United Nations Statement and Language Related to Shutdowns

The UN has released a number of reports that outline how the international standard-setting body talks about the key issues. Knowing international legal precedent and benchmarks can help guide even local level legal initiatives

This joint declaration establishes the importance of freedom of expression and access to information as pillars to a free and open internet, and as key rights that must be protected.


This statement by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides an overview of trends in Internet shutdowns. It contains an analysis of their causes and the legal implications and the impact on human rights thereof, the roles of companies, the existing efforts to promote Internet connectivity and provide development aid, and the relevance of such efforts to address their impact.


This report from the Special Rapporteur for Assembly and Association is a follow-up to a report on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the digital era and presents a study of recent trends and the impact of Internet shutdowns in relation to peaceful protests


In this report from the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression he addresses the roles played by private actors engaged in the provision of Internet and telecommunications access in FoE. He begins by examining State obligations to protect and promote freedom of expression online, then evaluates the digital access industry’s roles, to conclude with a set of principles that could guide the private sector’s steps to respect human rights