IGF 2021 WS #73 Digital Rights and Responsibilities: from Local to Global

Time
Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (14:05 UTC) - Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (15:35 UTC)
Room
Conference Room 1+2

Organizer 1: Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Joana Barbany, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Alejandro Kemp, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Christina J. Colclough, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Cristian Lago, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

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?
Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities: What are/should be the responsibilities of governments, businesses, the technical community, civil society, the academic and research sector and community-based actors with regard to digital inclusion and respect for human rights, and what is needed for them to fulfil these in an efficient and effective manner?

  1. Digital policy and human rights frameworks. The proposal seeks to address the following main issue: how to continue defending human rights given the new circumstances of the digital age? Human rights accepted thus far require updated implementation in their digital version, while keeping in mind the prospect of expanding fundamental freedoms to help construct emerging rights. It is an issue that has been and is being approached from all over the world, with efforts to bring the established international frameworks to the local, regional and national context. The challenge is how to address it and govern it globally, with empowered citizens. To tackle this challenge, with this session we aim to motivate a global proposal based on a local experience. We would share with the community how Catalan society is contributing to the Charter for Digital Rights and Responsibilities from Catalonia, an open innovation project to promote a legislative and democratic framework to guarantee human rights in the digital age. The first draft of the Charter was prepared by a group of people from various sectors of society: activism, business, public administration, law, international relations, research. Their proposal has been and will continue to be revised, amended and improved by local and international peer review and citizen participation.
     
  2. Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities. In this session we would discuss the distribution of responsibilities. We would argue that to enjoy any right, public authorities and institutions need to be accountable to citizens for its effective deployment. Thus, governments should be responsible for providing all required and auditable means to that end, and to ensure an adequate communication and the necessary training to make the rights easily accessible in a short time and understandable for all citizens. Furthermore, governments are responsible for demanding these guarantees from the stakeholders involved. We would see how citizens play an active role and are not only managed. It is a responsibility to enable citizens to exercise their right to be co-participants. Everyone should always be given the chance to participate in taking decisions that affect them. The session would provide arguments on how digital age can facilitate this citizen empowerment. We would also address what is stated in the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011): «the role of business enterprises as specialized organs of society performing specialized functions, requires them to comply with all applicable laws and to respect human rights».
SDGs

17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: In Goal 17 United Nations promote the establishment of partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society at a global, regional, national and local level: «strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development». The conclusions of this session would be shared with the community, and it would be suggested to form a very diverse group of people to develop a methodological proposal, which could be presented during the next IGF.

 

Description:
How to continue defending human rights given the new circumstances of the digital age? This has been and is being approached from all over the world, with efforts to bring the established international frameworks to the local, regional and national context. The challenge now is how to address it and govern it globally, with empowered citizens. With this session we aim to motivate a global proposal based on a local experience: the Charter for Digital Rights and Responsibilities from Catalonia. It is an open innovation project, in constant construction, based on the premise that everyone should always be given the chance to participate in taking decisions that affect them. The workshop aims to argue how digital age can facilitate this citizen empowerment, discuss stakeholder roles and responsibilities and initiate collaborative work to address the global challenge.

Moderator and Rapporteur:
Maria Galindo. She advises the Government of Catalonia on International Digital Policies. She has a degree in Economics and a master's degree in Public Administration. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. She was Manager of the Barcelona Institute of Technology Foundation and Barcelona Smart City for 4 years. She coordinates an international Advisory Board that contributes to the Charter for Digital Rights and Responsibilities from Catalonia.

Speakers:
Joana Barbany. She is the Director General for Digital Society of the Government of Catalonia. She has a degree in Journalism and a diploma in Business Sciences. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Her professional career has focused on digital communication and strategic and organizational consulting.

Alejandro Kemp. He is the former Executive Director of the Salvador Allende Foundation in Chile. He is also the promoter of El Meu Primer Vot ("My First Vote", in Catalan), an NGO that contributes to highlighting, through the use of methodologies and tools both in the digital and face-to-face field, the opinion of children and adolescents around issues that affect or interest them.

Dr. Christina Jayne Colclough. Founder of The Why Not Lab. She is a member of the steering committee of the "Global Partnership on IA" and a member of the advisory committee of the new Carnegie Council program: AI and Equality Initiative. In addition, she is a member of the OECD expert group One AI, and is affiliated with the FAOS, the Center for Labor Relations Research at the University of Copenhagen.

