IGF 2020 WS #3 Artificial Intelligence and refugee’s Rights and Protection


Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Berhan Taye Gemeda , Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Marianne Franklin, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Aicha Jeridi, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 5: Gunela Astbrink, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

In light of what is mentioned above, the workshop is designed to by its end answer two main important questions: (1)What is the AI positive impact and promises on refugee and asylum seeker rights? (2)What is the negative impact and threats on refugees and asylum seekers protection? To answer these main question the discussion will address the following sub-questions Legal Questions : (3)What is impact of Artificial Intelligent on refugee international protection? (4)And what are the ways that AI could be abused to violate internationally recognized refugee rights? Livelihood questions (5)How AI can Improve Refugee Well-Being? (6)How AI could ensure refugees access to education? (7)How AI ethics and policies could protect and accommodate refugee’s right and mitigate the risks they might face? Cooperation and partnership in Governmental level (8)What measures are going to implemented in collaboration with governments to ensure that the rights and digital of refugees are protected?

The Main Idea for the workshop and issue that intend to address is ensure the ("Safe" Inclusion ) of refugees in digital era , and AI technology In light of what mentioned above the proposed workshop seek to discuss in details and to achieve the following main goals : 1.To analyze relevance the current legal framework to ensure refugees (Safely) access to Internet 2.Examine AI impact on refugees rights to privacy 3.Explore ways in which existing technology (AI)can be further developed, harmonized, and more easily deployed to help refugees inclusion


GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Refugee issue has become globalized, Today It is estimated that today over "65 million people – the largest number since the Second World War – are refugees or internally displaced people" (United Nations High Commission for Refugees ). A recent report from the UNHCR: "Connecting Refugees: How Internet and Mobile Connectivity Can Improve Refugee Well-being and Transform Humanitarian Action," found that Internet access has become "as vital to them as food, water, or shelter". Internet access and mobile phones play a pivotal role in providing vital information, helping families to stay connected and giving newcomers the necessary tools to being able to start a new life in another part of the world. However, large numbers of the refugee population lack digital networks and infrastructure, face unaffordable connectivity or imposed restrictions to their fully participation in the online environment. The “Refugee crisis” highlighted connectivity and accountability issues and over the last few years we have seen international organisations, civil society, private sector and members of the technical community working on refugee camps developing digital tools (blockchain technologies, biometric records, etc) that collect Refugees data to help respond to the daily needs of the growing community. as 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. 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. 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.

Expected Outcomes

The workshop will collect contributions from the panelists, audience, and the remote participation that will inform the report, as well as a list of policy recommendations that will be outcomes of the workshop.. We hope that the workshop will help make the IGF a more welcoming place for the marginalized in society. Organizers will use the information and output of discussion and information collected during the session to develop a research paper. The out come will be used as well on regional level and regional IGF and put the topic on the agenda of other platforms. As we mentioned the proposed workshop was based on the result of 2 workshops about refugees digital rights during IGF 2018 .the Outcome of workshop 2020 "in case of acceptance "

The purpose of the session is to be very interactive yet informative. The duration of the session will be 90mins panel broken down in the following: the panel will devote 40 Min for panelist inputs 40 min for discussion and audience interventions 10 for opening and closing statements as follow : 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.

Relevance to Internet Governance: 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. 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. 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

Relevance to Theme: The proposed workshop on refugee’s Digital Rights and Protection in light of Artificial intelligence and the theme of “Inclusion ” is a cross-cutting topic specially with "trust Thematic Track . the the workshop is going to discuss through speaker and audience not only refugees inclusion in digital era but beyond that the "Safe inclusion" and safe engagement with internet with avoiding any impacts on their protection. and It links pressing IG challenges, such as inclusion,digital rights , accessibility and openness , security, big data, and legal issues, with a number of the UN’s SDGs--including those on gender equality, poverty, health, education, and decent work. refugee rights poses a unique topic for IG discussion, as it has never before been addressed by the IG Forum and also encompasses the wide and interdisciplinary knowledge bases of the diverse stakeholders who will attend.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: The workshop will have online interventions one from Refugee to tell about the importance of the internet in his life in the country of asylum and how the internet impact on his life. Online attendees will be encouraged and able to participate in the roundtable discussion. They will have a separate queue and microphone, which will rotate equally with the mics in the room to ensure that online attendees will have equally opportunities to engage in the discussion. The workshop will take comments submitted via phone, chat and social media platforms. The session moderator the online moderator, who will have been IGF trained, will work closely together to make sure that the workshop is open and inclusive.