Human Rights in the Digital Age: State of Play across Commonwealth Pacific Countries

17 Mar 2021

By Ian Barber, Lea Kaspar, Ruby Khela, Daniela Schnidrig, Richard Wingfield and Matthew Griffin

The rise and evolution of the internet and digital technologies has brought about new opportunities and challenges for communities around the world to exercise and enjoy their human rights – including freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the right to privacy. However, while it is now widely accepted that the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, building a rights-respecting digital environment is not a given.

As the socio-economic environment continues to evolve, communities around the world are struggling to address challenges brought about by the increased reliance on digital technologies and the internet. The 2020 COVID-19 crisis has only accelerated digital transformation, and further exacerbated these challenges.

This report, commissioned by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, examines the state of human rights in the context of the digital age in nine Commonwealth Pacific Island countries, and seeks to provide recommendations for future capacity building efforts in the region.