Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

 

***

 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Can I ask everyone to sit down.  We want to make this short so that people can go and have lunch.  Authors try and find a seat around the table.  And if there are more seats free, other people can take them.  But can we ask all the authors to come sit and the table, please. 

Other people.  Please come and sit at the table.  It's strange to have audience far away so please come and take some of the empty chairs. 

And good afternoon, everyone.  Welcome, very much to the Launch of Global Information Society Watch 2015 edition which is on sexual rights in the international society on the Internet.  So we want to keep this quick because we know you need to go and get lunch.  So my name is Anriette Esterhuysen and I'm from APC.  Together with our partner in this project we will just tell you a little bit about it and then you will hear from the team that produces it and then from some of the authors.  The idea of GISWatch, GISWatch emerged as Civil Society we felt that the WSIS outcome documents just did not produce any ‑‑ well, not particularly solid frameworks for us to measure where the government was implementing. 

And we felt we needed to do our own stock taking and our own analysis.  And so in 2007 we did the first edition of GISWatch.  And it's an attempt to do that.  The first edition focused on inclusivity participation in policy processes.  And since then we have had other themes that we covered every year.  And I'll ask the GISWatch team to present them to you. 

I'll just tell you the kind of formula or the theory of change of GISWatch is.  Every year we touch on a different theme.  We try to make that theme relevant to the experiences of Civil Society actors.  So last year's report was on surveillance because of the Snowden revelations just changing what we were thinking about safety and security of the Internet. 

Every report has two parts.  It has a few thematic chapters in the beginning often written by really prominent academics and researchers in the field.  And those try to analyze some of the macro issues around that theme.  And then we have country reports.  And Alan, Roxana, how many countries do we have this year?  57 countries this year.  And those country reports are really owned by the people that write them.  And they will focus on a topic or a story or a personal experience from that organization that relates to the theme.

And you'll hear what those experiences and those themes were with the sexual rights edition this year.  And for us the country papers really is the substance of what GISWatch is about because we see it as a way for efficacy groups to explore and learn about a new theme but also to use that new theme if it's a theme in which they work to tell their stories but to tell their stories through a policy lens and through an action‑oriented lens.  Not just to tell their stories from how they are being constrained or how they are being marginalized. 

So the idea of the country reports is knowledge, do your research, do analysis, think policy and think forward, think change and how can we bring about change.  And that's really for us the idea of GISWatch. 

So country authors are different.  Sometimes they are individuals, sometimes they are organizations.  But what is a really important criterion is that they are invested in change and social justice and human rights around that theme.  And Hanan, Hanan is from our partner GISWatch Hivos.

>> HANAN BOUJEMI:  Thank you for the invitation.  I feel honored being here talking about GISWatch, one of the prominent publications in the IGF sphere.  And I've had the privilege to contribute in many editions in the past offering either regional reports or expert perspectives or country reports. 

So this is one of the projects that is very close to people's hearts and we support it I think from the very beginning.  In terms of this year, I think the topic is quite interesting and we will hear more from the authors about their experience doing it.  But I think one of the most important outcomes of this project in my opinion being a past contributor is that it expresses your own experience in a specific field but it also gives you the floor to suggest policy recommendations on how a specific issue could be dealt with. 

For example, when I contributed in an edition about women participation and the policy field, it was quite a vivid experience because I could write about my own experience and that could be transferred all around the world.  And you feel like you're an ambassador. 

So in terms of an opportunity to reflect on what is going on in your life or in your local context, it's a publication that has a very good reputation.  I'll let APC take all the credit for putting it together.  It's such a beautiful book.  I keep a copy every year, and I think everybody should get one.  And this is also one of the topics that is very close to people's heart in terms of a theme because we have a whole theme on sexual rights, LGBT rights, and we try to collaborate with different partners around the world to execute projects which we add value to the field in general but also to empower women and girls to be more expressive about their needs but also it gives us the scope of what is going on in other regions. 

So I'll leave the floor to the people who actually were behind this work.  And thank you very much for the invitation. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thank you very much, Hanan.  And they are color coded.  It's true, they look very good.  Every year is a different color.  So do try and get a complete set if you can. 

I'm now going to ask someone in our team to talk about the issue of sexual rights on the Internet and why we decided it was important to do this edition.  So, Nadine, where are you?

