UN Human Rights Office reports on negative effects of internet shutdowns

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on the dramatic real-life effects of internet shutdowns on people’s lives and how this has been vastly underestimated.

‘Too often, major communication channels or entire communication networks are slowed down or blocked,’ the report says, adding that this has deprived ‘thousands or even millions of people of their only means of reaching loved ones, continuing their work or participating in political debates or decisions.’

The report also discusses the phenomenon of internet shutdowns, looking at when and why they are imposed and examining how they undermine a range of human rights, primarily the right to freedom of expression. The report notes that between 2016 and 2021, there have been 931 shutdowns in 74 countries, as documented by the #KeepItOn coalition.