SINGAPORE, June 25 -- Developments in information and communication technology enhance freedom of expression but come with potential
threats to security, privacy and intellectual property.
The protection of human rights online is the focus of the 12th Informal ASEM
Seminar on Human Rights on June 27 to 29 at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul.
The Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights series is co-organised by the
French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute
(delegated by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the Department of
Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, and the Asia-Europe Foundation.
It is hosted by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
Political Advisor to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador
Olof Ehrenkrona,said: “The concern for online national security should also be
mirrored in the protection of individuals and their rights online.
The 20th century Conventions that have safeguarded human rights for so long
have to adapt to the internet age.
"Understanding and discussing the impact of the digital revolution on human
rights protection has become crucial, more than ever. Human rights should be
protected online as well as safeguarded offline”.
"Access to new technology platforms can help improve people’s lives – both
in economic and social terms; however, a large portion of the world’s population
is still deprived of these modern technologies, added Ehrenkrona.
Philippine Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR)
Commissioner Ambassador Rosario Manalo pointed that "addressing the digital
divide is of utmost importance if we are to succeed in bridging socio-economic
inequalities between and within states and across sectors.
He said a human rights-based approach to ensure that people have access to
ICT appears to be the best way forward.”
Speaking on behalf of the Asia-Europe Foundation, Executive Director
Ambassador Michel Filhol noted the relevance of Asia-Europe dialogue on digital
He said the Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights has always played a key
role in advancing dialogue on human rights issues in the ASEM region.
By focusing on issues related to freedom of expression, right to privacy,
intellectual property, digital divide and the cultural enjoyment of the
internet, this year’s seminar will link human rights issues to the ICT debate
in-depth for the first time within the framework of the Asia Europe Meeting
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