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Human Rights Council requests consultations on human rights and new technologies

20 Jul 2021 8:0

At the 47th session (21 June – 14 July 2021) of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), GAAMAC-Steering Group member Denmark co-led a resolution to further explore the links between human rights, emerging digital technologies and the activities of technology companies. 

In the Resolution, adopted by 44 voices to nil, the HRC:  

“(Recognized) in the context of new and emerging digital technologies, the need to address, in a manner that complies with States’ obligations under international human rights law, the spread of disinformation, which can be designed to incite to violence, hatred, discrimination and hostility, inter alia, racism, xenophobia, negative stereotyping and stigmatization, (…) 

(Reaffirmed) the importance of a holistic, inclusive and comprehensive approach and the need for all stakeholders to collaborate in a more concerted way in addressing the possible impacts, opportunities and challenges of new and emerging digital technologies with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights; (…) 

(Requested) the Office of the High Commissioner to convene two expert consultations, to discuss the relationship between human rights and technical standard-setting processes for new and emerging digital technologies and the practical application of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the activities of technology companies, and to submit a report thereon (…) to the Human Rights Council at its fiftieth and fifty-third sessions. 

Read the full draft resolution