Internet for Democratic Participation of Vulnerable People in PublicLife: Best Practices Exchange Together against Cybercrime (TaC)

28 September 2011 - A Best Practice Forum on Access in Nairobi, Kenya

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Full Session Transcript

September 28, 2011 - 09:00AM



The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.


>> Hello.  My name is Henri Malosse.  I'm a member of EESC.  It is a body, an institution of the European Union which represents the civil society.  We are 44 coming from all part of 27‑member states of the European Union and coming from all part of various interests including ‑‑ I am actual President of ‑‑ that means workers engaged in 20 unions and ‑‑ of society.  And we are an institution and we are concerned by the European Union, Parliament and Commission on all matters and all problems.  So we are very honored and very privileged to address you and this audience on this Internet Governance Forum mainly because this was request by our friends which we are acting and promoting fight against ‑‑ I would like to address my personal thanks, my personal support to that fight and to the action.

So why are we engaged in this battle?  We are engaged in this battle because on the one hand we think that Internet, the new IT systems the way of freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of contacts.  You saw recently very positive developments in our countries.  But at the same time, it can be misused, misused by nondemocratic government, but it can be also misused by people with bad intention who could ‑‑ just thinking concerning people who we try to use this new way of communication to attract vulnerable people and mainly young people. 

Do you know that authority today worldwide ‑‑ young kids above 18 years old has been or will be, I would say, victim of a sexual abuse in the world?  And today remember case followed by aggression following contact by Internet ‑‑ is increase.  So this is a real concern for us. 

You see, the reason why we think that we should launch campaign and method in the same way to let Internet be free, free access, easy access for people but in the same time to protect the vulnerable people by the means you will probably find the right one.  And I'm sure that this workshop will help for that, with the help of European Union and with the help of Europe with the campaign to explain to the kids and to the parents how dangerous it can be if there is not some information protection and guidance on the use of Internet.

I would like to probably consider your presence and you could explain how good is this campaign and that we have done in the European Economic Social Committee is to make sure that this campaign will be first developed and promoted by the civil society, by organizations like ‑‑ big companies, whether it's 20 mills local NGOs, Internet Friends Association and so on and in the same time that European Union drives for legislation for protecting the vulnerable people and mainly the children. 

And lastly I would just say that this question is a question for all of us, all of you, of course, but all of us.  And this request of the engagement, deep engagement.  Of course of the United Nations that support this conference, the European and national government, but mainly of you ‑‑ many of the civil society; and if we can work together, we can have a world where Internet will be seen as a tool, a tool for democracy, a tool for developing friendship and relationship among all the people, fight against racism, against discrimination against ‑‑ but in the same time to be favorable, to be positive to vulnerable people and to give them this free access.  This is a world we want and a world we can doing together. 

So thank you for your invitation and you have the full support of the European Union Civil Society.  Merci beaucoup.

>> Well, this was our first recorded presentation of today's workshop.  Our second presentation will come from Sala.  I'm still not able to fully pronounce Sala's first name, I tried many times, almost a week when we met last time a couple of weeks ago and summer school.  Sala is from Fiji.  And she is well known expert on the legal and regulatory framework governing the area of commerce.  And more details about her professional background you can find in the handout of today's workshop.  You can look at it afterwards as I ‑‑ (no audio)?

>> MS. SALANIETA T. TAMANIKAIWAIMARO:  Otherwise known as ‑‑ yes.  And we heard today from the first speaker that the Internet is a catalyst for development, that it's a catalyst for growth.  And in terms of the Fiji perspective, I will be bringing to you some of the challenges that we face back home. 

And one of the things that I suppose we'll see is that a lot of the challenges are actually pretty similar in terms of access, things like access in terms of expensive retail Internet costs, infrastructure.  One of the things that Fiji actually is, it's 300 islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean.  So bringing infrastructure is quite a challenge.

But moving on, I also prepared a presentation; and if you'd like to access it, you can actually ask Wolf after the session and he'd probably show you.

