IGF 2021 WS #181 All We Need Is YOUth: Connecting Young People and ICT

Friday, 10th December, 2021 (12:50 UTC) - Friday, 10th December, 2021 (13:50 UTC)
Conference Room 6

Organizer 1: Roman Chukov, Center for Global IT-Cooperation
Organizer 2: Yuliya Morenets, TaC-Together against Cybercrime International
Organizer 3: David Otujor Okpatuma , Friends for Leadership
Organizer 4: Mary Lou Rissa Cunanan, Suyomano

Speaker 1: Jenny Chinchilla, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Yuliya Morenets, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Dmitry Gulyaev, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Additional Speakers

The session was moderated by Roman Chukov - Representative of Russia in MAG IGF.


  • Dmitry Gulyaev - Youth Digital Ombudsperson (YDO);
  • Alexei Starikov - member of the YDO team;
  • Alim Khapov - representative of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation, member of the YDO team;
  • Emilia Zalewska - member of the Polish Youth IGF Steering Committee;
  • Oleg Abdurashitov - head of GR at Kaspersky Lab, representative of the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment;
  • Jenny Chinchilla - facilitator for the Leadership of Girls and Women with Disabilities, of Mobility International USA and Human Rights of the UNITAR;
  • David Okpatuma - member of the Board for Friends for Leadership.

Roman Chukov, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Online Moderator

David Otujor Okpatuma , Intergovernmental Organization, African Group


Mary Lou Rissa Cunanan, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Governance and cooperation for an evolving Internet: How does Internet governance need to change in order to meet the changing nature and role of the Internet? What tools, mechanisms, and capacity building instruments are needed for stakeholders to effectively cooperate, and engage in Internet governance?
Advancing global digital cooperation: What opportunities are provided by the current focus on digital cooperation resulting from the UN Secretary-General's Roadmap for digital cooperation? What role should the IGF play (and how) in advancing global digital cooperation?

In order to effectively engage in Internet governance global leaders have to adjust to new realities and establish fair and just rules of the game. In particular youth is ought to inspire and promote human rights-centered, agile and inclusive Internet governance.

IGF should carry on, at the same time ensuring relevance and efficiency of responses to arising challenges and issues that constitute a great divide in digital cooperation and present threats to the sustainable and innovative future. During this workshop we will especially focus our attention on the ways the youth can become a liaison in cooperation and contribute to the fulfillment of joint international effort to ensure sustainable and inclusive digital transformation.

Concerning the UN Secretary-General's Roadmap for digital cooperation, assurance of digital trust, global digital cooperation, digital human rights and digital inclusion is one of the main components of future digital development. Youth in particular as a focus of this workshop is to be provided with equal opportunities for digital cooperation and protection from all forms of discrimination in the Internet. Moreover, In line with the UN Youth Strategy, it is key to support youth leadership within not only the UN, but also key stakeholders by raising awareness and strengthening the capacity to deal with issues related to youth empowerment.



Targets: The workshop and its central theme deals primarily with empowerment of youth, regardless of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status (10.2), through equal access to the Internet (9.c). Inclusive and responsive decision making (16.7) as well as protection of freedoms (16.10) are the main assurance of the rule of law and strategies that will secure sustainable development (16.b). Through the promotion of the Youth Digital Ombudsperson (YDO) initiative, we aim at strengthening the existing national institutions and contributing to international cooperation, placing YDO in the frontline of the fight against cyberthreats and violence that may arise in the Internet (16.a) . However, besides the elaboration on the aims of YDO and talks of youth inclusion, this proposal will encourage multilateral discussion with the inclusion of civil society public-private partners, as it is possible to achieve universal decision only by the application of dialectical approach and acceptance of different views, including opposite ones (17.17).


The central value of the workshop is the dynamic exchange of ideas. With no doubt digital technologies and the Internet have become an integral part of our life. The Internet defines the modern world for the younger generation. However, the way we use and approach it may create new problems. Our personal data and freedom of choice on the Internet are exposed to great threats. And with the ongoing digitalisation, the cyber threats present an even greater challenge. Darknet allows crimes against humanity to stay unpunished, rewarding the worst traits of human nature, allowing for violations of human rights online and in real life.

Excessive use of Digital technologies deprives our world of uniqueness and begins to blur the boundaries between the virtual and real. Corporations establish strict Internet censorship, trying to interfere in political processes and replace laws of entire nations with corporate policy. The Internet is increasingly becoming a subject of bargaining and blackmail in politics.

However, young people around the globe are determined to make the Internet a safe and friendly environment, comfortable for each of us. In this case empowering young people and allowing them to step into the decision-making process of Internet-governance is the mandatory condition for a sustainable digital age. Therefore, the organizers of the workshop would share the experience and demonstrate a newly established institution of the Youth Digital Ombudsperson (YDO) that is to serve as mediator of relations between all key stakeholders and protect the rights and freedoms of young people on the Internet.

