Information & Communication Technology

Dr. Christof Heyns on ICTs and the Right to Life

26 February 2015

By Lucy Purdon, Policy Officer, Privacy International; Research Fellow, IHRB

Photo: UN Photo | Yubi Hoffmann

Dr Christof Heyns is Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. He is Professor of Human Rights Law and Co-director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa.

Christof was recently in Cambridge, England, at an expert consultation to prepare his forthcoming thematic report to the Human Rights Council, on information and communication technologies (ICT) and the right to life.

He spoke to IHRB's Lucy Purdon, describing the role technology in collecting evidence and corroborating information about human rights violations. He also stressed the centrality of the role and responsibilities of ICT companies in respecting human rights. Companies should not take final decisions on human rights matters, but they operate in a world where their actions have implications on human rights, in particular the right to life. Companies also have an implicit responsibility not to incite violence, he added.

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