Following the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), in December 2003, the CRIS Campaign, supported by WACC and the Ford Foundation, launched a project on ‘Global Governance and Communication Rights: A Role for Civil Society’. The goal of the project is to promote understanding of communication rights and to reform their governance, especially of media and communication. The context is the rapidly changing and globalising media and communication environment, with governance structures from national to transnational levels unable to keep pace. The project develops toolkits and concrete supports for civil society to respond to such change, in a national context but also in the context of an emerging global civil society.
‘Communication rights’ group together various elements of human rights as they relate to different aspects of society’s communication processes. They cover areas such as the production and sharing of knowledge and ideas, the media and other modes of social interaction, and the capacity to deploy these effectively and equitably for economic, political, cultural and other aims. Communication rights are of growing relevance as people in recent decades grapple with huge changes in the area of communication, knowledge and media. They are especially important to the exercise of democratic principles, since they underpin the public sphere and spaces in which people and communities from local to global level can interact and articulate their views regarding their futures.