Connecting Our Rights: Strategies for Progress

22 October 2013 - A Workshop on Multistakeholderism in Bali, Indonesia

Internet Governance Forum 2013

Workshop # 134 Report

Connecting Our Rights: Strategies for Progress

Organizer Name 

Liddicoat Joy

Organizer Entity 

Association for Progressive Communication

Workshop Theme 

Enhanced Cooperation

Consise description 

By 2013 over 10 different United Nations human rights mechanisms had focused on internet rights issues (women's human rights, civil and political rights, and human rights defenders). The workshop will assess these developments and the implications for global internet governance and public policy. The workshop will share and critically analyse strategies for effective monitoring of, and accountability for, internet rights violations. 
Internet rights issues have increasing profile in national, regional & global human rights mechanisms: * what new avenues for advocacy arise and how can these support good internet governance and public policy? * are there new best practices for internet governance public policy that are human rights compliant? * how can conflicting rights, such as women's rights, freedom of association and freedom of expression, best be balanced? * what new mechanisms are available to respond to internet relaed human rights and women's rights issues? * what are the emerging governance mechanisms for ensuring human rights on the internet?

Agenda 

Moderator: Opening remarks and introductions Moderator: Brief scene setting, rationale and objectives and questions Panellists: 5 minute responses to key questions based on experience in diverse human rights mechanisms: women's human rights, UN human rights, and national institutions Open dialogue: facilitated discussion with participants with focus on what is working, what isn't and how to develop better strategies. Discussion of examples, such as civil society statement to UNHRC 23 session on PRISM and call for UN HRC session on surveillance including private sector and government perspectives. Implications: suggestions for stakeholders, national institutions and linking with IGF networks nationally and regionally.

Moderator 

Chat Garcia, Association for Progressive Communications

Remote Moderator 

Grace Githaiga

Have you organized workshops at previous IGFs?

Yes

Workshop format 

Open Discussion

Workshop Transcript 

Transcript

Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions 

 

DRAFT SUMMARY

 

Workshop #134 Connecting Our Rights: Strategies for Progress
What is the impact on IG of recent developments in UN human rights mechanisms?
Panellists: Kamilia Manaf, Johan Hallenborg, Chat Ramilo Garcia, Jelen Paclarin, Joy Liddicoat

 

More detailed verbatim notes follow.

 

 

Jelen Paclarin – Context of Philippines

 

Technology-related violence against is an emerging concern and is being taken to the UN Human Rights Council in the Philippines' Universal Periodic Review. New laws are negatively impacting on women;s rights such as passage of anti-cybercrime law, which provides broad definition of cybercrime. Cybersex is considered content-related offense – women's rights groups question constitutionality of cybercrime law and had success with the Supreme Court issuing a temporary restraining order so the law does not come into force.

Working also with Committee on the Status of Women - broaden definition of violence against women - and CEDAW – WLB group recommended that look into context of ICT within general recommendation on access to justice.

ASEAN – influencing this in strategy 6: accelerate development of ICT infrastructures and services in Member States. Digital divide issues – particularly urban vs. Rural

 

Kamilia Manaf – Context of Indonesia

 

Government has ratified the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is looking at the right to access technology for human welfare. Despite law, there are violations of internet rights related to women's rights and LGBT. Example: Police sharing photos of female prisoner. Since 2011, government is blocking LGBT websites in the country, based on complaint that it is pornography, sexually deviant. Despite ratification of CEDAW, implementation in practice very different. Working to get local and international support. Internet rights discourse not on agenda for NHRI. While fighting for rights, want women's rights perspective, feel that local ISP 'Miss Internet Bali' is not supporting progress of women's rights and internet rights.

 

Johan Hallenborg – Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Noted the importance of engagement on internet rights issues at UN, including Human Rights Council. Resolution 20/8, confirms that human rights apply online, and that access is an important precondition to enjoyment of human rights. Special mechanisms also focusing internet-related issues. UPR new avenue for pursuing increased accountability of governments for enjoying HR online. UPR may be strengthened – some recommendations put forward are made for political reasons. See importance for strengthening treaty body system. In Europe: Strasbourg – jurisprudence blogging of content, Estonia vs. Delfi regarding freedom of expression online. Also important to strengthen national mechanisms.

