Wednesday, September 27, 2017

BLOGGERS, NEED AS MUCH PROTECTION, AS OTHER JOURNALISTS, AND AGAINST ATTACKS FOR REPORTING, ON A COUNTRY'S ACTIONS.


ARTICLE 19, OF UNESCO, WAS INTENDED TO PROTECT BLOGGERS, PARTICULARLY, AGAINST THE STATE’S ENCROACHMENT, ON THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

In 2003, from September 29 to October 27, at its 32 session, the United Nations, through one of its governing bodies, UNESCO, implemented Article 19, to protect Bloggers, from unwarranted persecution and other limitations, to their expression in the electronic media. Usually, through social media.

Article 19, was then formally launched in June of 2011, after its third session.

On September 26, 2017, new guidelines were put in place, which is supposed to guarantee, the protection of journalists and among them, Bloggers, who are also reporting, on the ongoing (actions), of governments around the world. The new guidelines set out the commitment that States have, to prevent and protect against, and prosecute attacks in UN Human Rights Council resolution, under resolution 11/2. It says nothing about if those actions, such as persecution, is also directed by the State, against a journalist, or blogger.  And as is often the case in a country that does not respect freedom of speech, because of its own mandate to hide its actions. The guidelines also sets out how UN human rights mechanisms, should be used, to ensure the safety of all of those who reports on what is happening, in those countries.

For Bloggers in Canada, who report on human rights abuse in that country, like myself, that article is very important, in getting the other world governances, to take our complaints seriously, when it comes to the protection of our freedom of speech, in reporting on human rights abuse in Canada.

About Article 19, of the Convention, and Its Objective: The Exchange, Analysis and Dissemination, of Information.  (A short synopsis, or in a nutshell). It is intended to “facilitate, through the use of existing mechanism within the Secretariat, the collection, analysis and dissemination of all relevant information, statistics and best practices”.  And further to that, “ to ensure the relevance, and to the extent possible, the comparability of information, statistics and best practices, to be collected, analyzed and disseminated..”

And one of its main focus is on cultural expression. And that’s a term that can be used broadly, here. It should be taken as, reflecting, on a particular society, or State, within the confines of the UNESCO Convention, as far as the implementation of Article 19.  Meaning, that Article 19, is hereby calling for the freedom of expression of “anyone” within that culture, to be free to collect, analyzed and disseminate, information about that society, or culture. And also within a State.  Article 19, as far as its interpretation  is also intricately linked, to Article 9, on information sharing and transparency. And that is where the protection of Bloggers, come into force, under Article 19.  

Under the section, “Contribution of Civil Society”, under Article 19, it gets more specific, in regards to who is protected. And the answer is almost anyone, really. But here is what it says, specifically, under section 10, of Article 19. “ Civil society actors should be involved as information and data producers as well as distributers”.  Although I do not like the word ‘actors’ in the wording of that provision, it would mean that Bloggers too, should be able to get involved in the information gathering and data producing, as well as in the distributing of that information, about the society that they live in. Whether the State likes it or not.

And websites such as Blogger.com, which is a popular site for bloggers who have expressed their opinions, and also without having to worry about if their contents will be censored, or actually removed, i.e. shut down by the host site. So far, Blogger.com, is pretty lenient and somewhat liberal about its views, in allowing for freedom of expression, via blogging, on its website. And unless you are breaking the law, it will not shut you down. In some countries though, it does not matter which site is used, and the mere attempt by anyone, and usually bloggers, to exposed it actions, mean that it will take measures to persecute you. And the means of carrying that out, can either be overt, or covert. Or both. 
The whole purpose of any article that is written, by either a blogger, or a regular journalist, is to educate the public. At least that is what it should be about. But we know, also, that some countries also regulate, very stringently, what is written, or said, about its actions. The regular media also cooperate with the country's position, on such important issues, as the dissemination of information, which also reflected the "official" position of the government, it is reporting on. A blogger has no allegiance to any government, but only to the public. So bloggers will report on the actions of some governments, that they would rather that information, did not get out to the public. When a blogger does that, she will be persecuted and for most bloggers, they also do not have any protection from the kind of persecution, that a particular country, or government, is also willing to carry out against them, for exposing their actions.


In my opinion, it remains to be seen how much teeth, Article 19 actually has, as far as the protection of bloggers, in particular. Why?. Because it should also be challenged by Bloggers, everywhere. And I  intend to follow up on the provisions, that are also supposed to be made available to bloggers and to all journalists, as far as the safety measures that are offered to them, under the UNESCO Convention, and Article 19. Including, contacting the UN, if any of those measures are also not being implemented, which are to protect my rights as a blogger. According to Article 19, civil society actors (meaning anyone), should be involved in the information process, as data producers and distributers. Article 19, also ties in with Article 9, on information sharing and transparency. And that is one of the most accurate description of a blogger, that exist.  

ONTARIO JUDGE, RACHEL GRINBERG AND JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, DIANE MCALEER, UPHOLDS RACISM, IN THE CANADIAN COURTS.

A PUBLIC DEMAND, FOR RECORDINGS, IN CANADIAN COURTROOMS, TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS, OF VULNERABLE PERSONS, APPEARING, BEFORE THE COURT. A To...