IGF 2023 WS #312 Ensuring Equitable Internet Access: A Fundamental Right

Subtheme

Human Rights & Freedoms
Non-discrimination in the Digital Space
Rights to Access and Information

Organizer 1: Phyo Thiri Lwin, 🔒yIGF Myanmar
Organizer 2: Jenna Fung, 🔒
Organizer 3: Pavel Farhan, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)
Organizer 4: Stella Anne Ming Hui Teoh, NetMission.Asia

Speaker 1: Peter Micek, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Jennifer Chung, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Frei Sangil, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Dessalegn Mequanint Yehuala, Technical Community, African Group

Moderator

Stella Anne Ming Hui Teoh, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Pavel Farhan, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Rapporteur

Phyo Thiri Lwin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Format

Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1.How could we advocate equitable Internet access as a fundamental right from the grassroots level to the higher?
2.What policy measures and frameworks can be implemented to promote affordable internet access, considering factors such as innovative funding mechanisms?
3.What strategies and partnerships can be established to address the gender digital divide and promote equal access to the internet for women and girls, considering socio-cultural barriers, affordability issues?
4.How can policy interventions ensure non-discriminatory access to the internet while assuring for stakeholders collaboration to the infrastructure challenges and universal internet access, particularly in underserved, rural areas?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will get a chance for understanding the issues to address challenges, affordability barriers, and the need for the people. The session will also delve into the intersection between internet access and human rights, access to information, and participation in the digital society. Also, the participants will also get knowledge about potential solutions how the speakers are sorting out to help their communities, and also perspectives on ensuring equitable internet access as a fundamental right.

Description:

The goal of this session is to highlight the need for policies, strategies, and initiatives that promote inclusive access, bridge existing gaps, and ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age. The speakers will be invited to discuss the importance of universal, affordable, and non-discriminatory access to the Internet. The speakers will be invited from different regions around the world and from different stakeholders such as the technical community, civil society, government, and youth. This session will focus on the critical issue of universal, affordable, and non-discriminatory access to the Internet as a fundamental right, with a specific emphasis on its significance for human rights. The session will bring together diverse stakeholders to explore the challenges and opportunities in ensuring equal access to the Internet, particularly for underserved and marginalized communities these days.

Expected Outcomes

Our objective is to convey a message regarding the crucial importance of equitable Internet access as a basic right, particularly in light of the escalating accessibility issues worldwide. Additionally, we aim to enhance comprehension of these issues, foster collaboration among various stakeholders for identifying effective strategies, and formulating actionable plans to promote equitable Internet access and bridge the digital divide. A summary report of the session will be published on the NetMission.Asia website and distributed through the APrIGF and IGF mailing lists. We anticipate that this comprehensive report will support in addressing the challenges and increasing the support to underserved, rural, and crisis-affected areas, while encouraging flexibility and solutions from diverse stakeholders.

Hybrid Format: The 2023 IGF will be a hybrid event, meaning that participants can participate fully, to the extent possible, whether onsite or online. Also, we will have a mix of speakers who can join onsite and online, at least two speakers will be onsite in Kyoto. We will make to ensure that any session speakers or organizers who will be participating online have sufficient connectivity to participate in a hybrid session as well as video participation capabilities based on their convenience.
- Introduction and Welcome (5 minutes)
- Opening Statements (15 minutes)
- Guided Discussion (60 minutes)
- Q&A Session (10 minutes)
-Closing Remarks and Wrap-up (5 minutes)