Submission to United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.
Response to Questions on New and Emerging Digital Technology and Human Rights
Emerging digital technologies provide increased access to the Internet and social media for all, thereby providing a sense of equality.
It enables groups to highlight their circumstances, organise more quickly and promote their aims and objectives to a broad audience crossing geographical boundaries.
Identifies and assesses urgent humanitarian crises more quickly.
Provides more opportunities to access information allowing better-informed decisions to be made.
Artificial Intelligence, robotics and automation could release citizens from menial labour and help them realise their potential.
Provides more possibilities for monitoring e.g. measuring densities of toxicities in the environment.
Platform for advancement in medical/biological/bio ecological fields
Helps keep emergency staff protected and secure
Offers innovative ideas for education in areas where such provision is meagre or unavailable.
- Key human rights challenges
Digital technology is dependent upon the humans who create and more importantly, those who programme it. Bias can easily occur, thereby allowing systems or information to evolve that may be controlling or misleading. Also, some creations or programmes may appear to be beneficial at present but may become exploitative in the long-term.
Government control regarding access to digital technology differentiates in each country. In less democratic countries Government clampdown on Internet activity can be immediate. The right to information can be withdrawn so easily.
Without legislation, regulation, responsibility or accountability digital technology is a failure. At present it is easily open to deliberate abuse by nations, groups and individuals. For example, important reports, letters etc., can disappear without trace.
A.I., Robotics and Automation can lead to job displacement and can impact the rights of workers to receive a fair wage – universal payments may be a necessity into the future. Earlier precedents did indicate the loss of employment for many but historically many casualties retrained or re-educated themselves for alternate employment.
Privacy. The collection of personal data for sale to marketing companies and those with other agendas, and the possibilities of hacking and interference are endemic.
Environment. All living things, including humans, have a right to a clean environment, which is essential to health and wellbeing. Electromagnetic Fields/Radiofrequency/Wi-Fi (EMF/RF/Wi-Fi) is the energy used to power digital technology. Governments and Non-Governmental organisations that are responsible for protecting health and wellbeing pay little attention to the thousands of independent scientific studies that clearly demonstrate adverse health effects, including cancer from EMF/RF/Wi-Fi (see Guidelines under Section 4). The Burden of Proof regarding adverse effects is left to the citizen.
Harmful environments are a threat to our right to life and to the rights of foetuses and children as well as a threat to physical and mental security.
Advisory Committees/Working Committees are only useful if they are independent. A vetting process that allows participation on committees based upon corresponding opinions or on non-contradictory opinions is corrupt, as are committees where Conflicts of Interest are not made explicit. Committees must include the best possible qualified participants from a broad range of specialisms, including medical/neurological ‘experts’.
Digital Technology is considered to be the fourth industrial revolution, however, much of its promotion and development has been through coercion and not by choice. Claims of advancement and progress are readily available yet it has done nothing to stem the rising numbers of families/individuals who are homeless, hungry, dying on the streets, or living in poverty. The benefits of digital technology seem to be more of an illusion than fact, more of a distraction than action. Is it enough that we can now more easily audit the poor?
- Human Rights Framework
Declarations, Treaties, Programmes and Agreements are only rhetoric unless put into practice and the adequacy of them depends upon the adequacy of the Government/organisations responsible for their establishment. Beneficial reforms could see Recommendations such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Resolution 1815 (2011) – The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment, transcribed into Directives in order to emphasise the need for action. Digital Technology is a tool – we need to act in order to make changes for the protection and security of humans, all living things and the environment.
- Gaps in existing efforts – Human Rights overlooked
The main gaps lie in poverty of action.
Huge efforts are put into establishing technological infrastructure and the marketing of connectable gadgets. Little effort is put into consideration of or in addressing the subsequent effects of these.
There appears to be an absence of choice to participate in or opt out of digital changes in public services, programmes or the Internet of Things. This is borne out by e.g. the lack of availability of household equipment that is not digitalised or connectable.
