IGF 2023 WS #265 State-led Transnational Repression and Human Rights


Human Rights & Freedoms
Rights to Access and Information

Organizer 1: Coca Nithin, Unfilitered.Coop

Speaker 1: Sither Lobsang Gyatso, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Tong Athena, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Coca Nithin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Coca Nithin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Coca Nithin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Coca Nithin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

What is transnational repression, and why it is a concern for global digital and human rights?

Pervasive digital surveillance and the risk of state's retaliating against family members, friends or a community is forcing many potential whistleblowers or sources to be silent?

What is the responsibility of member states in which these repression occurs and how do you hold accountable those member states responsible for such repression?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Our panel will highlight the human impacts of transnational repression, providing attendees with a more grounded understanding of what is happening to refugees, exile communities, and activists around the world. We'll then explore what can be done at the international level to protect vulnerable communities and hold those accountable for harming their digital human rights.

After the panelists provide short presentations, we want to create a space for participants to speak and share their concerns, ideas, and experiences as well.


Pervasive digital surveillance. Sophisticated spyware. Incessant hacking. For human rights defenders and refugees, even distance is no longer a protection from the growing reach of authoritatian regimes, as governments use the power of technology to expand transnational repression around the world.

During our panel, we'll focus on.

- How authoritarian regimes are making it harder to verify human rights abuses from abroad by censoring and limiting data access, or criminlizing those who dare to share information across borders.

- Case examples of transnational repression and how it is impacting refugees, exile communities, and civil society.

- How to defend communities against transnational repression.

- The need for a framework to protect digital rights and ensure the safety of human rights defendors.

- How the use of a "counter-terror" or "national security" is often used to limit access to information and the digital space.

Expected Outcomes

We want this to be the start of a broader discussion on the risks and concerns around transnational repression. Loomio.org, a online, open source decision-making platform, will be used to decide on the next steps during the roundtable.

Hybrid Format: Two of the panelists and the organizer will be in-person, and additional participants will be virtual The organizer will manage both the in-person and online components.

We'll use Meet.coop, a cooperative platform, to organize the online session. Meet.Coop has specific tools that allow for more collaboration and easier sharing of materials digitally. For questions, we'll ask all participants, both in-person and virtual, to use Slido.com, which allows participants to rank questions as well, ensuring that we focus on the discussion most relevant to all attendees.

We may also use a tool like Loomio.org, which allows large communities to come to decisions quickly and equitably, and also provide a platform for future collaboration.