IGF 2019 WS #278 Artificial Intelligence and refugee’s Rights and Protection

Organizer 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, EGYPTIAN FOUNDATION FOR REFUGEE RIGHTS and African Civil Society on information Society (ACSIS)
Organizer 2: Dynamic Coalition Internet Rights and Principles, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition

Speaker 1: Minda Moreira, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Marianne Franklin, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

What is the AI positive impact and promises on refugee and asylum seeker rights? What is the negative impact and threats on refugees and asylum seekers protection?
What is the legal framework that ensure refugees enjoy their right to access to internet and digital rights ?
To what extent the current legal framework still relevant to ensure their (Safely) access to Internet and their online rights with maintance their right to privacy ?
How AI can Improve Refugee Well-Bein? How AI could ensure refugees access to education?
What is impact of Artificial Intelligent on refugee international protection? And what are the ways that AI could be abused to violate internationally recognized refugee rights?
Finally how to safeguard refugees and asylum seeker's rights in the era of AI?

Relevance to Theme: The proposed workshop is addressing a most debatable topics on context of public policy , academia and internet governance and bring globally attention of international and national actors and different stakeholders ( international , national organization , civil society , academia and governments . it is refugee’s crisis ,right and protection and, one of hot point in digital era, the artificial intelligence.
During IGF 2018 there were couples of workshops addressing the digital rights of refugees one of them organized by me and one by IRPC. This proposed workshop is consider a follow up on discussion started last year in context of digital rights of refugees through both workshops.
Refugee issue has become globalized, Today, more than 65 million people – the largest number in decades - are living as refugees or are internally displaced, uprooted from their homes in search of safety, and often struggling to access the basic means of survival. But displaced people are also living without the connectivity they need to obtain vital information, communicate with loved ones, access basic services and to link to the local, national and global communities around them. In same time refugees lives in Era of Artificial Intelligence technology. It's already profoundly affecting fields as diverse as health care, education, law enforcement, sales, and many others.
AI technologies that can perform portions of human activities have been advancing quickly especially big data and machine learning. AI has the power to do profound good by saving lives and reducing the cost of essential services. In other hand AI generates challenges for human rights in general and for refuges in particular , it has the potential to negatively affect many aspects of our lives, and that does include refugee’s rights.
AI technologies have a deleterious impact on the right to privacy. In Africa and MENA region the countries use the legislations to control and prevent access to information and knowledge , in some cases refugees has been deported after he/she got access to information through the internet. Definitely AI application has a role on access to the data of the refugee and asylum seekers which in some times lead to abuse the refugees international protection but in other hand AI has an opportunities and positive impact on their life.
The topic of Artificial Intelligence and Refugee’s rights and protection is fit under the IGF2019 theme Data Governance

Relevance to Internet Governance: AI in consider one of hot point of era of internet and consider one of important development of internet. the impact of AI on human rights in general and on refugees in particular.

Format: 

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Description: All digital rights ( access to information , freedom of expression , freedom of association etc.,), are basically human rights in the internet era that founded and protected under international human rights instrument particularly the human rights declaration ,(ICCPR) international Convention for civil and political rights , (ICESCR ) International Convention for Economic , Social and Culture Rights. as well as the regional human rights conventions such as African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, under the African Union.

In spot of increasing conduct our lives online with governmental surveillance and massive deployment of surveillance technologies with using or AI software, against activities, journalists etc.., the right to privacy and freedom of expression are becoming subject to violation. Taking on consideration that the majority of refugees these days hosted in many authoritarian countries specially in Africa and MENA region .

the rapid pace of technological development enables individuals all over the world to use new information and communication technologies and at the same time enhances the capacity of governments, companies and individuals to undertake surveillance, interception and data collection, which may violate or abuse human rights, in particular the right to privacy, as set out in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and is therefore an issue of increasing concern, the violations and abuses of the right to privacy in the digital age may affect all individuals, including with particular effects on women, as well as children and those who are vulnerable or marginalized, in particular refugees and asylum seekers.
The digital rights and right to privacy effected by AI technology and application, But the situation become more sensitive in case of refugees and asylum seeker, especially if the impact of AI might lead to the detention or/ and deportation of refugees and asylum seekers back to their country of origin which might put their life at risk of torture and /or murder.
Legal, Ethical and Social implications surrounding AI technologies are attracting attention internationally to discuss opportunities and concerns regarding AI technologies.

To understand the impact of AI on Refugee rights and protection it should examining the difference, both positive and negative impacts.

The workshop will highlight the risks that AI, algorithms, machine learning, and related technologies may pose to Refugee rights, also recognizing the opportunities these technologies present to enhance the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“UDHR”) and 1951 convention.

In light of what is mentioned above the workshop is designed to answer two main important questions:

What is the AI positive impact and promises on refugee and asylum seeker rights? What is the negative impact and threats on refugees and asylum seekers protection?

