IGF 2021 WS #167 Digital Human Rights:How IGF-born guides support the Roadmap

Time
Friday, 10th December, 2021 (08:30 UTC) - Friday, 10th December, 2021 (10:00 UTC)
Room
Conference Room 1+2

Organizer 1: Minda Moreira, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRPC)
Organizer 2: Claudia Padovani, University of Padova
Organizer 3: Dennis Redeker, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS)
Organizer 4: June Parris, Internet Society
Organizer 5: Michael J. Oghia,
Organizer 6: Jacob Odame-Baiden, EGIGFA

Speaker 1: Raashi Saxena, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Parminder Jeet Singh, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Marianne Franklin, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Aik van Eemeren, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Ana Neves, Government, Western European and Others Group
Speaker 6: Anriette Esterhuysen, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 7: Carlos Affonso de Souza , Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 8: Koliwe Majama, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 9: Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Academic/Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Emcee: Michael J. Oghia, Civil Society, Eastern European Group 
Online Moderator 1: Dennis Redeker, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group 
Online Moderator 2:  Jacob Odame-Baiden, Civil Society, African Group

Moderator

Claudia Padovani, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Rapporteur

Santosh Sigdel, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Format

Other - 90 Min
Format description: A panel which incorporates three different sessions each one includes a Q&A session

Policy Question(s)

Digital policy and human rights frameworks: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for civil and political rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and further interpretation of these in the online context provided by various resolutions of the Human Rights Council? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts? What is the role of different local, national, regional and international stakeholders in achieving digital inclusion that meets the requirements of users in all communities?

This session will look on how digital human rights documents which emerged within the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) environment - or were inspired by the work of the IGF community, can support the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the promotion of human rights online and can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 1) The workshop will select a few documents and will look into its origins and drafting process, and explore how they drew on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other covenants that make up the International Bill of Human Rights at the United Nations and translated them into the online context. 2) It will further explore how successful they have been in creating awareness, supporting and engaging all stakeholder groups and in contributing to the promotion of human rights in the digital environment. 3) The second part of the session will look on how national governments have used - or took inspiration from - these IGF bottom-up initiatives to draft their own binding documents. On the last section, there will be the chance to look at how these documents have supported an inspired national and regional initiatives from different stakeholder groups. The session will also include a reflection on the role / relevance of these bottom-up initiatives in the wider UN and IGF ecosystem. Ultimately, the session will try to understand the relationship between these digital human rights documents and the IGF and how can they mutually support each other to help ensure the protection of human rights online - as per the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This workshop proposal was inspired by the session ‘Decolonizing Digital Rights’, part of the Online Winter School - University of Padova and marks the 10th anniversary of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet.

SDGs

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: SDG16: The session explores a few selected IGF-born and IGF-inspired human rights documents which aim to create awareness, promote human rights in the online environment. This links with SGD 16 in general in the sense that the main goal of this documents is to indeed promote peaceful, inclusive and rights-based an sustainably developed societies. SGD17: The session will bring together a diverse range of documents and voices from different regions and stakeholder groups that have a common goal of promoting and ensuring the protection of human rights online. One of the main goals of this workshop is to foster partnership and enhance cooperation between all actors in order to better promote rights-based and sustainable development. This is in line with the SDG17 and the strengthening of partnerships and global cooperation within the iGF community and beyond in order to achieve the sustainable development goals

Description:

This session explores how digital human rights documents which emerged within the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) or were inspired by the work of the IGF community, can support the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, support the promotion of human rights online and help achieve the sustainable development goals. It will focus on selected documents and analyse how they emerged, how they translated existent human rights law and norms to the online environment and will reflect on their relevance, achievements and main challenges. Divided into three sections to allow a more in-depth discussion, a more intimate environment and higher levels of engagement, the session will bring a diverse group of speakers that will share first-hand experiences on how these documents have supported the promotion of human rights online among the various stakeholder groups and have inspired national and regional initiatives. It will finish with a reflection on the role and relationship between these bottom-up initiatives and the wider (UN and) IGF ecosystem how can they mutually support each other to help ensure the protection of human rights online and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This workshop proposal was inspired by the session ‘Decolonizing Digital Rights’, part of the Online Winter School - University of Padova and marks the 10th anniversary of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet.

Expected Outcomes

This session expected outcomes: - to map out and better understand the existent digital human rights frameworks, their dynamics, convergences and divergences and their role in awareness raising, and in promoting and ensuring that human rights apply online as they do offline - a platform for dialogue between the different initiatives to foster the creation of synergies and closer collaboration and to seek ways to work with the SDGs towards a better future. - a starting point for further discussion within the IGF community and beyond on the role and relevance of these documents in the wider UN IGF ecosystem and how they can mutually support each other to promote human rights online

1)The session will be divided into three parts, each one exploring the issues, challenges, achievements and opportunities mentioned above. Each part will be led by a moderator and will include a group of selected speakers. The speakers will start by discussing the questions posed by the moderator, followed by an open Q&A session before moving to the next section of the workshop. This format will, on one hand, keep the speakers and participants focused on each one of the issues that we aim to address in each section and, on the other hand, it will keep the participants engaged, both on-site and online by providing opportunities for open discussion throughout the whole workshop.