In Sweden, trend of hate speech against women online. Group of well known female journalists raise awareness – law enforcement systems need to address comprehensively. More so than creating new laws.

 

Joy Liddicoat – APC

 

Reflection on whether and if so how IG issues are being discussed in these human rights forums. We see more violations by State and non-State actors online, with result that human rights defenders (HRDs) are needing to use variety of mechanisms. Existing standards apply to internet-related issues. Bejing Platform for Action – Women's HRDs need to protect and defend. Overall, quality of consideration on these issues by special mechanisms is generally high – not calling for more regulation. HRDs not calling for new IG mechanisms. Not at point of critical mass.

13 Principles aid for how existing human rights standards apply to surveillance and rule of law. Desire within HR spaces to engage on IG issues. However need to consider that these spaces are multi-lateral, not multi-stakeholder. IG mechanisms, IRP Charter, can inform HR mechanisms and forums.

 

 

Questions to address:

How can HR standards and mechanisms can respond to growing levels of hate speech?

 

Participants expressed frustration with private companies in terms of how respond to these cases. NHRI in South Africa case studies, need to share best practices. GR28 of CEDAW outlines issues – needs to be raised in this space, and in UPR. ASEAN CS work together in processes to raise issues.

 

Bishaka (PoV) – comment on hate speech: in India IGF, panel on hate speech: called every instance of criticising politician 'hate speech'. In public discourse, used out of context. Stuck between government policy and private sector policies. Terms of Use policies – how adhere to HR standards?

 

UNESCO – governments need capacity-building to address these issues, including also privacy. Need to harmonize human rights

 

Johan – risk when use word 'hate speech' – leadership in international law. What is the definition. Need to focus on rights language, rather than ethics. In using FB, contractual relationship, may give up some f/x rights to use platform.

 

Gigi, FH – example of reddit culture – hateful comments against Sikh woman, she responded, and conversation. More speech as a response to hate speech

 

Joy: the discourse of “more speech” .... it often leaves out power structures and analysis about who can respond.

 

Valentina – Article 29 – limitaions are permitted on grounds of morality, general welfare, but morality enters legislative discussion.

 

Mike Godwin (Internews) – governments react to social adoption of the internet by passing prohibitions. Positive rights guarantees, expressly recognising internet-related human rights as baseline.

 

Nisa – 2008 Law on Internet and electronic communication used to criminalise bloggers, no enforcement of cybercrime legslation- how create law that protects but does violate rights.

 

Best way to counter hate speech is to collaborate beyond traditional alliances, including law organizations, religious groups, so that other organizations can step in. Make a rights issue.

 

Patu, organisation for women live with HIV. Lack of information – need internet to get normalisation, live without discrimination.

Jelen – cybercrime law, major contentation: cyber sex (what is the crime?) Expansion of morality here.

Migrant workers in Philippines engaging in cyber sex with partners abroad included (government says no – but need to be clear with what language is used, langauge is very powerful, in standard setting). Working with other CS groups to why cyber sex law is not OK.

 

Joy – governments responding out of fear and opportunity (to regulate, extend reach into content and expression). Access to justice, and ability to respond to hate speech with more speech mediated by so many things, including gender, income, position, knowledge, etc. Essential for NHRIs and law enforcement to engage in capacity-building so that can respond effectively. Need multiple strategies, share strategies.

 

Kamel - digital AIDs application – help give information to community that not always comfortable to ask for information in public.

 

Johan – reinforce importance to minimise gap between digital rights activists and HRDs. Baselines: 20/8 and GNI

 

 

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and further comments 

 

SOME CONCLUSIONS:

 

  1. Women’s rights organisations are really leading internet rights advocacy – and their experience, leadership and expertise are really critical to IR groups to listen to and understand and support

  2. Women's rights groups are calling for: equality of access, opportunities, and results. Want law which will recognise capacities of women, not just victims. Need programme for women's empowerment.

