Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), U.S. Department of State
Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy. The values captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other global and regional commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States was founded centuries ago. The United States supports those persons who long to live in freedom and under democratic governments that protect universally accepted human rights. The United States uses a wide range of tools to advance a freedom agenda, including bilateral diplomacy, multilateral engagement, foreign assistance, reporting and public outreach, and economic sanctions. The United States is committed to working with democratic partners, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, and engaged citizens to support those seeking freedom. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor leads the U.S. efforts to promote democracy, protect human rights and international religious freedom, and advance labor rights globally.
Securing human rights online in Africa through a strong and active ‘African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms’ network (2018-2020)
This article analyses the challenge of internet access faced by women and other marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities in Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms and the Feminist Principles of the Internet advocate for an internet that is accessible, available, useable and affordable to all persons, without discrimination. Realising these principles has become increasingly urgent in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has led to a surge of efforts by both state and private actors to manage the pandemic itself, and the consequences of it, with the aid of technology. Yet privacy has immediately been cast as a required trade-off in the efforts to combat the disease.
Data protection in Africa can still be described to be in its nascent stage. Most African states do not have a data protection law. This paper by Tomiwa Ilori considers the status of data protection in Africa and the impact of public emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic on data protection in Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa and Mauritius.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a need for solutions to “flatten the curve”. This essay by Rumbidzai Matamba and Chenai Chair employs the use of the South African government’s contact tracing initiatives to assess whether the social contract theory can be employed as a tool to justify privacy violations for public health.
In Zimbabwe, just like in many other parts of the world, prison is highly resented by society. This paper by David Makwerere tackles this largely unexplored subject on digital rights for prisoners.
The sudden and dramatic advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic caught the world by surprise and left many floundering for responses, none more so than those in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector: the policy makers, regulators and internet and other ICT service providers.
This paper by Amanda Manyame explores the adequacy of the COVID-19 regulations enacted in South Africa as they pertain to protection of the personal and health data being collected in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This position paper is informed by monitoring conducted by the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms (AfDec) Coalition of developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to more effectively address threats and advance human rights online in the region, this project will build the capacity of the African Declaration Secretariat and Coalition and of civil society organisations who use it in policy development and in responding to internet-related human rights violations.