The Guidelines drawn up by ICNIRP (The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) and adopted by the EU and most developed countries are obviously flawed, as they merely refer to the heating or thermal effects of EMF/RF/Wi-Fi, to short-term effects and are measured by SAR (thermal) only rather than by intensity (for non-thermal). The singular use of these guidelines, their acceptance without question and subsequent neglect to consider thousands of independent scientific papers spelling out non-thermal health effects, has resulted in approximately 3% to 5% of populations currently suffering from electrohypersensitivity/microwave sickness. This percentage is expected to rise over the coming years. Reference is often made to this situation as being similar to a mass experiment and when adverse effects are ignored it results in a complete and continuing abuse of human rights as referenced in the Nuremberg Treaty.
Legislation regarding EMF/RF/Wi-Fi is piecemeal as are Governmental regulatory instruments. For the citizen there is no access to or difficulties in finding information regarding adverse health effects or protection; no register is kept that would indicate growing trends; no redress or remedial assistance is provided for victims; no involvement in decision-making; no individual monitoring; no training of medical practitioners in environmental illnesses; no ‘white zones’ are being made available in most countries. This position completely ignores human rights at all levels.
There are no economic disincentives for large corporations regarding protection of health and safety linked to radiofrequency/pulsed wireless microwave usage. The onus is placed upon the taxpayer to inform themselves and to pick up the financial burden of future impacts.
- Is a holistic and inclusive approach a way forward?
A holistic and inclusive approach taking health and environmental issues as its focal point would seem to be a positive move forward in preventing gaps but this depends on the real agenda of the decision-makers. The provision of technology is currently carved up by numerous profiteering corporations and based upon market forces. A safer way forward would be to have a national rollout of safer wired/fibre systems, then leave the choice to customers as to what type of system to use within the home. At present there is no element of choice regarding EMF emissions originating from masts/antennas that belong to numerous companies and that are trespassing on personal and private properties and airspace. Vigilance needs to be maintained to consider whether an inclusive approach would endanger the element of choice and therefore personal protection for some.
Inviting public groups to participate in the decision-making process, the dissemination of honest information and establishment of the Precautionary Principle should be paramount.
- Role of the private sector
Tech corporations in many countries have had the foresight to have laws changed in their favour. There also appears to have been a concerted effort for ‘experts’ supported by the industry to infiltrate decision-making committees.
Corporations have also provided financial assistance in academia in exchange for favourable pre-decided conclusions to scientific studies, some of which contradict conclusions of well-respected independent scientists.
National Regulations should protect the public rather than be favourable to the private sector who should be held responsible for adverse effects caused by their activity.
Any system where the taxpayer is expected to pay for trials and tests of EMF on the population and mass experiments such as 5G for financial speculation and gain is already corrupt. It demonstrates little respect for citizens and flies in the face of the Nuremberg Treaty.
Specific Questions for Civil Society Organisations:
Electromagnetic Sense Ireland (ES-Ireland) could be described as a support network for citizens who have, through observation and their experiences discovered that the health effects that they suffer are related to exposure to emissions from the energy used for modern technology i.e. Electromagnetic/Radio Frequency Fields/Wi-Fi. More usually referred to now as Electrohypersensitives or EHS, historically they were known as people suffering from ‘microwave sickness’.
ES-Ireland’s key accomplishments lie in their endless campaigning over the years to have EHS recognised as an environmental impairment/disability. The group provides information to the public as a means of promoting awareness and also information on protection. This is seen as vital as the public receive no information from authorities.
ES-Ireland is also involved with the European Co-ordination of Organisations for an EMF Exposure Regulation, which Truly Protects Public Health.
Our main challenges are in dealing with health effects of EMF/RF/Wi-Fi on a day-to-day basis, increasingly having difficulties finding places where emissions are low, being made the subject of disbelief and sometimes ridicule, as well as attempting to continue to support each other despite the growing isolation resulting from the exponential establishment of technological infrastructure and generations of wireless bandwidth blanketing the country.
ES-Ireland is not affiliated to any political party or facebook page.
What is Electrohypersensitivity (EHS)/Microwave Sickness.
