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Item 3: Summary executions

Item 3: Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Statement, 19 June 2018.

As delivered by Latvia.

Check against delivery.

Thank you Mr President.

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries [Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Latvia].

We thank Special Rapporteur Dr Callamard for her report. It provides a valuable overview of the current international legal framework with regard to Armed non-State Actors (ANSAs) accountability for human rights abuses. Highlighted gaps in some circumstances may lead to protection deficits for individuals living in areas controlled by ANSAs. As Dr Callamard suggests, this area could benefit from further research.

Dr Callamard, what role would you see for the Human Rights Council in addressing the conclusions of your report?

Turning to the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression

We thank you, Mr. Kaye, for suggesting standards and processes that companies should adopt to regulate user-generated content in accordance with human rights law. A timely contribution taking into account the new challenges that follows from ICT.

Our countries are committed to all human rights, including freedom of opinion and expression offline, as well as online. The importance of fostering an enabling environment for freedom of expression and access to information online cannot be exaggerated.

We agree that ICT companies have an important role to play in ensuring freedom of opinion and expression on their platforms and that they should re-evaluate their content standards in line with human rights law. The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights also provide an important framework for private sector conduct.

Special Rapporteur, you recommend, as a top priority, the creation of independent industry-wide accountability mechanism: a social media council. We would appreciate if you could elaborate what, in your view, would be essential for the functioning of such a social media council to ensure consistency, transparency and accountability to content moderation in conformity with international human rights law?

I thank you!