IGF 2022 WS #63 The Impact of Digital Citizenship on Statelessness

Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (06:30 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (08:00 UTC)
Press Briefing Room

Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 1: MOHAMED FARAHAT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: McGee Thomas , Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Albarazi Zahra , Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Grace Mutung'u

[email protected]



Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

What is the concept of digital citizenship and digital statelessness refers to? To what extend digital Statelessness could mitigate the adverse impact of Statelessness? How digital citizenship could ensure access stateless persons to their rights and to what extent it ensures their civic and political participation within the society? what is the pre-condotion of digital citizenship?

Connection with previous Messages: The role of digital citizenship in mitigate the adverse impact is directly build IGF 2021 Messages about Economic and Social Inclusion and Human Rights which emphasize on Adequate enabling environments (e.g. policies, legislation, institutions) need to be put in place at the national, regional and global levels to foster inclusive, just, safe, resilient and sustainable digital societies and economies. Furthermore Digital IDs and financial inclusion solutions could contribute to fostering meaningful participation in the digital economy and society. Public actors are encouraged to create or upgrade digital ID ecosystems and put in place normative frameworks to ensure that these ecosystems are inclusive, human rights respecting, and interoperable. Regulators and the private sector are invited to support a more extensive use of technologies as a way to achieve sustainable development and drive digital inclusion. As one of the important component of digital citizenship is meaningful access to internet and connectivity of all people including Stateless persons , consequently the workshop directly build one IGF 2021 message about the Universal Access and Meaningful Connectivity to Ensuring that all people -including Statelessness -everywhere have meaningful and sustainable access to the Internet must be a priority. Access to the open Internet is key for bridging the digital divide, as well as fostering democracy and human rights.



Targets: Target 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.Target 16.9: By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration. Target 16.9 is relevant to the prevention and reduction of statelessness through the provision of birth registration, and in certain cases, nationality documentation, which are both examples of proof of legal identity Goal 9.c, which aims to ‘significantly increase access to ICT and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’. The Internet will also be essential for the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. The proposed session and topic is directly to above mentioned SDGs


Could Digital Citizenship solve Statelessness problems ?. Statelessness should not be an obstacle that prevents stateless persons being digital citizens and harvest its benefits , and official nationality should not be required to enable a person to belong to digital society and interact and access basic services virtually. However, facilitating access to the internet and empowering stateless persons digitally still constitutes a major challenge, especially the lack of digital ID. Emergence of internet has associated with gradually changing in our traditional life and practice. With ICT revolution all our life become digitalized, and all activities linked to word “digital” digital -commerce, digital –economy, digital-governance, digital -democracy, and digital citizenship etc. Everything becomes has two faces offline face and online one. The citizenship is one of concepts has affected by digital revolution as well as other concepts. All citizenship rights and practices become digitalized and lay on access to internet. As a result, the traditional citizenship de facto transformed to digital citizenship. With admit the debates around the definition of citizenship, this proposal will examine to what extent the digital citizenship could mitigate the adverse impacts of statelessness and ensure stateless person have access to their fundamental rights such as education, work, access to information and access to internet and to be connected in advance. The lack of nationality and consequently ID documents deprive stateless persons of access to basic services such as education and health care as well as formal access to digital rights and internet connectivity. The consequences of statelessness can be far-reaching, as UNHCR notes: ‘Stateless persons often have limited recourse to basic rights and are not able to access a range of services such as education and medical care. They may not be able to legally work, own property, or travel domestically and overseas’ (UNHCR 2020). There are around 1 billion people who are unable to establish their legal identity, half of them located in Africa. This issue affects stateless persons as well as other vulnerable groups (Identification For Development (ID4D) 2020). According to UNHCR, ‘Côte d’Ivoire is home to one of the largest populations of stateless people in the world’ (UNHCR 2021: 13).

Expected Outcomes

The organizers of this session academy working on the topic, so this session is a step to publish article in this topic and do in deep analysis of this issue specially this topic is understudied. Also this session is consider as anticipated step for more events whether on regional level or international level. the organizers strive to have a series of events address this issue. the other events in the future will be build on the outcome and findings of this session. in addition , literature review reveals a lack of studies or absence of it totally, therefore , this session discusses the link and relationship between tech realm and Statelessness studies. which will be discussed for the first time in global IGF

Hybrid Format: The purpose of the session is to be very interactive yet informative. The duration of the session will be 90mins down in the following: 5mins opening remarks/introduction from speakers 45min panel discussion with moderator probing 35min open floor discussion with periodic intervals for remote participants After the first (2) intervention will open the first question round for 15 min. After the second (2) intervention will open the second and final questions round for 20 min. 5mins opening closing remarks/key message from speakers The organizers ADRN and Hawiati , have their own social platforms such as twitter , Facebook and linked in , the organizers will disseminate the information about the session among the member of their network which will have impact to attract persons from IG community and Statelessness community to participate and interact in this new topic

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.