ARTICLE 19 & Danish Institute for Human Rights assist .ORG operator Public Interest Registry in its human rights efforts
ARTICLE 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have collaborated to assist the Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of .ORG and other top-level domain names, in its human rights efforts. Following a policy review and discussion, PIR intends to incorporate an explicit commitment to international human rights in its existing policies.
All components of this story
Author: Paul Diaz, Public Interest Registry
21 July 2020
[...] [Public Interest Registry] PIR takes frameworks and international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization so seriously. These include, but are not limited to, foundational principles involving freedom of expression, access to information, and access to effective remedy. [...]
Based on our policy review and discussions with the Article 19 and [Danish Institute for Human Rights] DIHR analysts, we have identified a few areas for improvement and are working to address them. In particular, PIR intends to:
- Incorporate an explicit commitment to international human rights in our existing policies. While our standards and processes already reflect such support, taking such an affirmative step will underscore our commitment to human rights.
- Publish a new Appeal Mechanism for registrants of PIR-managed domain names. We will establish a process that creates a right for registrants to have a suspension of their domain name under the PIR Anti-Abuse Policy reviewed by a neutral third party. That will strengthen the principles at the foundation of our anti-abuse efforts, in particular the observation of due process.
- Publicize a new Vendor Standards of Behavior document. This will set out our expectations of those who provide us goods and services. PIR always has set high standards for the way we conduct business. In turn, we’ll make clear in writing that we expect our vendors to conduct business responsibly, transparently, and with integrity.
- Ensure our Annual Report includes data with a human rights focus. PIR already reports take-down statistics and law enforcement requests for information. In the future we’ll also highlight internal procedural adjustments that better reflect accepted human rights standards and/or to address any negative impacts of our practices.
Author: ARTICLE 19
ARTICLE 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have recently collaborated on a project to assist the Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of .ORG and other top-level domain names, in its human rights efforts. [...]
In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which apply to all companies, including internet infrastructure providers. Generally, it is expected that all companies exercise due diligence in their efforts to respect human rights and thereby avoid causing or contributing to adverse impacts on human rights. This requires companies to proactively monitor their operations and impacts for human rights concerns and provide remedies in case such concerns do arise.
Some of our recommendations include the following, which cut across the entire organization:
- PIR should develop and incorporate a human rights policy or an explicit commitment to international human rights in its existing policies.
- PIR should update its employee handbook and related policies to explicitly address human rights and restate its privacy protections and expectations.
- PIR should develop up a Business Partner/Supplier Code of Conduct that clearly sets out PIR’s expectations around human rights and that can be used to improve the practices of the third-parties with whom PIR engages.
- PIR should ensure that its annual report has data shared with a human rights focus.