IGF 2022 Town Hall #96 Safeguarding human rights with a free and open internet

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (14:30 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (15:30 UTC)
Banquet Hall A

Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min


In today’s world, it is important that everyone has internet access without discrimination; as the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet states in Article 1, without access to the internet, all other online rights cannot be enjoyed. The Internet is now considered a critical resource that has transformed the way people connect, trade, access health and education, and work, just to mention a few. The Internet and the applications that run on it, especially social media, have created an avenue that amplifies basic fundamental human rights enshrined in many national constitutions. The internet for instance helps people to exercise their rights to freedom of speech and expression through various social media platforms and other public services. Likewise, people are able to exercise their rights to associations, information etc. The transformative power of the Internet for the enforcement of basic fundamental human rights which most national governments subscribe to is, therefore, one that all must safeguard. Some of the policy questions we seek to address in the session include the following;

How can internet access be made viable for everyone?

What can stakeholders do to make true commitments, such as those in the SDGs, from public and private power holders to ensure the internet is affordable and easy to access?

How will a free and open internet help safeguard fundamental human rights and freedoms of citizens?

In what ways can governments demonstrate commitment in ensuring an open, free and accessible internet for all?

We expect the session would help identify what the major challenges or barriers governments face in ensuring an available, open and accessible internet for all and how those challenges could be overcome.

1. Online participants will be encouraged to access internet remote hubs and private internet connections to fully participate. The link will be on the IGF website with access to registration. Online attendees will participate with onsite attendees in the best possible scenario. There will be an onsite moderator and an online moderator. Reminders will be sent out and flyers will be posted as a reminder to join the session. If there are room changes the online and onsite and planning team will notify the attendees online, by social media and any other ways to secure full participation. The organizer will follow the IGF website diary to ensure that changes are well noted well before the session. Those onsite should have access to flyers, there should also be available in the flyers and the exhibition hall. Attendees will have a full diary so our marketing strategy must be in the interest of acquiring full attendance.

2. Online participants will not only have access to an online moderator but will have reminders sent out to them via social media. Links to the IGF will be posted regularly in the IRPC newsletter, social media and from the organizers, onsite participants will play a great part in updating organizers as well as speaking to registrants via chat. We will encourage online participants to clear their diaries, join a remote hub, or attend an internet cafe if they do not have full access to internet connections. We will also advise alternate connections for the duration of the IGF and guide those less fortunate to apply for IGF funding to set up networks. This will be done before registration when we will send out a newsletter with links to IGF funding and guidelines on how to use the website, we will encourage participants to join the training sessions set up by the secretariat, with registration links. Our newsletters will be monthly, in June, July, August, September October, with a special November issue. Reminders are so important to the process with dates and links included.

3. Whilst we plan to rely mainly on the tools that will be provided by the IGF, we intend to use the mail list platform of the IRPC to encourage members to log into the session and engage. We also intend to use our Twitter handle @netrights and a hashtag to post out on Twitter to get people to follow the session in real-time.


Internet Rights and Principles Coalition - UN IGF
Jacob Odame-Baiden, EGIGFA, Civil Society
Minda Moreira, IRPC, Civil society
Dr. Dennis Redeker, University of Bremen, Academia
Marianne Franklin, Academia
June Parris, Civil Society
Meri Baghdasaryan, Civil Society


Felicia Anthonio, #KeepItOn Campaign Manager -Access Now. | Civil Society | Africa Stakeholder Group

Dr. Xianhong Hu, Programme Specialist, UNESCO | Intergovernmental Organisation 

Mohamed Farahat, IRPC SC Member & Regional Coordinator for the MENA Region | Africa Stakeholder Group

Radhika Jhalani, Legal Counsel & Researcher, Software Freedom Law Center, India | Civil Society

Onsite Moderator

Raashi Saxena, IRPC co-chair

Online Moderator

Jacob Odame-Baiden


June Parris


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Targets: The proposal has direct linkage the SDG targets. For instance it has a linkage with goal 9 in the sense that a reliable technology infrastructure which is open and accessible always will foster development in developing countries and also help guarantee human rights. In relation to goal 16b, this proposal will promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies whether online or offline for sustainable development.