The interaction provided by the online platform will further enrich the discussion and the remote moderator will be able to share a summary of the chat interventions so that on-site participants -if not connected, are able to follow and engage with online participants. Other tools may be used at the beginning of each session to encourage participation and to fuel the debate. 2) We hope to be able to secure a hybrid session, however, if changing circumstances are to only allow for speakers and organisers to participate online then we will think of the on-site audience as a remote hub. We will ensure that a moderator on-site will help us keep the participants engaged, by providing opportunities for interventions from both sides.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: To complement the existing tools provided by the IGF online partici[ation platform we intend to use polls for a guiding question at the start of each section of the workshop and collabowriting (a shared document that participants can use to input information: ideas / suggestions for ways forward, etc)

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

(1) Participants affirmed value of exchanging knowledge and experience about ongoing and emerging undertakings putting human rights instruments at the heart of internet governance deliberations: projects underscored the sociocultural and geographical range of human rights-based documents for policymakers at the intersection of online and offline domains. Working together, being open to debate crucial to healthy and sustainable internet futures

(2) Addressing the query about the added value of ever-expanding repertoire of digital human rights charters, guides - and law making (e.g. Brazil’s Marco Civil (2014), Portuguese Charter of Human Rights in the Digital Era (2021)) - participants affirmed that all initiatives have intrinsic worth. Main finding is how important building - and crossing - the bridges that such initiatives embody remains for digital human rights standards.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

(1) Work on keeping up opportunities for collaborating, sharing ideas, and mutual support between various digital human rights projects; at global, regional, national, and local levels.

(2) We ask the IGF Secretariat to actively acknowledge these human-rights informed outcomes in official outputs of the UN-hosted annual meetings, regional and national IGFs: only in this way can the intersessional work underpinning these outputs make visible the concrete achievements of the IGF itself.

Session Report (* deadline Monday 20 December) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

This session explored how digital human rights documents emerged or inspired by the Internet Governance Forum and its community support the UN Roadmap for Digital Cooperation on the promotion of human rights online and help achieve the sustainable development goals.

It focused on selected documents analysing  how they emerged, how they translated existent human rights law and norms to the online environment and reflected on its relevance, achievements and main challenges. The session was moderated by Claudia Padovani, Dennis Redeker and Jacob Odame-Baiden. Michael J Oghia was the Emcee in Katowice.

The first part of the session looked at documents that emerged within the IGF community by focusing on their background and context and how they sit in the tradition of international human rights documents.

Speaking on behalf of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition’s Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet (IRPC Charter), Marianne Franklin explained how the Charter draft initiated in 2009 was an attempted to bring all sector together to translate existing international human rights documents to the online environment. It draws on the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and its covenants. It worked as a bridge connecting the digital world with human rights which at the time was not an obvious connection.

Edetaen Ojo spoke on behalf of the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms (African Declaration) and gave some insight on the context that led to the African Declaration African Internet Governance Forum (the African IGF) that took place in Nairobi in Kenya in 2013 at a time when many African countries were developing laws regulating various aspects of the digital space. These were mostly not human rights-respecting norms and the idea was to establish a set of rights-based principles that would guide law and policymaking as well as advocacy around the Internet. 
Both documents draw on established international human rights and norms which were translated to the online context and the African Declaration paid particular attention to Human Rights instruments on the African continent, especially the African charter on human and people's rights adopted in 1981. Marianne Franklin and  Edetaen Ojo shared how over the years both documents have been disseminated within and outside the IGF Community how they reached out to policymakers, judiciaries, civil society organisations, the technical community, and academia. And how international initiatives and international organisations such as the UNESCO, UN, or the Council of Europe have acknowledged, collaborated, and endorsed these documents. Local and regional outreach has been crucial to helping disseminate these documents and translations play a significant role: the African Declaration has been translated into Portuguese, Arabic, and French while the IRPC Charter has been translated into 12 languages and 11 of those are now in booklet form.

As for the relevance of these documents in the current times both speakers considered that they are more relevant than ever: the prosecution of journalists, bloggers and rights defenders, internet shutdowns, online surveillance, and other human rights violations are happening in the digital world, and the current pandemic crisis has not only highlighted the digital divide but also created opportunities for human rights violations online.  The African Declaration initiative published the paper Impact of COVID‑19 on Digital Rights in Africa looking at how the principles in the African Declaration have been impacted by COVID‑19 and the response of various governments on the continent to the pandemic.

