Recent years have seen the right to privacy, particularly as it pertains to the surveillance and interception of communications, transform from a much-neglected human rights issue to the focus of multiple UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions. Since March 2015, it has been the subject of a dedicated United Nations special procedures mandate. This policy note seeks to chart the long overdue and rapid progress of the right to privacy to the top of the agendas of regional and international human rights mechanisms. In particular, the note records the role of civil society in supporting the right to privacy’s recent promotion. It identifies the status of norm development around surveillance issues and outlines the major unresolved questions confronting human rights mechanisms for the future.

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