Election of the Youth Digital Ombudsperson became an outcome of the first Youth Russian Internet Governance Forum (Youth RIGF) in 2021. YDO is to serve as a bridge between youth, private sector, civil society, academia, technical community and government in Russia, also having an international dedication it aims at supporting the youth from developing countries that are the victims of the digital divide. Sharing our experience in digital cooperation and youth empowerment through the example of the YDO would be a great opportunity for a global youth empowerment effort. Other speakers will share their perspectives on the future formats of the global digital youth cooperation striving to realization of the SDGs and most inclusive formats to leave no one behind and achieve the future we want.

Expected Outcomes

One of the expected outcomes is the accumulation of ideas, opinions and comments from participants on the role of youth in Internet governance and importance of the YDO initiative. Moreover, this workshop would significantly assist in creating stronger ties between the IGF and its regional, national, and youth initiatives (NRIs).

Another major outcome, following the workshop would be an organisation of the Youth Digital Ombuds Forum (YDOF) in June 2022. Forum will further promote the initiative of Youth Ombuds and inclusion in decision making on the international level allowing young people from all over the world to engage in Internet governance.

Session is aimed at multilateral discussion and accumulation of ideas and concepts from speakers and the audience. Chosen format will only further the dedication to the open and freeflow debate.

Moderator will navigate the discussion and ensure that the online and offline audience as well as speakers are equally represented and have the same conditions for participation. It is also upon the moderator to assure that speakers answer the questions they receive and all interventions are on the topic being debated.

Our format and list of speakers includes people with disabilities that will not be able to participate on-site, therefore it is already considered in the organization of the workshop. Moderator will ensure that the word is given to the online participants and speakers, allowing online participants to be the first in priority for the discussion, while responding to the onsite developments.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: Mentimeter (https://www.menti.com) Session would involve instant feedback collection from the audience as a main feature. All participants, including those online, would be asked to access Mentimeter via the link and QR-code that would help to interact and allow for a quick reaction of the audience to certain aspects of discussion or answer the prepared questions.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Youth empowerment is a global trend, which is gradually becoming one of the key priority areas of international organisations. Moreover, the question of Human Rights violations, censorship and cyber crime on the internet is a major challenge that stands before global Youth and Children. Therefore there is an obvious need for new mechanics for protection and empowerment of the younger generation in a new digital age. Multi stakeholder approach

We need to create a global Youth Digital Ombudsperson institute network. The institute can mediate relations between all key stakeholders, defend the rights of young people on the Internet and build IT bridges between different countries and communities, ensuring the protection of Human Rights on the Web.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Creation of a global Youth Digital Ombudsperson institute network. The institute can mediate relations between all key stakeholders, defend the rights of young people on the Internet and build IT bridges between different countries and communities, ensuring the protection of Human Rights on the Web.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

On December 10 at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held a workshop “All we need is YOUth: connecting young people and ICT”. During which the participants of the forum were presented with a newly established in Russia institute of the Youth Digital Ombudsperson (YDO).

Youth Digital Ombudsperson Dmitry Gulyaev appealed to the UN community with the initiative to create a global network of YDO institutes. Global network of YDO would act as a mediator of relations between all primary stakeholder in order to defend the rights of young people on the Internet and build the so-called IT-bridges, creating real opportunities. “We are ready to help with word and deed: conduct master classes, share materials, methods, conduct webinars, learn new things together, exchange practices,” concluded Gulyaev.

Member of the YDO team Alexei Starikov spoke in detail about the results of the YDO work. He clarified that more than 30 thematic events were held and 600 people have already taken part in master classes on digital literacy and security. Alexey also mentioned plans to expand YDO across Russia.

The YDO presentation was then continued by the representative of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation Alim Khapov. He stated that the IGF serves as a bridge that unites generations, communities and countries across the world. Alim proceeded with emphasising the significance of Youth Empowerment track and elaborated on the prospects of international promotion of the YDO initiative and protection of Human Rights in the digital age, presenting a roadmap for global Youth Empowerment track.

Emilia Zalewska, member of the Polish Youth IGF Steering Committee, who was also a speaker at the session, supported the idea of ​​globalizing the Institute of the Youth Digital Ombudsperson. She stressed that it is important for young people to know that they really have the opportunity to influence the global digital processes and have their voices heard.

Oleg Abdurashitov, Head of GR at Kaspersky Lab, has also participated in the discussion. He spoke about the recently created Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment, a voluntary alliance of Russian technology companies. He presented the Alliance's recently adopted Charter on ‘Digital Ethics of Childhood’, which contains values ​​and rules of behaviour that will help create a digital environment that is safe and conducive to the development and creative self-realization of children. It is based on 5 key principles: respect for the child as an individual, shared responsibility, preserving privacy and values ​​in the online space, and an inclusive approach.

Jenny Chinchilla, facilitator for the Leadership of Girls and Women with Disabilities, of Mobility International USA and Human Rights of the UNITAR has stressed the importance of taking into consideration individuals with disabilities, when considering the necessity of protecting youth online. The word was then passed to David Okpatuma, a member of the Board for Friends for Leadership, who talked about protection of different demographic groups on the Internet and supported the previously mentioned initiative of Youth Digital “Ombudspeople”, that would help young people to safely navigate new digital environments.