IGF 2018 WS #260 Online VAW with focus on women human rights defenders

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Subtheme: 

Organizer 1: Asako Hattori, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Speaker 1: Dubravka Šimonović, Intergovernmental Organization, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Zarizana Abdul Aziz, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Paz Pena, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Vivek Rai, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Relevance: 

UN human rights system has been increasingly taking up the issue of digital technologies and women’s rights. The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women will present her thematic report (A/HRC/38/47) to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018, which focuses on online/ICT facilitated violence against women. One of the panel discussions on the UN Human Rights Council’s annual full day of discussion on women’s rights also focuses on the impact of violence against women human rights defenders and women’s organizations in digital spaces (to be held on 21 June 2018).

Online violence against women and girls is one of the major elements that hinder women and girls’ active participation in and use of the Internet. When women and girls claim or defend their rights, they may face disproportionate aggression online. It does not only marginalize women and girls in online space but may also significantly undermine the progress on realization of their human rights.

This round table aims to follow up these initiatives and connect discussion at the UN human rights forum with the discussion among broader stakeholders working on internet governance. It will serve for expanding network and identify possible concrete steps for the implementation of recommendations arising from the UN human rights mechanisms on preventing and responding to online violence against women.

Session Content: 

Short presentations by subject matter experts:
- Ms Dubravka Šimonović, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women to present her thematic report to the Human Rights Council on online/ICT facilitated violence against women and its recommendations
- Ms Zarizana Abdul Aziz, Co-Director, Due Diligence Project (http://www.duediligenceproject.org), to highlight specific risks women human rights defenders face online and why it’s important to ensure their safety online
- Ms Paz Peña, independent consultant on human rights, gender and digital technologies, to share experience of CSOs in Latin America on how to prevent and respond to online VAW
- Mr Vivek Rai, UN Women to present its efforts to prevent and respond to online VAW (consulted - waiting for confirmation)
And possibly:
- Representative of an intermediary and/or a Government to share ongoing efforts to prevent and respond to online VAW (to be identified)

Round table discussion followed by interventions by subject matter experts:
Moderated discussion among all participants, building on the report of the Special Rapporteur and the summary report of the Human Rights Council panel discussion, to:
a) Identify specific risks women human rights defenders face online, gaps, challenges and key initiatives to prevent and respond online VAW, in particular against women/girl human rights defenders; and
b) Strategize possible collaborations, engagements and concrete actions for the Governments, the UN entities, intermediaries, CSOs, and technical communities, to implement recommendations arising from the UN human rights mechanisms on online VAW, in particular against women/girl human rights defenders.

Interventions: 

1. Subject matter experts from different backgrounds (CSO, UN, the private sector and Governments) (40 min)

2. Moderateted discussion by all participants (incl. online participants) to: (40 min)
a) Identify specific risks women human rights defenders face online, gaps, challenges and key initiatives to prevent and respond online VAW, in particular against women/girl human rights defenders; and
b) Strategize possible collaborations, engagements and concrete actions for the Governments, the UN entities, intermediaries, CSOs, and technical communities, to implement ecommendations arising from the UN human rights mechanisms on online VAW, in particular against women/girl human rights defenders.

3. Wrap up and conclusion by the moderator (10 min)

Diversity: 

We aim to ensure geographic (incl. from the Global South), gender, and stakeholder group balance among the speakers. We will also seek and proactively invite participants from wide range of backgrounds, in particular youth and women/girl human rights defenders facing intersectional forms of discrimination (e.g. discrimination based on gender as well as on race, ethnicity, religion, political opinion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity) so that the outcome of the round table can be enriched with views and engagements of diverse stakeholders.

Online Participation: 

This workshop will rely on IGF support for remote participation. Questions and interventions from remote participants will be included in a speakers' list the moderator manages, as they come in, so that they will have equal opportunity compared to on-site participants.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The workshop aims to seek feedback from and to expand engagements with a wide range of stakeholders to mobilize force to implement recommendations arising from the UN human rights mechanisms to prevent and respond to online VAW against women human rights defenders.

In the discussion followed by interventions by subject matter experts, interventions by participants (both on-site and online) will be given equal weight as those by the subject matter experts in order to ensure inputs from all participants.

Onsite Moderator: 

OHCHR

Online Moderator: 

To be confirmed

Rapporteur: 

OHCHR

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678