Council of Europe: Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users

Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users

Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)6 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on a Guide to human rights for Internet users

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 16 April 2014 at the 1197th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Council of Europe recognises that human rights apply equally online and offline. The Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users was written to explain in user-friendly terms the rights and freedoms guaranteed to internet users by the European Convention on Human Rights.

The guide was designed as a tool to help educate individual internet users on their online rights, as well as to encourage governments, public institutions, and corporations to assume responsibility to appropriately protect human rights online.



  1. This guide is a tool for you, the Internet user, to learn about your human rights online, their possible limitations, and available remedies for such limitations. Human rights and fundamental freedoms apply equally offline and online. This principle includes respect for the rights and freedoms of other Internet users. The guide provides you with information about what rights and freedoms mean in practice in the context of the Internet, how they can be relied and acted upon, as well as how to access remedies. It is an evolving document, open to periodic updating.
  2. This guide is based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other Council of Europe conventions and instruments that deal with various aspects of human rights protection. All Council of Europe member States have a duty to respect, protect and fulfil the rights and freedoms contained in the instruments that they have ratified. The guide is also inspired by the continuous interpretation of these rights and freedoms by the European Court of Human Rights and by other relevant legal instruments of the Council of Europe.
  3. The guide does not establish new human rights and fundamental freedoms. It builds on existing human rights standards and enforcement mechanisms.



Access and non-discrimination, Freedom of expression and information, Privacy and data protection, Education and literacy, Children and young people, Effective remedies


The Guide:

Read the full Guide here in English, French, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian,
Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish
or Ukrainian.

Read also the Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member States on a Guide to human rights for Internet users and the Explanatory Memorandum.

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