The reality is there have been studies conducted by the World Bank, I refer one in 2008 which showed ‑‑ there's three economists.  They studied 120 developing countries.  And what was shown is that 10 percent increasing to broadband penetration led to direct correlation in terms of 1.38 percent jump in terms of GDP.

In terms of Internet architecture in Fiji, we have global submarine cable coming in and also satellite.  They run 5 ISPs in the country.  And if you look at the penetration rates, Internet penetration rates in terms of mobile penetration rate, fixed line penetration rate and Internet penetration rate, one of the things you'll find which is common for countries in the Pacific, Fiji particularly is, you'll see a steep rise in mobile.  In fact, it surpassed the 100 percent mark.  But when we benchmarked it to the GDP, what we found between 2000 and 2010, it really did nothing for the GDP.  Yes, it brought about communication and, you know, people are able to ‑‑ people in remote islands are able to access markets and that sort of thing, but the real challenge that underserved ‑‑ and when I say underserved communities, these are people in remote islands who can't access either the Internet or people in urban areas who can access the Internet but retail Internet price is expensive.

I referred to a session that was run yesterday in terms of the OECD report where one of the findings was for the first time, they've actually found empirical evidence to suggest the impact of IP transit costs on retail Internet costs.  And so one of the things that ‑‑ one of the reasons why I'm addressing this is the reality is:  We have marginalized communities in Fiji and around the world, and we have wonderful groups who struggle with basic access.  But what I would like to bring to the floor today:  We know the challenges but what is the solution?  Which is why we're engaging in this robust discussion and it will be good to hear interactions and in terms of finding out what are some of the difficulties?

Moving in terms of ICP policy, what I'm finding in Fiji is despite having an ICT policy, there's a general lack of capacity in some areas terms of clear empirical analysis for people, for policy writers to clearly understand the issues so this they can actually regulate better. 

And you would have heard from the opening statement yesterday where there was ‑‑ there were speaker who spoke about having an open and free Internet where people are asking for not heavy‑handed regulations but moving towards a more light‑handed regulations.  And Fiji is a country where the regulatory ‑‑ regulations are very heavy‑handed. 

Take, for example, the access deficit which is woven into our telecommunications promulgation, and it's supposed to last for three years and to be phased out.  So when this is actually not given, what we see is there's no incentive for operators to actually move into increasing infrastructure, into outlands and that sort of thing.  So it can really kill investments. 

And in the presentation that I prepared if you can access it perhaps after this session, you'll find what I prepared for you is a brief illustration on the regulatory structures in Fiji.  And I think we share similar concerns with other post‑colonial states where you'll find that often departments act in silos.  And because of that, there's a lack of cohesion.  And at the end of the day in countries which don't have a lot of resources to go around, at the end of the day vulnerable groups are actually marginalized.

So with that, I should hand over to Wolf.  Thank you, Wolf.


(no audio).

>> MS. SALANIETA T. TAMANIKAIWAIMARO:  First of all I'd like to say that ICT is dependent on energy.  And energy means it's either petroleum, so it involves shipping, you know.  And if you can power a site station if the reality is or if you don't have fiber or access, so clearly they don't have access, you know.  But one of the things with ICT is it creates the death of a distance.  Even if I'm in a remote island, if I'm accessing ICT, I can participate.  I can talk to my MPs, E‑health, all that kind of things.  But in terms of the use in Fiji, I would say access and policy, cohesion in policy.  And in terms of high retail Internet prices, I think it would be good to have an ‑‑ ISP(?)

(no audio).

>> Okay.  So first of all, thank you, Yulia, it's a pleasure to be here to participate in this discussion.  And UNESCO has been and continues to be involved in a number of projects that address the needs of vulnerable persons.

Just to highlight a couple of examples, in the area, for example, persons with disabilities, in Ethiopia, we have been working with the blind community to support the development of textbooks.  We've also been working on text‑to‑speech tools.  In the country of Djibouti and Mali, these are people who move from place to place and providing, for example, educational radio and television services and also library services, mobile libraries which are carried on backs of camels, for example.  In Nepal, India, we're locating broadcast services through gender and also making sure that gender‑sensitive issues are highlighted.