Sean O Siochru intervened on behalf of the Just Net Coalition noting on the Delhi Declaration, another IGF inspired initiative emerged and urging on the importance of looking at the whole spectrum of human rights online as some are not getting the same level of attention and the need to move from declarations to action, which is now the focus of the Coalition. Marianne Franklin highlighted the connections between IGF-led documents: e.g., the IRPC Charter is strongly connected with the Council of Europe’s Guide to Human Rights for Internet Users (CoE Guide) and the Brazilian Marco Civil. Wolfgang Benedek who was part of the expert group on both the IRPC Charter and the CoE Guide shared insights on how this document emerged as a result of the IRPC Charter but covering a less wide range of rights and aimed as an educational tool. On the Marco Civil, which passed into law in 2014, Marianne Franklin explained how this document was a very inspiring process with a very broad national Civil Society consultation framework.

Ana Neves spoke on behalf of the Portuguese government, which recently adopted The Portuguese Charter of Human Rights in the Digital Age (Portuguese Charter) and shared that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union and the Lisbon Declaration on digital rights approved in June 2021 worked as the kickstart for the future possible EU charter on digital rights leading to the national initiative, which despite its topdown approach ( a government and parliament initiative) also included the input of its citizens. Ana Neves highlighted some of its provisions, including net neutrality, the creation of a social tariff for Internet access services, the prohibition of Internet shutdowns, and the creation of fact-checking structures. Following up on Ana Neves' intervention Wolfgang Benedek added that like some of the issues mentioned such as the issue of disinformation, hate speech was not mentioned in the COE’s guide but were covered in a posterior document. He stressed that would be important to ensure that new efforts look at the already existing materials. Anriette Estherhuysen highlighted how initiatives such as the IRPC Charter and the African Declaration have been important advocacy documents and great tools to help national initiatives such as the Portuguese Charter and others as these frameworks make the process of translating human rights law to the online environment much easier.

The last part of the session looked at these documents inspired local initiatives. Raashi Saxena highlighted the importance of these as awareness-raising and educational tools and the work that needs to be done to promote universal digital human rights that both the global South and the global north can engage with. She highlighted the work that the IO Foundation is doing in the effort to create a Universal Declaration on Digital Rights (UDDR).  Aik Van Eemeren shared how the Cities for Digital Rights Coalition emerged in 2018 when a group of people from several cities came together during Mozilla fest event in London and how the Coalition grew from three to 55 cities worldwide. Drawing on examples from his city in Amsterdam Aik Van Eemeren highlighted how the Cities Declaration inspired by the IRPC Charter and supported by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) has been a moral support an important framework to policy makers and how it inspired a variety of projects in cities around the globe. Some of the Coalition’s projects were shared via the Zoom Chat: https://research.ngi.eu/public-procurement-conditions-for-trustworthy-a…, https://algoritmeregister.amsterdam.nl/en/more-information, https://citiesfordigitalrights.org/global-observatory-urban-ai, https://cities-today.com/amsterdam-introduces-mandatory-register-for-se…. An intervention from Sarah Boscaro, a student from the University of Padova closed this part of the session. She explained how together with other colleagues Delar (Germany), Hebrew (Turkey) an Instagram advocacy campaign was created with the goal of spreading the knowledge of the charter of Human Rights and principles of the Internet among young people due to needing to be educated on what our rights are on the Internet. 

Anriette Estherhuysen delivered an end-of-session keynote looking at the relevance of these documents in the wider UN IGF ecosystem and how these can mutually support each other. She noted that the fact these bottom-up initiatives that come from within the IGF Community are powerful tools and have had a ripple effect at the sectoral, national, and regional levels and that this should be celebrated.  The main challenge she pointed out is how to connect them all and she called for more collaborations and partnerships to bring this movement forward. Anriette Estherhuysen added that working together by creating bridges between different approaches (e.g, human rights vs social justice) and overcoming political tensions, and linking the rights frameworks to policy frameworks these initiatives can the impact that aim for. She urged the community not to give up on the IGF space: despite its flaws, it brings all stakeholders together and if used effectively can still achieve meaningful practices, partnerships across stakeholder groups. Dynamic coalitions and particularly the IRPC can work as a space to share our learning and share our progress and allow critical debate. 

In the closing statement, Minda Moreira noted how it has been inspiring to see the work of the IGF community and the initiatives that developed from this space in awareness-raising and supporting Human Rights online.  Following up on Anriette’s call, she highlighted the importance of joining the dots, bringing these initiatives together, creating collaborations and partnerships to advance the work that has been done to make a real difference.