  3. Uptake of Internet related HR issues in UN HR mechanisms is growing – this is a very positive development given IR advocates concerns about HR online

  4. This is also critical now because the range of variety of Internet related HR violations by State and non-State actors is also growing and growing quickly and the implications for Internet governance.

  5. Overall, the quality of consideration of human rights and Internet issues is high, and appears to be very mindful of the context of Internet governance and the general frameworks of how the internet operates.

  6. But the whole is not yet greater than the sum of its parts as consideration falls to be picked up topic by topic and not in any holistic way.

  7. The range of rights related considerations is growing: freedom of association, women’s rights, racism, cultural heritage: but next big push needs to be economic, cultural and social rights

  8. HR mechanisms are not multi-stakeholder, but are gradually increasing the inputs and involvement of diverse stakeholders eg the technical community (ISOC) and private sector (Business and HR) – but more connections are needed

  9. Internet governance mechanisms are not in general a direct topic of discussion by HR mechanisms eg in relation to mass surveillance the concern is the rule of law, not internet governance

  10. HRD are not asking for new IG or HR mechanisms for dealing with Internet related human rights issues, but rather asking how existing HR standards can apply

  11. Multi-stakeholder networks are well placed to assist eg with principles of surveillance – and Charters will be needed next such as the Dynamic Coalition's Charter of Internet Rights and Principles along with International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (www.necessaryandproportionate.org ) .

  12. HR mechanisms need the inputs of those with expertise and knowledge of IG = what advice and support can the IGF offer?

  13. Expanding of public discourse of rights as one of strategies which is essential to empower not only users, but different activist organisations.

 

Reported by 

Joy Liddicoat

Estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session 

The majority of participants were women

To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment? 


It was one of the main themes of the session

Discussion affecting gender equality and women's empowerment 

Erotics Indonesia – Ms Internet Bali ignored multiple identities of women. Internet is seen as safe space because women come from different background. Hate speech and violent language target women, sexual minorities. Need to ensure government is accountable to citizens. FB used to share campaigns on LGBT issues, but growing violence, cyberbullying and hateful speech in this and other online spaces.

Jelen Paclarin – Context of Philippines

 

Technology-related violence against is an emerging concern and is being taken to the UN Human Rights Council in the Philippines' Universal Periodic Review. New laws are negatively impacting on women;s rights such as passage of anti-cybercrime law, which provides broad definition of cybercrime. Cybersex is considered content-related offense – women's rights groups question constitutionality of cybercrime law and had success with the Supreme Court issuing a temporary restraining order so the law does not come into force.

Working also with Committee on the Status of Women - broaden definition of violence against women - and CEDAW – WLB group recommended that look into context of ICT within general recommendation on access to justice.

ASEAN – influencing this in strategy 6: accelerate development of ICT infrastructures and services in Member States. Digital divide issues – particularly urban vs. Rural

 

Kamilia Manaf – Context of Indonesia

 

Government has ratified the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is looking at the right to access technology for human welfare. Despite law, there are violations of internet rights related to women's rights and LGBT. Example: Police sharing photos of female prisoner. Since 2011, government is blocking LGBT websites in the country, based on complaint that it is pornography, sexually deviant. Despite ratification of CEDAW, implementation in practice very different. Working to get local and international support. Internet rights discourse not on agenda for NHRI. While fighting for rights, want women's rights perspective, feel that local ISP 'Miss Internet Bali' is not supporting progress of women's rights and internet rights.


 

Workshops Staticals 
Number of FEMALE participantsNumber of MALE participantsNumber of Young participantsNumber of Developing Countries ParticipantsNumber of Developed Countries ParticipantsNumber of LDCs participantsNumber of TOTAL Participants
24 11 7 0 0 0 35