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The need for protection of environmental defenders from digital intimidation : an analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention

Lien Stolle (UGent)
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Abstract
Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important to environmental defenders,both in terms of tools that facilitate speaking out and/or taking action, and in termsof (digital) risks they face as a result of their involvement. A growing concern has beenexpressed about the use of various forms of online and technology-facilitated intimidationor “digital intimidation” against environmental defenders. While the existing research oncyberbullying, digital violence and online intimidation can provide some insight, few studiesand data exist on the use of such tactics against environmental defenders in particular.By leaving this issue unexamined, there remains a lack of awareness about the risks andchallenges environmental defenders may face in terms of online safety and digital intimidation,which may ultimately curtail public debate on environmental issues. Fortunately, theprotections under Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention and the recently introduced SpecialRapporteur for Environmental Defenders can be useful in providing protection againstdigital intimidation. This paper, therefore, looks at the application of Article 3(8) to digitalintimidation, through the decisions of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, andalso considers the mandate given to the Special Rapporteur at the 2020 Meeting of theParties. The analysis shows that there is certainly potential for protection against digital intimidationunder Article 3(8) AC, but more explicit attention and awareness may be needed.
Keywords
Environmental defenders, Aarhus Convention, Digital harassment

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MLA
Stolle, Lien. “The Need for Protection of Environmental Defenders from Digital Intimidation : An Analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention.” OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE, vol. 21, no. 1, 2023, pp. 199–219, doi:10.25167/osap.4980.
APA
Stolle, L. (2023). The need for protection of environmental defenders from digital intimidation : an analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention. OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE, 21(1), 199–219. https://doi.org/10.25167/osap.4980
Chicago author-date
Stolle, Lien. 2023. “The Need for Protection of Environmental Defenders from Digital Intimidation : An Analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention.” OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE 21 (1): 199–219. https://doi.org/10.25167/osap.4980.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Stolle, Lien. 2023. “The Need for Protection of Environmental Defenders from Digital Intimidation : An Analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention.” OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE 21 (1): 199–219. doi:10.25167/osap.4980.
Vancouver
1.
Stolle L. The need for protection of environmental defenders from digital intimidation : an analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention. OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE. 2023;21(1):199–219.
IEEE
[1]
L. Stolle, “The need for protection of environmental defenders from digital intimidation : an analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention,” OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 199–219, 2023.
@article{01HJ3PA5HVGW095HBN4Q7FVTTS,
  abstract     = {{Digital technologies are becoming increasingly important to environmental defenders,both in terms of tools that facilitate speaking out and/or taking action, and in termsof (digital) risks they face as a result of their involvement. A growing concern has beenexpressed about the use of various forms of online and technology-facilitated intimidationor “digital intimidation” against environmental defenders. While the existing research oncyberbullying, digital violence and online intimidation can provide some insight, few studiesand data exist on the use of such tactics against environmental defenders in particular.By leaving this issue unexamined, there remains a lack of awareness about the risks andchallenges environmental defenders may face in terms of online safety and digital intimidation,which may ultimately curtail public debate on environmental issues. Fortunately, theprotections under Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention and the recently introduced SpecialRapporteur for Environmental Defenders can be useful in providing protection againstdigital intimidation. This paper, therefore, looks at the application of Article 3(8) to digitalintimidation, through the decisions of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, andalso considers the mandate given to the Special Rapporteur at the 2020 Meeting of theParties. The analysis shows that there is certainly potential for protection against digital intimidationunder Article 3(8) AC, but more explicit attention and awareness may be needed.}},
  author       = {{Stolle, Lien}},
  issn         = {{1731-8297}},
  journal      = {{OPOLSKIE STUDIA ADMINISTRACYJNO-PRAWNE}},
  keywords     = {{Environmental defenders,Aarhus Convention,Digital harassment}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{199--219}},
  title        = {{The need for protection of environmental defenders from digital intimidation : an analysis of Article 3(8) of the Aarhus Convention}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.25167/osap.4980}},
  volume       = {{21}},
  year         = {{2023}},
}

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