On June 16, Public Knowledge will host the DC launch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ (IACHR) Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero’s 2013 report on Freedom of Expression and the Internet. This panel will be part of the multi-country launch of the Special Rapporteur’s report with similar launch events being held throughout Latin America by organizations such as Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (The Association for Civil Rights – Argentina) and Fundación Karisma (The Karisma Foundation – Colombia). The Special Rapporteur, Catalina Botero, will be in attendance at the DC launch event.
The IACHR is a permanent body of Organization of American States (OAS) that is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights in the Americas. Within this system, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression works to promote and protect freedom of expression by preparing thematic and annual reports on freedom of expression, evaluating cases related to freedom of expression, promoting the adoption of legislation that protects freedom of expression, working with national human rights institutions, and conducting visits and educational activities in member states.
The Special Rapporteur’s report on freedom of expression and the Internet covers topics directly related to Public Knowledge’s work including net neutrality, fair access to Internet, and intellectual property rights in relation to free expression online. On net neutrality, the Special Rapporteur considers it “fundamental” for guaranteeing free flow of information and supports the adoption of country based legislation to validate this principle. The report also explores the relationship between copyright protection and limits on freedom of expression, and warns against safeguards that may “chill” creativity or free flow of information. The principles set and endorsed by the Special Rapporteur in the report will set the stage for the future of consumer’s and citizen’s rights in Latin America and will likely shape the position of Latin American organizations and representatives at future global Internet-related fora.
The launch will include a panel discussion with digital rights experts to discuss the report and its implications for freedom of expression online in the Americas. If you want to know more, contact PK’s International Policy Assistant, Natalie Green: firstname.lastname@example.org. A summary of the discussion will be published in English on PK’s news page after the event.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at email@example.com or 405-249-9435.