Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Elvin Balajanov

Implementation of international human rights instruments in cyberspace

Photo of Elvin Balajanov

Traditional notion of fundamental human rights and freedoms are challenged by cyberspace becoming the essential part of human life.  ICT and internet access create both exciting new opportunities and troubling developments. Protection of rights should be highly ensured at all levels, but unfortunately the implementation of universal and international human rights in a hyper-connected world is more challenging, because the production and distribution of information diminishes the significance of location and geographical issues. This can be said that, violations committed in digital world impact on the current level of adequate protection and implementation of human rights. Consequently, specific security, enforcement and implementation mechanisms are needed for effectively safeguarding the core values of democracy, such as freedom of expression, the right to privacy, transparency and the rule of law in cyberspace.

For ensuring fundamental human rights and freedoms and establishing an effective mechanism/regime for fully implementation and application of these rights in cyberspace, it is essential to structure this research by these key objectives:

1) Examining various jurisdictional principles and rules of human rights in cyberspace;

2)  Assessing and analyzing cyber security issues based on international human rights norms, standards and regimes;

3) Evaluating the relevance of international human rights standards to cyber space and cyber censorship and digital surveillance to international human rights standards;

4) Analyzing and examining different techniques and approaches concerning the implementation and monitoring the application of international human rights at different levels and evaluating the compatibility of their application to cyber world.

Exploration of these objectives requires an approach that not only describes relationships between variables, but also the opinions of different cyberspace users.

A qualitative approach of data gathering and analysis will be used, including an analysis of different international law and international human rights instruments, investigation of types and the increasing number of human rights violations in the cyber world, assessment of the implementation level of concerning rights at different levels, examination of different approaches, including the idea of developing a cyber-regime, in order to enhance the applicability and protection of human rights in cyberspace.

Moreover, specific online surveys and interviews will be conducted among various participants for both examining the multi-stakeholder approach, evaluating its effectiveness on the establishment of a better human rights protection model in cyber world and understanding the interrelationships between social and legal norms concerning digital world. Interviews will also help for identifying the on-going movements and emerging trends within cyber world and consequently contribute to understand that interrelationship more deeply.

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