Safeguarding human rights online
The Council of Europe works with its 47 member states, the private sector, civil society and other actors to shape an Internet based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It aims to ensure that the Internet provides a safe and open environment where freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, diversity, culture, education and knowledge can flourish.
To achieve this goal, the organisation has created international conventions in fields such as cybercrime, personal data protection and the protection of children. It also develops model legislation – via recommendations to its member states – and guidelines for private sector Internet actors.
The key pillar for the protection of human rights online is the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights, which rules on applications alleging violations of the Convention, has already delivered landmark judgments concerning the online environment, in particular in connection to the right to freedom of expression and to access to information, and the right to privacy.
A Council of Europe delegation will contribute to the discussions of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) to be held on 5 and 6 June in Tbilisi (Georgia). Under the theme “Innovative strategies for our digital future”, the EuroDIG 2018 will bring together representatives of...
The Council of Europe's Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, today signed collaboration agreements - in the form of an exchange of letters – with the European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) and the IT security and performance firm Cloudflare to promote respect for human...
No Hate Speech Movement: first broad international initiative that helped recognise hate speech as human right abuse
Hate speech continues to poison public debate, and the urgency to counter it has not diminished over the past years. The youth campaign No Hate Speech Movement (NHSM) conducted by the Council of Europe in 2012-2017 as the first broad international initiative in this field has contributed to...
Human Rights of Internet Users
The Council of Europe has created a guide for Internet users to help them better understand their human rights online and what they can do when these rights are challenged.
Generally, these rights are set out in the terms of service of Internet companies, which are mostly lengthy legal contractual conditions which are seldom read and even more seldom fully understood.
- The Internet, a public service accessible by everyone
- Protecting freedom of expression and information
- Personal data protection and privacy
- Council of Europe action against cybercrime
- Children and the Internet: Protection and participation
- Internet content and equality between men and women
- Medicines on the web - Risks and benefits
- Human Rights guidelines for Internet service providers and online games designers and publishers