ICTs in Support of Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance


Work data:

Type of work: Report


e-Government | Human Rights | ICT4D


This paper will analyze human rights and governance issues as they pertain to ICTs for the WSIS forum, with a focus on the role of those who protect human rights and foster good governance. Various players are increasingly leveraging and applying ICTs amidst various contending national, corporate and supranational interests, and this represents a significant change for traditional distributions of power in the international system. The way in which new communication technologies may be able to help realize some of the goals of the 2000 Millennium Declaration will be explored in this paper, and various case studies will illustrate the relevance and importance of these discussion points. The goal of such analysis is to adopt a rights-based perspective on major development goals – specifically encompassing the protection of human rights – that are to be realized through the Declaration. It is where international institutions and their national/civil society counterparts meet and leverage electronic communications networks, that various UN-defined development goals and resolutions have the potential to be realized. Indeed, this is exemplified in part by the fact that “… as human rights groups form international linkages [for instance through the use of ICTs], their frame of reference shifts from national law to international human rights”3.


ICTs in Support of Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance is part of the Strategy and Policy Unit’s (SPU) background papers in preparation for the upcoming (sic) World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2003.