Posted on October 03, 2019
On 19 and 20 September 2019 the Democracy, Transparency and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, attended the sub-regional consultation to revise the draft Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa in Windhoek, Namibia. The consultation was at the invitation of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa Mr Lawrence Mute and was hosted and facilitated by the Namibia Media Trust in collaboration with ACTION Namibia Coalition.
In attendance were stakeholders, particularly from the Southern Africa sub-region. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to provide input, which was valued by the Special Rapporteur, who was also present and contributed to the deliberations and consultations.
Prior to this consultation, the initial regional consultation was held in Maputo for the Lusophone countries. The regional and public consultations were preceded by drafting meetings in Mauritania and Kenya. The aim of the revision is to update the Declaration in line with developments that have occurred since the initial 2002 Declaration. The revision will include access to information and technological developments as they pertain the freedom of expression and access to information. The revised Declaration will reflect changes in the human rights landscape in the context of freedom of expression and access to information on the continent. It will also provide direction on the enjoyment of freedom of expression and access to information online and reiterate the position that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online.”
The revision of the Declaration is part of a collaboration between the Centre for Human Rights and the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa in developing and enhancing freedom of expression, access to information and digital rights normative framework. The Democracy, Transparency and Digital Rights Unit works to mainstream democratic development, transparency and issues on emerging technologies and human rights in Africa, particularly in support of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.
Read the press statement on the advocacy visit to the Republic of Namibia by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.
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