But what I'd like to talk about two projects which deal with people who are refugees.  In one case, people fleeing from one country to another because of ethnic conflicts, and the second one which looks at people who have been internally displaced because of natural disasters.

The first one is the case of Haiti.  As we know last year, the 12th of January there was a very huge earthquake in Haiti.  We had something like 2 million persons losing their principal means of shelter, so having to go to refugee camps.  We had things like epidemics, et cetera.

In terms of supporting a response, UNESCO provided, of course, clearly all of these persons, these 2 million who were displaced, they were ‑‑ they became vulnerable.  A number of responses were provided.  But the one I'd like to focus on is the establishment of mobile multimedia centers.  6 of the 1300 ‑‑ there were 1300 camps, which was really quite huge, but UNESCO decided to focus on six of them.  And in those six camps, they targeted particularly young people and supported the means of blogging for them to share experiences and also as a means of continuing their education, which of course had been disrupted due to the loss of schools, et cetera.  I see the moderator nodding, so I guess I have to wrap up.

Secondly in Tanzania, this is a project which has actually been completed which ran from about 2002 to 2009.  You may remember there was a conflict in Burundi and so because of this many people fled Burundi to the neighboring country of Tanzania to take shelter.  The project focused on a region called Angara, which is close to the border.  And three community centers were set up which had Internet connection.  Here you had two distant groups much disadvantaged persons, the refugees who were fleeing the hostilities, whatever they could carry and then the second group were the people living in the town of Angara, which is a remote town.  And people there were very poor but highly literate.  You had something like 90 percent literacy rates.  And so the intervention of providing Internet services allowed that remote community to connect with people in, for example, the main centers.  And then of course bring opportunities.

In the case of the refugees, living in the camp without anything to do, the Internet services supported part of the educational development.  So you had things like programmes for adults and also educational programmes for young people.  I'll stop here and look forward to the question and answer session.

(no audio).

>> Okay.  So one example.  So one of the things that we did as far as the blind persons, we also supported one group in creating a newspaper, a newspaper in Braille which addressed a number of social issues.  So, again, information about what's happening in society, and also things like, for example, HIV/AIDS, also talking about rights, benefits, et cetera and disseminating this.

Of course as a blind person, being able to read content about what's going on in your daily life, this is a very empowering feeling.  And of course with more information, you're better able to play an active role in your socio, cultural and also economic life of your society.  Thank you.

(no audio).

>> Thank you.  Let me start.  Less than five minutes.  Let me start with a story, a personal story.  In 1998, writing a lot about the Internet because I was young, I heard about the Internet, I heard about computers and because it was new, I started writing about it.  And what I realized was nobody will read it.  I would send to it the newspapers, I would send it everywhere, nobody would read it.  But two years later I met a professor in my department who said "okay, bring your article, one of your articles and" I give it to him and he edited and said hey rewrite it again.  And what he did was interesting.  He posted this article online and through that article been available on the Internet, my message got out there and I got an ITU fellowship to travel, I mean my first time of living in Nigeria which was a big deal for me at the time.

Now why am I telling this story?  Because at the time I was socially disadvantaged in terms of education, in terms of employment and other things.  But simply because of placing one article on the Internet, everything changed.

And bringing it back to Nigeria today, things have improved a lot, but then there's still a few gaps.  We have 44 million people online, which is about a third of the population of 150 million.  We've got about 3.8 million young people, months mostly young people on Facebook.  You got 90 million mobile phones, which is a huge number.

But apart from the side where we have the good news, which is mostly concentrated around the cities, we've got people who are in rural areas.  By the way, 70 percent of Nigerians are within the rural areas.  And even for those in urban areas, very good example of a community which is called Ajigula.  It's the most notorious slum.  And unfortunately because it is in Lagos, it has two disadvantages, first is the fact that it's a slum.  Number two is it's already expected that the young people there of opportunities.  Two problems one is in terms of crime.  I mean there's a stereotype and there's reality of crime within the region and the second is in terms of employment unemployment, actually.  So this is where I brought copies of this brochure here today which basically talks about the ‑‑ few copies at the end of the table.  I hope it can go around.  It basically tells the story of 20 young people who have gone through our training and it's very basic.  The idea is introduce them to ICTs, introduce them to how to use the Internet to communicate with the rest of the world, to improve their skills and that has changed the story.

