Principles to promote communication for social justice in a digital age
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Principles to promote communication for social justice in a digital age

From the Manifesto of the international symposium, “Communication for Social Justice in a Digital Age” (September 2021)

No matter the issue — violence against women, abuse of children, poverty, conflict resolution, self-determination, racism, migration, labour rights, Indigenous rights, health, land, climate  little can be done without effective communication.

For this, we need a holistic, inclusive approach to create digital technologies that promote life, dignity, and justice rather than undermine it.

We need principles that allow all people to engage in transparent, informed, and democratic debate, where people have unfettered access to the information and knowledge essential to peaceful coexistence, empowerment, responsible civic engagement, and mutual accountability. 

Rooted in the history of communication rights, these principles provide for a world in which:

·    Everyone is entitled to communicate, to inform, and to share knowledge. This requires equitable access to communication infrastructures and the right to free expression.

·    Everyone is entitled to participate in the information and communication societywith particular consideration for minority and vulnerable groups. This requires inclusive and participatory governance of media infrastructures and digital platforms.

·    Everyone is entitled to fair and unbiased public communication. This requires ethical norms, accountability, and redress for misrepresentation.

·    Everyone is entitled to dignity and respect. This requires transparency and accountability of media and digital platforms.

·    Everyone is entitled to privacy and control of their information, including deleting their data, provided they are not engaged in human rights abuses or criminal activity. This should be inherent and intrinsic to each person’s digital identity and requires legal frameworks that balance the right to privacy and the protection of human rights.

·    Everyone is entitled to their own cultural and linguistic identity. This requires spaces for linguistic and cultural diversity, and access to ownership and control of media.

·    Everyone is entitled to communication skills and media literacy. This requires culturally appropriate training and building dialogue, conversation, listening, openness, and critical thinking skills.

·    Everyone has access to sustainable power sources to enable their digital or electronic media. This requires access to technologies such as solar or wind power.

·    Everyone is entitled to affordable devices or public access to devices in safe spaces.This requires economic resources as well as the “right to repair.”

For the full text of the manifesto, visit https://bit.ly/3ElYOPF

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