoring of states and companies' compliance with their responsibility to respect and protect the right to privacy in their laws, policies and practices.

It is critical that the Council seize this opportunity to strengthen the respect and promotion of the right to privacy. Read below our joint oral statement.

Joint NGOs oral statement to the Human Rights Council 28th ordinary session

Call to establish a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy

13 March 2015

Mr. President,

I deliver this statement on behalf of 92 NGOs from around the world.

The UN General Assembly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and existing special procedure mandate holders have all recognized the pressing need for ongoing, systematic and authoritative monitoring, reporting and guidance on the scope and content of the right to privacy.

The creation of a mandate of Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy would address this urgent need and fill a significant gap in the conceptual and practical understanding of the right to privacy.

This dedicated mandate would play a critical role in developing common understandings on the right to privacy; monitoring and reporting on its implementation; making recommendations and providing authoritative guidance to States and non-state actors, particularly business, to strengthen the protection of individual's right to privacy.

Within the UN system, a Special Rapporteur would make an essential contribution to the development of a coherent and complementary approach to the interaction between privacy, freedom of expression and other human rights. It would be a logical, incremental step to the Council's engagement on this issue, and it would enable the Council to play a leading role in strengthening the promotion and protection of the right to privacy.

To effectively fulfill its role, the new mandate should be able to perform the full range of functions of thematic special procedures, including receiving and seeking information from states and other stakeholders; carrying out country visits; and making recommendations.

Last December, the UN General Assembly encouraged the Council to consider the possibility of establishing a special procedure on the right to privacy. We strongly recommend that the Council takes up this invitation and establishes a Special Rapporteur with a mandate to provide guidance and monitor the implementation of the right to privacy as enshrined in Article 12 of the UDHR and Article 17 of the ICCPR.

Thank you for your attention.

Supported by:


Ageia Densi (Colombia

Alternatives (Canada)

American Civil Liberties Union (U.S.A)

Amnesty International

Article 19

Asociación para una Ciudadanía Participativa - ACI-Participa (Honduras)

Association des droits numériques (Morocco)

Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression(AFTE) (Egypt)

Association for Progressive Communications

Australian Privacy Foundation (Australia)

Australian Section of the International Commission of Jurists (Australia)

Bits for Freedom (Netherlands)

BlueLink.net (Bulgaria)

Brennan Center for Justice (U.S.A)

Bytes for All (Pakistan)

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (Canada)

Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) (Canada)

Center for Democracy and Technology (U.S.A)

Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi (India)

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) (Argentina)

Coding Rights (Brazil)

Coletivo Digital (Brazil)

Colombian Commission of Jurists (Colombia)

Conectas (Brazil)

Contingente Mx (Mexico)

Cyber Law Centre (Indonesia)

Dejusticia (Colombia)

Derechos Digitales (Chile)

Digital Empowerment Foundation (India)

Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan)

Digitale Gesellschaft e.V. (Germany)

Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (the Netherlands)

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (Egypt)

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Electronic Privacy Information Center

Enjambre Digital (Mexico)

eQualit.ie (Canada)

European Digital Rights (EDRi)

Foundacion Karisma (Colombia)

German Section of the International Commission of Jurists (Germany)

GreenNet (U.K.)

Hiperderecho (Peru)

Human Rights Law Network (India)

Human Rights Watch

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (Hungary)

Ibidem – Instituto Brasileiro para Internet e Democracia (Brazil)

Instituto Bem Estar (Brazil)

Instituto de Defesa do Consumidor – IDEC (Brazil)

Instituto de Tecnologia e Sociedade - ITS (Brazil)

Instituto Nupef (Brazil)

International Commission of Jurists

International Commission of Jurists – Norway (Norway)

International Federation for Human Rights

International Modern Media Institute

Internet Democracy Project (India)

Internet Lab Brazil (Brazil)

Internet Society Serbia Belgrade Chapter (Serbia)

Intervozes (Brazil)

Ipandetec (Panama)

Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM)

Irish Council for Civil Liberties (Ireland)

Jonction (Senegal)

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) (Kenya)

Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy (KOCUN) (Republic of Korea)

Korean Progressive Network - Jinbonet (Republic of Korea)

LAVITS: Rede latino-americana de estudos sobre vigilância, tecnologia e sociedade (Brazil)

Legal Resources Centre (LRC) (South Africa)

Liberty (U.K.)

May First/People Link (U.S.A.)

New America's Open Technology Institute (U.S.A.)

Odhikar (Bangladesh)

OneWorld Platform for Southeast Europe - OWPSEE (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

OpenMedia.org (Canada/Global)

Open Rights Group

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Pen International

Polish Section of the International Commission of Jurists (Poland)

Privacy International

PROTESTE - Associação de Consumidores (Brazil)

Public Knowledge (U.S.A.)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Europe

Soweto iLab (South Africa)


Swedish Section of the International Commission of Jurists (Sweden)

Swiss section of the International Commission of Jurists (Switzerland)

TEDIC (Paraguay)

Unwanted Witness (Uganda)

Usuarios Digitales (Ecuador)

Web Foundation


Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (Zimbabwe)

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