Click Rights and get it Right!  

Now is the opportune moment to structure freedom of the Internet and freedom of expression into regional action plans and new national laws. It is new, it is urgent and there is a need to advocate Internet rights to help bring this about. To this end, Hivos’s Internet Governance for Middle East and North Africa programme (IGMENA) launches its campaign advocating the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet: Click Rights.

The Charter set by the Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition is based on a translation of existing human rights to the Internet environment to build awareness, understanding and a shared platform for mobilisation around rights and principles for the Internet. These rights and principles, moreover, set forth guidelines for companies about how to behave, and for States about how to regulate companies as well as govern individuals.

Through Click Rights, Hivos seeks to raise awareness of Internet human rights in the light of the revelations of the NSA’s pervasive surveillance and collection of data, which sparked a furious backlash against the violations of Internet rights.

The International community, led by the Brazilian government, responded to such infringements by calling for an international conference on Internet Governance in Brazil in 2014 to discuss the new model of IG process that should follow a multilateral framework and ensure the respect of human rights.

Unfortunately, the MENA region is still out of step with the IG process. Here, authoritative governments deem the Internet a threat to their power and hence enact repressive legislation and set up telecommunication agencies to restrict freedom of expression online. For this reason, many online activists and Internet users in the region are being detained, prosecuted and eventually imprisoned by governments for their online activities. Finally but equally important, many governments are still reluctant to engage different stakeholders in the IG process.

Therefore, Hivos calls on all stakeholders concerned – civil society, researchers, activists and technical communities – to endorse the Charter and join Click Rights in order to learn more about their rights online, consolidate their efforts, articulate their demands, and sign an Internet rights-based petition.

Hivos’ invitation is further extended to the private sector – Internet and mobile phone service providers – being requested to tie human rights in with their business model. Governments and intergovernmental organisations are also invited to join up and embrace a multi-stakeholder participatory approach.

Click here to know more about Click Rights and sign the petition.

Download the press release [English] - [Arabic