UN: A Special Rapporteur mandate is more needed than ever to protect the right to privacy - Priority #HRC28

Press release

Submission to United Nations Human Rights Council on the occasion of its 28th session.

Following the panel discussion on “the right to privacy in the digital age” that was held at HRC 27 (September 2014), FIDH calls on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to take the next step by creating a mandate of Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. FIDH believes that the creation of a new special procedure (i.e., in practice, a Special Rapporteur) on the right to privacy would be the most appropriate means of advancing the promotion and protection of this right. Sponsors of the HRC 27 panel discussion should, as recommended by UN General Assembly resolution A/C.3/69/L.26/Rev.1 of 25 November 2014, now create such a procedure. The Special Rapporteur’s mandate should be as wide as possible, encompassing all of the issues that are related to the violations of this right and, in particular, covering three trends evidenced in FIDH’s research, advocacy and litigation:

1) The mass surveillance, interception of communications, and the collection and use of personal data on a mass scale by state agencies, notably those of the US National Security Agency PRISM program and the Colombian Department of Security DAS;

2) The use of surveillance techniques and technologies by business enterprises against trade unionists, human rights defenders and journalists, and the related states’ obligations to regulate their use and respond to abuses, notably in Brazil, Peru and Colombia;

3) The export of surveillance technology to States responsible for serious human rights violations, as was done with the export of surveillance technology by French companies to the Gaddafi regime of Libya (see our report on Surveillance Technologies).

The Special Rapporteur mandate should be a holistic, comprehensive, and systematic response to such concerns, strengthening the monitoring of the violations of this right, promoting accountability for violations, advising governments on how to set standards, and ensuring protection against future violations.

Echoing our and other organizations’ concerns, FIDH co-signed a letter to Ambassadors to the Human Rights Council.

Advocacy Note - The Right to Privacy - HRC 28 - Version 3

More information on the Snowden case :






- On surveillance technologies :



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