UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay calls for "continued vigilance...to ensure that new technologies advance rather than destroy human rights" in Human Rights Day speech

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10 December 2013

A 20-20 Human Rights Vision Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay for Human Rights Day, 10 December 2013

Author: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

[New] technologies are dramatically improving real-time communications and information-sharing. They are also magnifying the voice of human rights defenders, shining a light on abuses, and mobilizing support for various causes in many parts of the world. But we have also seen how new technologies are facilitating the violation of human rights, with chilling 21st Century efficiency. In breach of international law, mass electronic surveillance and data collection are threatening both individual rights, and the free functioning of a vibrant civil society. A Tweet or Facebook post by a human rights defender can be enough to land him or her in jail. Drones can be, and are being, used for positive purposes. But armed drones are also being deployed, without due legal process, for the remote targeting of individuals...Their likely future deployment poses deeply troubling ethical and legal questions. Continued vigilance is needed to ensure that new technologies advance rather than destroy human rights. No matter the scale of these changes, existing international human rights law and international humanitarian law governing the conduct of armed conflict remain applicable.

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Article
9 December 2013

[video] Human Rights Day 2013 - Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Author: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights Day is marked annually on 10 December. This year the UN Human Rights Office continues with celebrations marking the Office's 20th anniversary - with 20 years :Working for your Rights as the its theme.

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