Electrohypersensitivity/’microwave sickness’ has been known about at least since the 1930s. The BioInitiative Working Groups Report (Summary for the Public, 2014) produces the most comprehensive list of potential adverse health effects from accumulated exposure to EMF/RF/Wi-Fi through a Summary of Key Scientific Evidence including: Damage to Sperm and Reproduction; Children are most at risk; Fetal and Neonatal Effects; Autism Spectrum Conditions; Electrohypersensitivity; Effects from Cell Tower-Level RFR Exposures; Effects on the Blood-brain Barrier; Effects on Brain Tumours; Effects on Genes (Genotoxicity); Effects on the Nervous System (Neurotixicity); Effects on Cancer (Childhood Leukemia; Adult Cancers); Melatonin, Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease; Stress, Stress Proteins and DNA as a Fractal Antenna; Effects of Weak-Field Interactions on Non-Linear Biological Oscillators and Synchronized Neural Activity.
The main effects suffered on a daily basis by those who become Electrosensitive are: Fatigue, Headaches/Migraines, Nose Bleeds, Difficulty Concentrating, Dizziness – Nausea – Vertigo, Visual and Auditory Distortion, Racing Heart Rate (Tachycardia), Anxiety, Depression, Memory Loss, Attention Deficit, Skin Rash, Hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, Night Sweats, Insomnia, dysaesthesia (crawling skin), limb currents, muscle seizure, muscle and joint pains, speech problems, cataracts, digestive problems, diabetes.
One of the most debilitating and torturous effects ‘microwave hearing’ has been known about since 1962 when Allan Frey published’ his studies regarding the auditory perception of radio-frequency fields by humans. Since then there have been others e.g. Chung-Kwang Chou and Arthur W. Guy’s paper on Auditory perception of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (1981) and Dr. J.C. Lin and Z. Wangs paper Hearing of Microwave Pulses by Humans and Animals: Effects, Mechanism, and Thresholds. (2007)
EHS and Human Rights
On a day by day practical level, these effects see EHS sufferers who cannot live in their own homes or who cannot leave their homes, visit friends/family, have no way of protecting their property from EMF/RF/Wi-Fi emissions, cannot access public services or public transport, have no medical practitioners trained in environmental illnesses, cannot enter a hospital system where Wi-Fi exists or where the use of mobile phones is accepted, have no protection for children who are affected and who therefore cannot access education, no protection within workplaces for staff and their foetuses, are discriminated against and ridiculed.
Human Rights being violated here include: the Right to a Healthy Environment; the Right to Life and a Life without Torture; the Right to Liberty, Security and Freedom of Movement, the Right to Respect for Private and Family Life, the Right to Protection for children and Foetuses, the Prohibition of discrimination and the Prohibition of Abuse of Rights, the Right to Education, Protection of Property.
International Non-Governmental Organisations such as the UN, WHO EMF Project (which only recognises the heating effect of EMF/RF/Wi-Fi) and National Governments need to ensure that Human Rights are being respected. This requires more proactive measures such as proper legislation, monitoring and regulation founded upon honest guidelines such as the IGNIR (International Guidelines on Non-Ionising Radiation that are based upon EUROPAEM EMF Guidelines 2016 and produced in the UK (2018). The development of safer technologies and the creation of ‘white-zones’ would benefit everyone especially the most vulnerable in society. Finally dissemination of information regarding the dangers of EMF/RF/Wi-Fi should be seen as a priority as well as recognition of and access to justice for those suffering from EHS.
Some responsibility needs to be levied at the technological industry to ensure that they are made financially accountable for subsequent aspects of health and safety from EMF/RF/Wi-Fi.
5G: The UN is already aware that 5G is considered by thousands of scientists and citizens to be an assault upon humanity and upon all living things and it has never been properly tested. To date 150,000 people have signed the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, 4,000 of these are scientists. This is a subject the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council needs to grasp as a matter of urgency.
Thank you for the invitation to participate in this consultation.
Please find attached a paper prepared by Dr. Isaac Jamieson that is specifically related to Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity & Human Rights (2014).
On behalf of Electromagnetic Sense Ireland (ES-Ireland)
SENT FROM A HARDWIRED COMPUTER
14th October 2019