Declaration on Development and Enhancement of Legal Frameworks in Eastern and Central Europe and Eurasia to Protect Internet Freedom

  • WHEREAS, we are civil society organizations in Eastern and Central Europe and Eurasia working for fostering of the freedom of expression, association and flow of information on the Internet
  • WHEREAS, the signatories met in Ohrid (October 2016) and Brussels (March 2017) and discussed common issues on Internet Freedom
  • WHEREAS, we share a common objective for a global Internet Freedom, based on our experiences of defending it in our countries;
  • WHEREAS we share common understanding that regional cooperation is essential to achieving this objective.

THEREFORE:

  • WE SUPPORT human rights online, stressing that the rights to freedom of expression and privacy are fundamental human rights, and together with the right to free flow of information are essential in the pursuit of truth, justice, equality, and accountability;
  • WE SUPPORT that the human rights are universal, but that the methods for its advocacy and protection are contextual; hence, we shall raise a voice that will champion freedom of expression in our region in accordance with international human rights norms as exercised by journalists, bloggers, netizens, citizens and human rights defenders, in whatever medium, form, or frontier, whether traditional or emerging and thus enable more favorable legal environment for consumption and sharing of information.
  • WE SUPPORT that the rule of law, equality, non-discrimination, access to justice and fair trial are essential to the protection and promotion of human rights online, in particular freedom of expression and privacy.
  • WE SUPPORT that the potential and power that comes from use of new technologies also carries responsibility, and obligation by their users to adhere to the principles of human rights and the legal frameworks and self-regulation standards set to protect them.
  • WE AIM TO be more effective advocates for freedom of expression and the rule of law in our region, we resolve to work together in unity of purpose, action, spirit and passion, and
  • WE THEREFORE AGREE TO WORK in the INTERNET FREEDOM PLATFORM OF EASTERN and CENTRAL EUROPE AND EURASIA to advance freedom of expression across the region consistent with international human rights norms, through any activity, including strategic litigation, education, training and advocacy.
  • LASTLY, WE SUPPORT that in establishing this freedom of expression platform, our vision is to achieve a region of Eastern and Central Europe and Eurasia that upholds and protects freedom of expression, and the rule of law, serving as a beacon of free speech to the world.

Signed this May 5, 2017 by our duly authorized representatives:

Initial signatories:

  1. Media Initiative Center, Armenia
  2. Human Constanta, Belarus
  3. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, Georgia
  4. Hungarian Civil Liberties Union,Hungary
  5. Innovation Laboratory (iLab.kg), Kyrgyzstan
  6. Metamorphosis Foundation for Internet and Society, Macedonia
  7. Institute for Information Policy, Moldova
  8. Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI), Romania
  9. Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Serbia
  10. Digital Defenders Partners, Ukraine

Other parties may support this declaration by signing a written consent to abide by the above stated goals and aims of the platform.

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