The foundational instrument for this project is the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, with a focus on article 9, which provides for the right to freedom of expression and access to information. Soft law instruments that have been developed under article 9 of the African Charter (the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa, the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa, and the revised Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa) provide an opportunity to work towards the enhancement of freedom of expression and access to information in the digital age.
The project has four objectives:
- To guide Southern African states on core issues around freedom of expression, access to information, and other related rights in the digital age;
- To enhance the level of public interest and awareness on digital rights so as to exert more direct influence on states to implement the normative human rights standards in the digital age;
- To amplify the visibility of the mandate and activities of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in the region; and
- To undertake research for increased understanding and critical reflection of digital rights in Southern Africa.
A key output of the project is a report on the digital rights landscape in Southern Africa drafted by ALT Advisory. The report will form the basis for engagement with different stakeholders, namely parliamentarians, government officials focusing on ministries and government departments, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), and Civil Society Organisations that are yet to engage with regional human rights bodies.
The Digital Rights Landscape in Southern Africa report.
Civil Society Organisations
The project is conducted with the support of Freedom House under the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) programme, a USAID funded project.