One academic, Cees Hamelink, argues that if the right to freedom of expression is interpreted in more than the classical negative sense (that is, as a ‘positive right’ and not merely as a liberty), it becomes a ‘claim-right’. 218 This means a person not only has the right to express opinions, but also, by implication, to the related entitlement to facilities for the exercise of this right.

The recognition of freedom of expression as a positive claim-right is particularly important in situations where the voices of some people are systematically excluded.

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220 A collective right of access to the Internet for communities, he postulates, is critical given that there are certain groups of people who tend to be excluded from full access to the Internet (he mentions women, ethnic minorities and lower socio-economic groups). He argues that collective claims can also include the right to development (of communication infrastructures), and a right to the sharing of knowledge and skills resources.

The recommendations of the United Nations 2003 World Summit on the Information Society reflect the need for specific attention to be given to vulnerable groups.

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’ 222 It was proposed that:national e-strategies address the special requirements of older people, persons with disabilities, children, especially marginalized children and other disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including by appropriate educational administrative and legislative measures to ensure their full inclusion in the Information Society.

‘Full inclusion’ would extend beyond mere access rights, and would include initiatives to build confidence and security in the use of the Internet While there appears to be no express right of general application to 'access cyberspace/the Internet' stipulated in any of the major international human rights instruments,[210] it has been argued at the international level that such access is critical, particularly in terms of the right to freedom of expression, and in the .

In practice, this could include Governments establishing ‘sustainable multi-purpose community public access points’ and providing affordable or free Internet access to their citizens.

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225 Other initiatives include:the Indian Government’s ‘public-kiosks’ programthe Brazilian government’s ‘computers for all’ program offering subsidies for the purchasing of computers.

The Special Rapporteur has reported that Internet access has been expressly recognized as a human right in some economically developed States:For example, the parliament of Estonia passed legislation in 2000 declaring Internet access a basic human right Human rights students are writing dozens of papers during their studies. Indeed it is a waste of resources that most student papers are only read by one lecturer and then forever disappear somewhere in a drawer. Now you can make your paper accessible to a large readership and earn money at the same time..

52 The constitutional council of France effectively declared Internet access a fundamental right in 2009, and the constitutional court of Costa Rica reached a similar decision in 2010.

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2 At the domestic levelWithin the Australian context, the Commission has developed World Wide Web Access Advisory notes which provide guidance on the requirements for compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) 228 The Advisory notes provide important practical information on how to make websites more accessible to people with a disability who, like the rest of the community, rely increasingly on the Internet to access a wide range of often critical information and service provision.

The notes also provide information about how web designers and website owners can minimise the possibility of disability discrimination.

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229 The Commission submitted that ‘due to the speed with which the information technology revolution has occurred, many older people in Australia had found themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide’.

Internet access to essential services and social networking potentially provides older people with the option to live autonomously in their homes for longer We believe that International Paper can help promote respect for human rights through the example of its actions and its values..

Yet many older people, particularly those aged 65 and above, missed the information technology agenda that is now part of mainstream education, resulting in a lack of confidence to engage with the Internet at a high level.

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The social and economic consequences of the relative disadvantage experienced by older Australians in using the Internet has led Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan to characterize this disadvantage as a form of age discrimination. Evidence from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) indicates that older people in Australia have difficulties managing their online security, and that people over the age of 65 are more likely to be victims of online financial fraud than any other age group.

232 The Australian Crime Commission has highlighted that organised criminal networks take advantage of new technologies to expand their reach, commit crimes from a distance, create the appearance of legitimacy and exploit the lack of clear jurisdictional authority.

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