November 6, 2020

Urgent call to Council of the EU to put human rights first in dual-use final draft

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and other members of a human rights NGO coalition are calling on the Council of the European Union to reconsider the proposed final draft of a new set of regulations for dual-use technology exports, including surveillance technology. Human rights must be safeguarded, they say.

In an open letter to the Council of the EU, the NGOs call on the Council to urgently reconsider its final position on the EU dual-use recast, which must be voted on by 9 November. Insisting that this draft does not meet international human rights standards, they urge the Council to keep negotiating in order to incorporate sufficient safeguards necessary for the protection of journalists and their sources.


"If the EU institutions were to adopt the draft, this would be an indictment of European human rights policy," said Christian Mihr, executive director of RSF Germany. “The negotiating parties must reconsider this compromise proposal and meet the demands of civil society. Since the Arab Spring at the latest, European governments have been aware of the human rights violations committed worldwide with surveillance technologies from the EU. The EU must urgently take effective precautions to protect human rights and impose appropriate due diligence obligations on industry."


The NGOs that signed the letter are:

  • Access Now
  • Amnesty International
  • Brot für die Welt
  • FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF)


Read the joint letter to the Council of the European Union here.