The Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurist, the International Commission of Jurist, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union joined with dozens of other NGOs from around the world in an open letter calling for the UN Human Rights Council to establish a special rapporteur on privacy at its current session.
The UN General Assembly, the UN high commissioner for human rights, existing special procedure mandate holders, and many states and civil society organizations have recognized the pressing need to provide continuous, systematic and authoritative guidance on the scope and content of the right to privacy as enshrined in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Significantly, all of them have identified the need to assess and monitor the ongoing implementation of this right. The creation of a special rapporteur would fill this long-standing gap.
Although the initiative, led by Germany and Brazil, has its origins in concerns about online and telecommunications surveillance, the call is for the creation of a special rapporteur with a mandate to look at all aspects of the right to privacy, in all contexts, including issues relating to private sector practices.