Another story you will read here is about a young person who was told by his mother or told by a father, the father said "well you've gone through high school.  And there's only enough money to do that.  Why don't you stop and allow your younger brother, younger sister to also go through high school?  That's where your education ends" which brings a lot of ‑‑ which closes doors of opportunities to them.  And what has happened now because they know how to use the Internet, a lot of them have been able to expand the opportunity base and improve their livelihoods.  I'll stop here for now, but interesting thing is ‑‑ again my personal example earlier, but this is what we see now that regardless of the fact that these guys and ladies may be excluded socially, there's a huge opportunity in them having access not only to the Internet but understanding how to use the technologies.

(no audio).

>> Thank you.  I'm going to give an example of how we've been working with the vulnerable within with a Fiji company, northern part of Kenya.  We realise that information is power and the fact that Internet was able to actually narrow the bridge.  We were cognizant of the fact that accessibility and of course infrastructure within that part of the country was not viable for them to be able to get information.

(Skype connection lost ‑‑ redialing).

>> Access to information, we asked them to give us one person whom we could train to be able to link the issues we made through the connectivity that they were having.  So we organized them in the days that they are not busy, and we trained 10 ‑‑

(audio stopped).

(Skype connection lost ‑‑ redialing).

>> Trafficking of children from the refugee camps.  As you see international attention, even seen it as being able to get it from us.  Apart from that, we have what you call community content information center.  And through that, we partner with association in the area.  And we produce a bimonthly newspaper called region.  The name regent comes the information that the mainstream is rejected.  So of this we are able to now be able to leapfrog women's issue using the Internet into the global agenda.

But what we have realized is that the use of Internet has offered women kind of a free zone, a place where they can conduct and say what they want and at the time they want because of the convenience.  So once the information is captured through the community, it's fed to the Internet and also there's a feedback because there's two‑way form of communication.  Internet gives the freedom to have access to spaces other than the kitchen also other than the public spaces which they have.  But the challenge we have realized is that unless Kenyan women especially in the cyberspace, a new form of exclusion from the society.  So there's need for us to ‑‑ even though there's broadband, being actually happening in this country, the infrastructure is making ‑‑ can only be accessible for advanced countries, advanced centers.  But the rural communities where some of the women work with, they do not access.  The mobile phone, of course, has got almost 5 percent penetration, but they can only use it for just messaging and also mobile what we call Empresa, mobile money transfer.  But in terms of engaging effectively, it is not viable.

So we are looking at focusing on valuable community of a way of at least insuring that access to information can be realized when we have been in full connectivity through Internet.  Thank you.

>> I think as far as I can recall ...

(no audio).

>> Yes.  In 2007‑2008 when Kenya, the post election violence was taking place, we walked with the women who underwent ‑‑ worked with the women who underwent physical abuse, rape, other things.  And we partnered with Agent Action.  Those women who were especially HIV positive because of the provisions.  So we were able to work with them to make sure that we highlighted wherever they were using the mobile phones and again multimedia connectivity became a factor.  So the doctors were able to actually be able to work with them to tell them how to take their medicine.  And those who didn't have medicine, they're told where to get them.  So as a result of highlighting their voices, the doctors in this country were able to realise that there's a valuable group within the women who are HIV positive who needed Agent Action, especially access to medicine.

So the way we used the Internet and also the mobile phone as well as the radio was to make sure that the voices were highlighted, especially this valuable group which at that time nobody thought of.  Thank you.  (no audio).