Cristian Lago. Human rights activist for people with functional diversity and entrepreneur who has created two start-ups in this field. He has advised the Government of Catalonia when legislating on functional diversity. He has also advised Barcelona City Council and the Association of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of Catalonia (PIMEC) on social inclusion. He has worked with third sector entities and is part of the Social Council of the Autònoma Solidària Foundation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is Head of Research, Development and Innovation at ECOM.

Online Facilitator:
Arnau Serra. Digital Social Innovation Facilitator. He works at the Ministry of Digital Policies of the Government of Catalonia.

Moderator, Speakers and Online Facilitator will all participate online.

 

Expected Outcomes

The session is conceived as a space for participation where the contributions of both speakers and attendees serve to learn how to foster, on a global scale, citizen empowerment and multistakeholder governance to defend and construct human rights in the digital age. The conclusions of this session would be shared with the community, and attendees would be invited to form a diverse group of people to work collaboratively to develop a methodological proposal, which could be presented during the next IGF.

 

Agenda:

15.05  Introduction by Ms Maria Galindo, the Moderator, presenting the speakers and describing the nature of the session and the expected outcomes.

15.15  Intervention of the Vice-President and Minister of Digital Policies and Territory of the Government of Catalonia, Mr. Jordi Puigneró.

15.20  Discussion with: Ms Joana Barbany, Mr Alejandro Kemp, Ms Christina J. Colclough and Mr Cristian Lago.

16.10  Open participation: Anyone attending the session can make an observation or address a question to the round table or to a particular speaker.

16.30  Closing: The Moderator, acting as Rapporteur, summarizes the session's remarks.

 

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.

 

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Universal access to Internet with universal education in skills (encouraging the most human ones, like creativity, music) and capacity building (to face, for instance, algorithmic influencing), to deliver an inclusive social-purpose digital revolution, under the values of accountability, responsibility and liability from all stakeholders, and commitment and strong leadership specially from public authorities.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Under the values of accountability, responsibility and liability, all stakeholders, with the commitment and strong leadership of public authorities, should promote a set of global conventions related to digitalisation putting technology to the need of our planet and our people, aiming for a Universal Declaration of (Digital) Human Rights.

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

 

The session Digital Rights and Responsibilities: from Local to Global took place the day before of the celebration of Human Rights Day. It was on December 10th, in 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Times change and require renewed consensus that take into account the new circumstances. Human rights and fundamental freedoms accepted thus far need to be continuously defended and expanded. This idea was present throughout the discussion.

The Charter for Digital Rights and Responsibilities from Catalonia

The Government of Catalonia, organiser of the session, coordinate the development of the Charter for Digital Rights and Responsibilities from Catalonia, an open innovation project, under constant construction, that aims to define a legislative and democratic framework to guarantee human rights in the digital age.

During this workshop, the multistakeholder governance model of the Charter was explained, as well as what the Government of Catalonia does regarding digital rights included in the proposal, such as universal access to the Internet, and the promotion of digital talent and innovation, especially among girls and women.

Young people have the right to be heard

The round table also featured reflections on the role of the younger generations in the digital age. In this this sense, the case of how Chilean adolescents were the ones who started the social and political process of a new Constitution was presented.

Chilean high school students have an historical interest in influencing the social reality of their country. This time they used ICT, but long before cell phones, an important part of Chilean adult society have constantly encouraged them to have a collective opinion.

Young people, all around the world, should be able to have their own voice heard.

Digital rights and the future of work

The session also served to collect proposals regarding digital rights and the future of work. Emphasis was placed on the need for capacity building to face, for instance, algorithmic influencing, still not covered enough by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The importance of universal education in not only digital skills, but also encouraging the most human ones –like creativity or music making– was highlighted.

Participatory algorithmic design was defended as well: workers should be included in the process of designing and decision-making around algorithm-based systems that affect them.

Functional diversity in the digital age

People with functional diversity are one of the groups most affected by the digital divide, and their life experience is hardly comprehended. In this sense, it was stressed out that they must participate not only in the discussion on human rights, but also in the design and development of ICTs.

Not to leave anyone behind and deliver an inclusive social-purpose digital revolution was one of the key takeaways of the session.

A Universal Declaration of (Digital) Human Rights

The workshop concluded with this call-to-action: under the values of accountability, responsibility and liability, all stakeholders, with the commitment and strong leadership of public authorities, should promote a set of global conventions related to digitalisation putting technology to the need of our planet and our people, aiming for a Universal Declaration of (Digital) Human Rights.