Internet and Human Rights have come to the fore of local and international policy discussions in recent years and month. The relationship between Internet and Human Rights has become increasingly intricate, shedding light on the organic relationship the open and global nature of the Internet and the ability of people to exercise some of their most fundamental rights. In many instances, threats to the Internet model of development have become threats to individuals' rights such as freedom of expression and opinion or freedom of association.
During the IGF MAG meeting held in May 2012 in Geneva, several ways to develop the cross-cutting issues (human rights and development) were proposed. Particularly, the group in charge of structuring the Taking Stock and the Way Forward session suggested that the second part of the session includes feedback from the cross-cutting
themes which could be developed through round tables. It was supported by other MAG members (see transcripts MAG meeting 17 May).
Additionally, it is important to mention as a background element, that approximately 40 workshop proposals for the 2012 Internet Governance Forum make specific reference to human rights related issues, including privacy, freedom of expression, data rights, cyber security, and internet intermediary liability.
Consumer rights are a growing area of interest, including the need for transparency, regulatory oversight, and mechanisms for addressing consumer complaints. Data ownership and privacy are major issues in this area.
Human rights in relation to security is a major theme for the IGF, including cybercrime, and the tension between privacy and security. There are several proposed workshops on the protection of children and youth, as well as practical workshops on surveillance and data protection.
Developing best practices and legal frameworks is discussed in many of the workshop proposals, particularly in light of increasing restrictions on freedom of expression, and new liabilities for internet intermediaries.
Multi-stakeholderism is a cross-cutting theme in the workshop proposals, particularly with respect to determining best practices and frameworks.
Based on it, Kenya, in partnership with APC, Finland and Sweden, would like to propose the organisation of a human rights round table which look at how HR issues related to the internet were addressed in the various main sessions and workshops.
The objective of the human rights round table is to gather comprehensive feedback from the various main sessions and workshops in relation to which human rights issues were addressed by the various stakeholders and to use those inputs to feed the Taking Stock and the Way Forward session. It will help us to increase knowledge and understanding of the human rights and the internet specific concerns and challenges the various stakeholders have as well as their proposals to address them in the framework of the internet governance debate. It will also help to increase understanding of the linkages between the HR issues addressed in the various main sessions and the main IGF theme.
Themes in analysis will include privacy, censorship, intermediary liability, cybercrime, among others.
The round table will be held in a multi-stakeholder environment in which speakers/participants who took part of the various main sessions and workshops bring their perspectives in a concrete manner to feed the TSWF session and propose ways to advance the HR discussion within the IGF.