>> NADINE:  Thanks.  You can still call me Naz (phonetic).  So women's rights program has been working on this issue of sex and sexuality for a long time and it wasn't very clear to us what was the policy landscape of this, how do we bring sex which is usually the realm of the taboo and the dirty and unspoken into a space that is a UN space that wants to talk about how we govern something technological and basic and critical in our lives? 

And so I think our journey with sexual rights on the Internet and APC started with this idea of exploring the research around sex in ICTS with the erotics project which looked at how sexuality constructed online, how do sexual rights activists or sexual minorities or women in general use the Internet, what are they using it for, what are they doing about it, et cetera. 

And based on this research came up with how the Internet is critical to connecting people, mobilizing people, spreading information, free expression, talking about things that are so taboo that we were unable to talk about for a very long time.  And we see how the development of the Internet as an open space has led to the development of speech around sexuality by women, by queers, by all sorts of sexual minorities. 

So I think this issue comes at a very good time to sort of expand our work on sexual rights into our greater membership here at the Internet governance forum.  Our allies, our networks.  I think Alan will speak about this but there was so much excitement when the call first came out because we were a little worried to be honest.  We were a bit like, oh, you know, how are we going to react?  Are people going to be interested?  Are they going to know what to write about?  Are they going to be ‑‑ do people have stories to tell about sex who usually write for GISWatch who are more into policy, so how are we going to bring these two worlds together? 

Actually, there was a lot of excitement and a lot of great case studies and a lot of excellent thematic articles in this issue.  So we are very happy, we are very excited about putting this issue out.  And I want to thank Rox and Alan and the contributors.  I hope they read what they have written and talk about their submissions because I think it opens up ‑‑ we just had this panel on LGBT rights IGF and a lot of people were saying it's the first time we get to talk explicitly about LGBT in IGF.  (?).  So I think there's some taboos that we are breaking and I hope with this issue we break more taboos and start to talk more about sexual rights from a rights perspective and not so much from a double perspective. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks, very much.  And I think it's a good opportunity to celebrate that this year is the first year that there's a workshop ‑‑ that there was a workshop at the IGF with LGBT in its title.  A workshop that went through the multistakeholder advisory group application process and then made it through.  So it really calls for celebration. 

And Nadine, I call her Nadine, maybe I have reasons for calling you Nadine today, I'm not sure.  She mentioned the team.  The team that compiles GISWatch is small but phenomenal. 

Next to me is Roxana Bassi who is the coordinator and she will talk more later.  And then Alan Finlay who has been the editor and compiler of GISWatch since the very first edition in 2007.  And Lori, where is Lori?  And Lori Nordstrom who has been the copy editor of GISWatch since the first edition in 2007.  And together they work with techs coming from all over the world, different language authors from different language groups, different perspectives, different levels of experience.  And they produce this amazing thing.  So we'll applaud you at the end. 

But Alan is going to tell us about the 2015 edition.  And, yes, Alan, why don't you tell us more a bit more about it?

>> ALAN FINLAY:  Thanks, Anriette.  As Nadine said there was a lot of excitement on this issue.  There were also a lot of sensitivities.  There were one or two authors didn't want to specifically write on this subject.  So there's a balance of excitement and very active oppression going on. 

I was thinking how to describe editing from my own perspective and I thought actually it's a transformative process for me.  Because it's issue with way into the theme and the way to think about it, but through the editing process and working through GISWatch this perspective is deepened and transformed entirely.  Personally I find it a quite humbling experience working through all these reports.  There are 57 country reports and this one as I said earlier deal with a range of themes, LGBT rights, how the Internet facilitates those rights but also inhibits it through hate groups that use the Internet, sometimes more effectively than progress groups.  Sex education in schools is another theme in several of the reports. 

It's also a topic here at the IGF, teenage sexuality, issues of sexting, how to deal with it, how not to deal with it.  Of course they're all of oppressive countries and institutions.  And particularly Catholic Church which was a bit of a surprise because groups aligned with the Catholic Church is actually quite vocal and quite active online.  There's a report on contract marriages in China and also quite controversial reports, for instance, on cartoon child pornography in Japan how freedom of expression advocates tend to clash with child advocates.  And it even touches on surveillance and how surveillance is used to sexually harass activists. 

I wanted to just say that thanks very much to the WRP for shaping the content of this report and they have been instrumental and putting us in contact with the thematic authors and many other country authors and just the general intellectual orientation to the issue.

There's a narrative report around the everyday lives of LGBT people online and offline.  There's a report about the global policy spaces.  There's an analysis of the online protection of children discourse which generally you see it in the media.  It's generally passive as opposed to active.  There are two great articles on pornography, one being an insider view of the commercial use for pornography industry and discussing that in terms of consent. 

