4 June 2020, 16:00-17:30
In times when public authorities must take significant decisions that affect public health, civil liberties and people’s prosperity, the public’s right to access information about such decisions is vital. Governments must, under international human rights law, protect the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information of all kinds, regardless of frontiers. In times of crisis, the provision of reliable information in accessible formats to all, including by ensuring access to the internet, is crucial for governments’ efforts to protect the public.
Free, independent, plural and diverse media have proven to be an indispensable ally of governments and public authorities in informing the public, enabling individuals to exercise their rights to seek and receive information and to develop opinions so that they can make informed decisions and appropriate steps to protect themselves and their communities. Furthermore, ensuring media pluralism and strengthening professional journalism plays an important role in countering harmful mis- and disinformation. In this context, more than ever, protecting journalists and media workers must include not only their physical but also their legal and economic safety. Attacks on journalists must be followed by effective investigations with a view of prosecuting and punishing those responsible.
This webinar will look at challenges for the right to access to information in times when most governments need to come up with strategies to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their societies, including its human rights impacts and the repercussions on their health systems and economies. It will discuss the importance of the right to access to information and of free, independent, plural and diverse media for inclusive and peaceful societies and democracies, for holding public institutions and officials accountable and for good governance.
Panelists will also consider the specific, increased risks for journalists reporting on governments’ social and economic policies and the importance of an enabling environment for journalism, which includes their economic safety.
The webinar is organised by Austria, Canada and the Netherlands in partnership with the RightOn initiative and co-sponsored by members of the core groups on the resolutions on Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists at the UN Human Rights Council.
This RightOn event will exceptionally take place on Thursday 4 June at 16:00.
In this online event of the ‘Right On’ digital initiative, panelists discussed challenges for the right to access to information in times when most governments need to come up with strategies to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Right On’ is a new digital initiative – co-organized by the Geneva Academy, the Geneva Human Rights Platform, the Geneva Internet Platform, the DiploFoundation, the Universal Right Group, the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, as well as the Permanent Missions of Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands to the United Nations in Geneva – that will keep the human rights dialogue going during these COVID-19 times.
Every Wednesday at 15:00, experts and practitioners will discuss key human rights issues related to the current health crisis.
At the online meeting of the Chairpersons of UN human rights treaty bodies, the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform reiterated the importance of conducting dialogues with state parties concerning their reports at the national or regional level.
With over 500 registered participants in Geneva and online and 24 partners, the conference focused on the capacity of domestic actors to mutually engage with each other and liaise with Geneva-based international human rights bodies in the context of implementation, monitoring and follow-up to UN human rights recommendations.
This event – co-organized with the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) – will discuss the new Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering – also known as the Méndez Principles.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
Francisco Proner / Farpa/ CIDH
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, aims at presenting the institutions and procedures in charge of the implementation of international human rights law.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.