According to the UN, Internet disruption is a human rights violation

Welcome action by the UN


The Internet has only grown in importance in our daily lives from its roots limited to desktops to the current situation right now where most internet users access it via their mobile phones. The current world population is over 7 billion people of which 3 billion access the Internet daily so you cannot deny its importance.

Now according to a report by the Hill, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed resolutions as shown in this document where they reaffirmed the rights of humans to Internet access. Apparently the Council passed a specific resolution contained in the document that targets the various internet shutdowns we have seen being reported around the world. The resolution in question is this:

Condemns unequivocally measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights and calls on all States to refrain from and cease such measure.

An organization by the name Access Now as quoted by the Hill counted at least 20 internet shutdowns in the first half of this year, which is crazy since they counted less in the whole of last year (15). “Citizens can’t participate fully in democratic discourse during elections. The Human Rights Council’s principled stance is a crucial step in telling the world that shutdowns need to stop.”

It is true, we have seen quite the number of Internet shutdowns from the recent past like during the Ugandan election and in Algeria due to exams. However, the resolution passed by the UN council is nonbinding which means that countries don’t have to necessarily adhere to it but it can be used by the public to ensure that they are not denied the right to access the Internet.