IGF 2023 WS #510 Can we effectively enact human rights in the digital space?


Human Rights & Freedoms
Digital Technologies and Rights to Health
Internet Shutdowns
Non-discrimination in the Digital Space
Rights to Access and Information
Technology in International Human Rights Law

Organizer 1: Herman Ramos, 🔒Inaglobe
Organizer 2: Harimino Lalatiana Rakotondrainibe, 🔒
Organizer 3: Mohamed Salah, 🔒Canar
Organizer 4: AVIT NDAYIZIGA, 🔒Radio-Culture

Speaker 1: Harimino Lalatiana Rakotondrainibe, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Samik Kharel, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Morales Angulo Cristina de los Angeles, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Herman Ramos, Technical Community, African Group

Online Moderator

Mohamed Salah, Technical Community, African Group


Mohamed Salah, Technical Community, African Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. How can we culturalize regional and national contexts to ensure human rights online?
B. What conceptual and paradigmatic changes are needed in human rights considering digital rights?
C. What is the state of digital human rights, which legal regulation, declaration, and law enforcement practices exist, and how are they being applied in different legal systems?
D. How to involve the multistakeholder model to ensure participation and diversity in legal, political, economic, cultural, and social, surrounding the complexity of physical reality and digital space in light of digital human rights and freedom?

What will participants gain from attending this session? This session provides a deep understanding surrounding the different perspectives from which human rights and digital technologies can be approached as two sides of a coin. Provide insight into the changes and approaches that can be used in the teaching of human rights theory in the light of digital realities and the emergence of a new generation of digital rights.
Provide a contextual analysis of human rights and freedom in digital space and can be used to conduct assessments and studies surrounding the complexity of physical reality and digital space.
The session explores the regional and local contexts and how government-enacted laws for governing digital space are vague and mostly towards curtailing the freedom of people and putting at risk their fundamental rights.
Provides a normative vision and the importance of establishing a multistakeholder approach and shift from states, and treaties between states, towards non-state actors and different stakeholders.


The proliferation of digital technologies has expanded the concept of human rights in the digital space. While the UN Human Rights Council affirms- “same rights that people have offline must also be protected online”, we are far falling behind to embed the existing fundamental rights into the digital ecosystem.
Experts say while the rights are the same, putting and practicing it in the digital ecosystem can be different. To ensure “The internet we want” and “empowering all people”, it must start with making the space safe and for this, is needed to ensure the entire digital ecosystem guarantees fundamental rights.
Many organizations have been engaged in activism and advocacy of digital rights at national, regional, and international levels. And these efforts have resulted in some cases in the development of different declarations, but declarations alone do not mean that digital rights are realized in practice.
The continued and significantly changing in digital technologies are leading to the inflation and fragmentation of the human rights framework as boundaries between actions in physical reality and digital space are gradually blurred. As a consequence, states have been increasing censorship of information online, criminalization of legitimate expression, imposition of intermediary liability, disconnecting users from Internet access, violation of privacy and data protection.
Is important in this way to analyze the concept of digital human rights and provide a paradigmatic review of human rights to consider digital “human” rights.
This session examines the state of human rights in digital space across different jurisdictions, legal regulations, and law enforcement practices in different legal systems. This session also aims to provide the necessary conceptual changes since the framework of human rights is historically not unchanging or locked, and as the current wave of internet rights declarations indicates, new rights emerge in response to new contexts and challenges.

Expected Outcomes

This session aims to provide capacity building to the participants, especially young people in order to participate in the concept change process of human rights and provide evidence of how digital rights can be ensured in various contexts.
As an outcome is expected a document and article that can be used by human rights defenders, scholars and experts, governments, civil society, and businesses as guides.
Is also expected to produce outputs in the form of blogs and commentary on social media, newspapers, and other platforms.
The experience and knowledge acquired during the session will boost to host joint events and dialogues between stakeholders around the world and communities to discuss significant changes in the concept of human rights in the light of digital rights.
This session will be a source for consultation and knowledge where participants will use the session outputs to create a resource for themselves and others.

Hybrid Format: The organizers are prepared to ensure the best possible experience for online and on-site attendees. The session is designed so that it can be an introduction, then the first part with a presentation or discussion by the speakers, and then an interaction or engagement discussion with the attendees. Then will proceed with the second part of the discussion and will finish with an interaction with all participants as this will allow to explore the topic more deeply and engage participants since every contribution is relevant.
The session is constituted by an onsite moderator that will be responsible to manage the session and the onsite attendees, gathering contributions and sharing them with the virtual attendees, and an online moderator that will be responsible to monitor the chat, questions, and any attendees who would like to contribute. Moderators will encourage attendees to ask questions, share their experiences, and collaborate in the discussion.