For those of you who don't know, Article 19 is part of The Universal Deceleration of Human Rights as stated by The Human Rights Council by The United Nations. Article 19 states that, as it is written in the declaration, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."
This is something many have been hoping and working towards for years and to finally have it arrive is a great victory. Obviously just because it now exists it does not imidiatly mean people will stop abusing others online. Just as with the entire Universal Deceleration of Human Rights it is not followed by all nations to 100% (which is a pity but a different kind of discussion). However it is a step in the right direction to stop online abuse and protection of people's rights to be themselves. It gives all the member states guidelines on how to interpret content online.
The adaptation of Article 19 consists of 15 points. Not all handle online abuse but I have taken the time to underline the parts which I consider to be of particular interest against online abuse and thus also cyber bullying. (Numbers 9 and 11 are the clearest on this matter.)
1. Affirms that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice, in accordance with articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
4. Affirms that quality education plays a decisive role in development, and therefore calls upon all States to promote digital literacy and to facilitate access to information on the Internet, which can be an important tool in facilitating the promotion of the right to education;
5. Affirms also the importance of applying a comprehensive human rights-based approach in providing and in expanding access to Internet and requests all States to make efforts to bridge the many forms of digital divides;
8. Calls upon all States to address security concerns on the Internet in accordance with their international human rights obligations to ensure protection of freedom of expression, freedom of association, privacy and other human rights online, including through national democratic, transparent institutions, based on the rule of law, in a way that ensures freedom and security on the Internet so that it can continue to be a vibrant force that generates economic, social and cultural development;
9. Condemns unequivocally all human rights violations and abuses, such as torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, expulsion, intimidation and harassment, as well as gender based violence, committed against persons for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and calls on all States to ensure accountability in this regard;
11. Stresses the importance of combating advocacy of hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination or violence on the Internet, including by promoting tolerance and dialogue;
If any of you are interested in reading the entire adaptation of Article 19 (which is only 4 pages long) it can be found through this link: www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/38429/en/unhrc:-significant-resolution-reaffirming-human-rights-online-adopted
As always, stay amazing!
Ps. If anyone has any questions about the adaptations in Article 19, please don't hesitate to ask - I am not an expert but I have worked a long time with Human Rights (and especially with The Convention on the Rights of the Child...which is really handy in my work as a teacher).