I was asked to give a few stats.  Ten reports are from Africa, ten from Asia, mostly Europe.  The Middle East five reports, North America one that's the Canada report and Oceania there's one, that's Australian.  I would like to thank the authors most of all because they're at the core of each GISWatch.  Roxana printed out some earlier issues.  And the 2007 one, if you look at some of the authors have written every year since 2007 and some are going to produce little books on the Internet and seeing it from a Civil Society and Human Rights perspective which I think is really great.  So I'd like to thank them and all the other authors that came on board since then and have written with such insight, dedication and passion.  And I hope people at the real GISWatch experience this transformative effect which I think it does have.  Thank you. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks, very much, Alan.  And now we'd like the authors that are here to just identify themselves and say which country they are from.  And we'll start from Wolf Ludwig and in one sentence what writing this report has meant to you.

>> WOLF LUDWIG:  Thanks, Anriette.  My name is Wolf Ludwig.  I'm from Switzerland.  I'm basically German but living half of my life in Switzerland now, writing almost from the very beginning, the annual country report on Switzerland makes me very conscious about my new home country. 

So it's promoted year‑by‑year concentrated on the infrastructure it was always an annual topic to get familiar with different facets of the country.  And there's two reports that are particularly important for me.  I think about two years women's rights and ICT where I had to dive in.  Feminist history in Switzerland which is a dark spot. 

I think it was according or due to my report that a lot of people understood that women's rights in Switzerland were introduced 20 years ago, 25 years ago.  And Switzerland in the outside world is mostly perceived as a modern bridge of country and the dark sides of its history. 

So I think it's year by year an opportunity to show the country.  And this year's report was particularly ‑‑ it's beginning difficult to me.  I was very hesitant that I even thought about not to contribute this year because I suddenly realized that I have made a story myself.  And during my study years it happened that I lived in a gay living community being totally heterosexual.  And for me it was a tremendous experience at the time.  It was in the early '70s when homosexuality was decriminalized in Germany.  So my friends warned me, please be careful, thing twice living with us, because next day when they are denounced, police may stand in front of store and you can get in trouble with us. 

So for me it was the first axis.  I learned to see gender sexual issues in a completely different way that marks the rest of my life.  And I'm very grateful to assist in this experience at the time.  And when I realized that this is now perhaps an opportunity if after many years is an issue sexual rights on the internet was afterwards extremely helpful, and it was a pleasure to contribute, thanks. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks, very much.  We should try, because we had to cut ‑‑ we were going to ask all the authors to say quite a bit but we had to cut it so people could go and have lunch so I'm really sorry.  I apologize to everyone and to you, Wolf.  So just name and country and something very quick, if you can.  Ariel, just introduce yourself.  I won't even interrupt it, just to speed it up.  Just one after the other.

>> ARIEL BARBOSA:  Thank you, very much.  My name is Ariel Barbosa.  (Speaker too far from microphone)

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Speak a bit closer to the microphone.

>> ARIEL BARBOSA:  It was about a boy, he killed himself after receiving a lot of pressure on social networks.  There was a lot of pressure even for the school.  But I think (?) in Colombia to the school (?).  (Speaker too far from microphone)

>> LIZA GARCIA:  Yes.  Liza Garcia from the Foundation for Media Alternatives based in the Philippines, and writing the article on Sex (?) and Internet rights in the Philippines made us realize that we want to explore more about these issues and to do some more research about it.  Thank you. 

>> BISHAKA:  My name is Bishaka, I'm from India.  I wrote a chapter called Porn Panic Ban, and realized in the process is everything that I disagree with around policies around sort of pornography banning, et cetera.  I really want to thank Alan and Roxana for being pleasurable, productive and fabulous to work with. 

>> My name is (?).  Actually I'm not author but corroborate with an author.  We usually ‑‑ mainly deal with hate speech and sexual minorities in South Korea.  So I'm very happy to have an opportunity to make a report about this change in South Korea. 

>> MARIANA GIORGETTI VALENTE:  So I'm Mariana, from InternetLab.  We wrote the chapter about Brazil, me, Natalia and Lucas.  I would like to thank (?) very much.  The editing process was also very nice.  If I had to say something I guess it would be a positive incentive and it was very, very important to understand the reality for this, so thank you very much for giving us that opportunity.