To answer the main question the speakers will tackle the answer of the following sub questions

What is the legal framework that ensure refugees enjoy their right to access to internet and digital rights ?To what extent the current legal framework still relevant to ensure their (Safely) access to Internet and their online rights with maintance their right to privacy ?

How AI can Improve Refugee Well-Bein? How AI could ensure refugees access to education?

Technological advances – in particular mass internet access – have made it increasingly easy in recent years for small political organizations and diaspora groups to publicize their own political agendas, even when such agendas are niche rather than representative. Yet the proliferation of diaspora websites is simply the contemporary form of a much more continuous connection between politics and exile. (Katy Long, Voting with their feet , A review of refugee participation and the role of UNHCR in country of origin elections and other political processes(Geneva: United Nation High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), September 2010)

the political situation makes the issues related to internet is sensitive issues which increased the Censorship on the means of social media and breach the Freedom of Expression and right to privacy through ban the electronic sites , and prosecuted the online human rights activists and online rights and freedoms has been compromised by state censorship.

Neither key international refugee conventions, the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol contain any reference to the connect, information rights of refugees.

While AI has great potential to uphold and promote refugee’s rights, conversely it can also suppress it. Facial recognition technology can be coupled with AI to find and target refugees who are challenging repressive asylum regime in host countries or challenging regime on his country of origin and predictive capabilities might fage the refugees and subjected them to arbitrary detention and deportation
So, other question is “What is impact of Artificial Intelligent on refugee international protection? And what are the ways that AI could be abused to violate internationally recognized refugee rights?

Lastly How AI ethics and policies could protect and accommodate refugee’s right and mitigate the risks they might face?
The speakers and penal discussion will address the all rise question and discuss the answers with other participants.

Session agenda (subject to minimal changes) is designed to ensure the interactions between the panel and audience so the agenda will be as follow 1. Open remarkets by moderator with introduction to speakers.
2. Short Opening statement by speakers
3. Presentation and intervention by half of speakers
4. First round of questions, comments and discussion
5. Presentation and intervention by remain speakers
6. Second round of questions, comments and discussion
7. Open floor discussion
8. Short Closing statement and conclusion by moderator and short closing statement by speakers.

Interventions
All the speakers invited are range from civil society, international organization (UNESCO, UNHCR), academia, government and academia .
Some of the speakers invited to workshop have extent mixed experience in refugee rights , human rights and in internet governance .

Additionally, some of other speakers have a long experience in related refugees issue. According to the area of experience of each speakers , the speakers will address one of the agenda topics.
Diversity
The session will gear towards a multi-stakeholder representative panel that will bring new voices and dynamic young individuals to the fore. Key stakeholder groups pertaining to the issue of digital rights will be represented, such as civil society (which represents the user views), academia, international organization. In addition to this, we have found it important that the panel give an opportunity to refugees to make their voice heard and to strategically think of solutions for the internet issue that we are currently facing. Gender, national and age diversity is incorporated, by having young leading females on the panel and representatives from different countries.
Current speakers (confirmed & unconfirmed) of the session include:
4 females
2 males
4stakeholder groups

Discussion facilitation
Format: Panel
The purpose of the session is to be very interactive yet informative. The duration of the session will be 90mins roundtable discussions broken down in the following:

5mins opening remarks/introduction for speakers
5 Min opening statements by speakers
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min first round of comments, questions and discussion from audience
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min Second round of comments, questions from audience
5 Min closing statements by speakers
15 min open floor discussion for audience with periodic intervals for remote participants
There will be a dedicated answer and question period, where during this time, participants and panel speakers are free to talk about the content of the session in length. More time will be given to open floor.

Expected Outcomes: The expected outcomes receiving answers, ideas on the main questions of the workshop.
upon the outcomes , the speakers will work on develop a policy paper and academic articles.
the proposed workshop is consider a following up on the 2 workshop done last year. the idea of current proposed workshop came from outcome of the two workshops As what happened last year , the speakers and organizers will develop ideas for IGF 2020 related to refugees as well.

Onsite Moderator: 

Minda Moreira, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Dynamic Coalition Internet Rights and Principles, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur: 

MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

Format: Round Table U shape
The purpose of the session is to be very interactive yet informative. The duration of the session will be 90mins roundtable discussions broken down in the following:

5mins opening remarks/introduction for speakers
5 Min opening statements by speakers
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min first round of comments, questions and discussion from audience
20 min panel discussion and intervention with moderator probing
10 min Second round of comments, questions from audience
5 Min closing statements by speakers
15 min open floor discussion for audience with periodic intervals for remote participants
There will be a dedicated answer and question period, where during this time, participants and panel speakers are free to talk about the content of the session in length. More time will be given to open floor.

Online Participation: 

It is very important that the panel give an opportunity to refugees to make their voice heard and to strategically think of solutions for the internet issue.
online participation tool will be use to give the opportunity to participate

SDGs: 

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions