Human rights and principles in Internet Governance: Practical steps forwards

15 November 2009 - A Workshop on Human Rights in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt


This workshop will examine practical strategies for incorporating human rights standards into internet governance processes and policies. Building on the commitment and momentum generated amongst different stakeholders at the IGF 2008 workshop, Mainstreaming Human Rights in Internet Governance, this workshop will help individuals and internet governance organisations to take practical steps to protect and expand universal human rights within their work and activities. 

The workshop will provide an update on the progress made by different initiatives throughout the year, and explore challenges and opportunities for their continuation and expansion. Discussion will be rooted in specific contexts and case study material in order to develop practical strategies and solutions rather than only theoretical debate. The workshop will be highly interactive, inviting audience members to feed in their experiences and ideas. It will provide a space for furthering understanding about human rights and internet governance, and for fostering collaboration between stakeholders from the business, civil society and government sectors to address critical issues.

Rather than inviting a small number of panellists, discussion will initially be led by the moderator who will foster debate amongst selected discussants. The discussion will then be opened up for wider participation by audience members. Discussants will include representatives from the following broad categories of initiatives:

• International multi-stakeholder dialogue and partnership approaches ( e.g. The Global Network Initiative; Freedom of Expression Project; APC/CoE/UNECE Code of good practice on public participation).
• Intergovernmental initiatives/approaches (e.g. Council of Europe; UNESCO; UN human rights institutions).
• National level initiatives (e.g. Brazil government consultations; Kictanet, Kenya; Constitutional reform in Costa Rica and Ecuador).

A background paper examining the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches and opportunities for learning from best practice will be circulated before the workshop to provide the basis for discussion.