A plan for rights-respecting telecoms

8 November 2012 - A Workshop on Human Rights in Baku, Azerbaijan

Agenda

With great new powers over information dissemination and communications networks, telecom companies are facing new responsibilities to governments, customers, and investors. Several efforts are underway to provide a human rights framework, including to adapt the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to the telecoms sector. Discussing the Telco Action Plan, the Industry Dialogue and other ongoing multistakeholder efforts like the Global Network Initiative, this workshop will further the theme of “Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development.” Restrictions on users’ fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy have direct implications for development, innovation and confidence in online commerce, education, and public discourse. Telecoms will shy away from working environments where they are constantly bombarded with unreasonable and rights-restricting requests from governments, further leaving those countries in a digital backwater. This discussion will help map the options for sustainable, rights-respecting service and infrastructure provision by private actors in varying situations.