>> NATALIA:  I am Natalia.  I am research (?) (Speaker too far from microphone)

>> LUCAS:  Hi, my name is Lucas. (?) to put LGBT as a flag to think and to move forward to problems that we actually need to address daily.  So thank you. 

>> ARIJ RIAHI:  My name is Arij.  I wrote the report entitled Criminalizing, Redressing, and Empowering:  Canadian Legal Responses to Cyber Misogyny.  I'm a lawyer.  The main point of the article is that maybe we should stop requesting the state to enact laws to protect women and thereby keep them in a victim role, and instead to find ways to empower women from our communities in the online world.

>> EDUARDO ROJAS:  Good morning.  My name is Eduardo Rojas.  And I wrote the report experience (?) For installation system for elimination material of abuse pornography infantile in my country with (?) network global for elimination pornography infantile with (?) written down (?) in my country.

>> Thanks.

>> FRANCOISE:  Yes, I'm Francoise (?) and Democratic Republic of Congo.  I wrote a story, (?) on the use of Internet (?).  It was an assertive way of saying that it exists, there are things they are organizing and Internet has been a power tool for this closeted and underground community to really talk about their issues.  And it was very much appreciated to have the GISWatch team because I'm a French speaker but I was able to write it in English.  Thank you.

>> FLAVIA:  Hello, sorry.  I wasn't expecting to speak as an author but I'm now reminded that I'm an author, too.  So my name is Flavia, me and (?) a colleague from Argentina wrote the report as we have been doing since 2007.  We are one of the cases Alan mentioned.  And this year it was about sexual education program, a national one that we have in Argentina and how it crosscuts or doesn't crosscut, that was our question, with a program similar to one per child that we had from the government and we made quite interesting discoveries findings and we came up with a few good recommendations.  So I'm really excited to be able to share it with you today.

>> (?) My organization did the five reports together with five wonderful organizations in the Balkans.  So we did the report for Albania (?) and there is one case that happened to them about the Facebook Korean policy that I look forward to you to read.  Croatia (?) and in Macedonia with a great activist which decides to remain anonymous, (?). 

>> My name is (?) from Paraguay (?) in this book is for children (?) and your rights and bullying with other (?).  Thank you to APC for this opportunity and thank you to Alan. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks, very much, to all the authors.  So I encourage everyone who is here to look at the book.  Is there another author who is there?

>> Hi.  I'm Anna Rewal (phonetic) from Uruguay.  I'm coordinator for (?).  We have made the reports from Uruguay since 2009, I think.  It has been a great experience.  This year (?) did the report and she sends greetings to all of you and especially to Roxana and tells me what's up that she has been a great coordinator.  So glad to be here. 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks. 

(Applause)

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  And I think we have a remote participant?

>> We have a question from Mr. (?) Mr. Walid Al‑Saqaf.

>> Walid.

>> (Speaker off microphone)

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thank you, very much, Walid.  And it's really good to have you here with us in voice and spirit.  So Walid was the author of the Yemen chapter. 

Another author has arrived.  So Jacamo (phonetic), if you can just quickly say who you are and one sentence on what the report meant to you.

>> (?) (Speaker too far from microphone) coordinator with (?) In Italy, time to come with the topic of this year it was reached by other specialists (speaker too far from microphone). 

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Thanks.  So you all notice with GISWatch we have all countries from a country that's in a state of war like Yemen to Switzerland and Italy.  And for us that's a very important part of the GISWatch ethos, which is that it's about north/south solidarity.  And it's about cooperation.  It's not about who is rich or who is poor.  It's about people working together to have rights. 

So I'm going to ask our phenomenal coordinator that you first met, Roxana, to have the last word, and then you can have learn.

>> ROXANA BASSI:  Okay.  My last word is lunch.  No, don't leave yet.  Thank you, everyone.  Thank you.  It's always a learning experience for me.  It was great because I knew nothing of this subject.  And I have my favorites but I can't tell you. (Laughter) 

Please grab a copy of the book or come to the booth to get one, if you can.  We just published this online last night and already we got 1,200 downloads.  So people are accessing already. 

So thank you very much for being here, for being part of this project.  And we hope we continue next year having you as authors, as collaborators and readers as well.  Thank you very much.  Lunchtime. 

(Applause)

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN:  Just last but not least we do have to thank the donors that have been with us and have been with us part of this road.  We don't pay people very much.  But just thank you very much to Hivos and to SIDA.  And it's really wonderful to have you here.