Whether offline or online, human rights must be respected: Navi Pillay

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Human rights must always be at the center of global discussions about the World Wide Web, according to the UN Human Rights High Commissioner.

At an event in Geneva on Thursday, Navi Pillay spoke of how innovations in information technology are both helping to spread human rights while also facilitating abuses.

She added that the web can also be a dangerous place due to cyberbullying, paedophile predators, incitement to hatred and privacy violations resulting from mass surveillance.

"What is clear is that human rights must always be at the heart of our discussions about the World Wide Web. International human rights law is as important to respect online as offline. The drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had the foresight to accommodate today's technological developments by stating in Article 19 that the right to freedom of opinion and expression applies, I quote 'through any media and regardless of frontiers.'" (34″)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web, also participated in the event which comes ahead of Human Rights Day on 10 December.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  1’19″

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