In a paper presented at the NGO Forum of the African Commission 55th Session, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO forum made the case that “Whilst new technologies may hold great benefits for the developing world, without strong legal frameworks ensuring that rights are adequately protected, they can also pose serious threats to the fundamental human rights of the populations they are supposed to empower. Although technological developments themselves are relatively easily shared, much needs to be done to share technical knowledge necessary to design legislative frameworks that keep pace with these developments. However international regulatory consensus at the UN has yet to emerge around issues of data protection, and regional agreements remain in flux, depriving policymakers in developing countries of strong guidance and best practice upon which to base their own regulatory frameworks”.
A number of steps must therefore be taken that build on the regional mechanisms especially the Charter’s strengths, to fortify the protection of rights on the continent, in particular the twin rights to free expression and privacy, taking into account advancement in digital communications. This is the essence of what the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum will tell the African Commission in its presentation on 26 April 2014. You can access the recommendations we will make to the Commission here: PaperDigitalRights-ACHPR