>> Hello.  All of you gathered to look at the potential of using information and communications technology as an inclusion tool for vulnerable groups.  My name is John Kearns and I'm the CEO of Patras in Dublin.  I wanted to share with you our experience of helping disadvantaged groups using all the tools available to us.  In particular, I want to use a case study of one project in development to show the needs that exist in the immigrant community and how we used ICT as an aged training and, in turn, integration.  ‑‑ is an interactive startup guide for Internet entrepreneurs.  European Union Leonardo daVinci ‑‑ a web‑based information and training resource specifically for immigrant entrepreneurs.  It was developed taking into account the specific needs of immigrants and ethnic minorities in establishing a business.

The project was launched in October 2008 and ran for a total of two years during which the team devised and compiled the online training programme together with videos and exercises for potential entrepreneurs.  Drawing on materials developed previously by other EU‑funded programmes, the project aimed to address the particular needs of immigrants in getting new business off the ground.  It aimed to directly compliment face‑to‑face classroom training packages, providing additional support and compiling business plans, networking strategies and other skills.

The organizations were ‑‑ in northern island, IRS in Germany, the migrant rights' network in the UK.  The Northern Chamber of Commerce in Poland, the institute for small medium sized enterprises in ‑‑ and my own organisation, Patras in Ireland.

Patras has worked in many projects to counter the immigration barriers experienced by third country nationals into the society.

Activation measures have long been recognized as a means of helping to achieve social inclusion.  This is even more true in the case of female immigrants for whom isolation can deny both integration and activation.

Training procedures which comprise local activation measures such by other customized localisation and familiarization training can attain a double goal for full societal integration, that goal of work readiness and integration.

In our case, we used employment as the activation measure by which immigrants might achieve financial independence and better understanding of their new community. ‑‑ not only the country and family situations in which many immigrants began, especially women, find themselves, we needed access to online training which could be found through each individual's own pace ‑‑

(audio lost ‑‑)

>> EU women ‑‑ offered expertise in both business and ‑‑ it constituted an ideal platform for the development of a high quality training tool for Internet entrepreneurs.  Our tool has information training tools for new and existing businesses, consolidating current resources into one easy, accessible vehicle.  In effect, it is the perfect marriage of specific and particular needs and modern technology.

Successful business startups require energy, innovation and hard work.  But for migrant entrepreneurs, many other factors also affect their ability to get enterprises off the ground.  The shifting political and financial context, including the expansion of the European Union, the emergence of new migration patterns, and the international economic downturn demand a fresh look at the challenges facing new migrant enterprises.

Over the past Century, businesses settled by migrant communities have made an increasingly substantial contribution to many economies across Europe.  States with significant minority populations such as the UK, Germany and Sweden require a high level of entrepreneurial contribution within these and resulting to national profit.  In the UK, ethnic minorities are estimated to be 60 percent more likely to start their own business than the rest of the population, with those in Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin leading the way.  Such businesses contribute approximately 15 billion pounds to the British economy every year.  Migrant led businesses can run from community businesses with low startup costs to low economies of scale to international with high turnover and staff.  Many sharpen countries' competitive ‑‑ creating jobs.

Identifies immigrant entrepreneurs as critical in the development of the international knowledge economy, sharing expertise, skills and ideas across borders.  Many businesses founded by migrants tap into international markets, supporting technological and intellectual developments as a result.

Often referred to as national and self‑selecting entrepreneurs demonstrated by their ability to take risks by moving abroad.  On the positive side, starting a business can increase people's confidence, sense of belonging and self‑esteem in a new country.

Some migrants choose to start their own enterprise in terms of getting past a perceived or actual obstacles to employment in the mainstream job market.  But the success of new migrants in the European business world is by no means a given as substantial barriers can stand in the way of getting an enterprise off the ground.  Low levels of knowledge about the local culture and language, for example, can limit migrant's ability to migrate the business environment particularly in getting through the red tape associated with startups.  Slow self‑esteem can also be inhibitive, particularly for refugees likely to have experienced trauma or those facing short‑term immigration status.

Can also make it more difficult to secure loans from banks and other lenders.  And securing mainstream funding can also be affected by cultural and religious beliefs.  For example, the banking issue for many Muslims resulting from the belief in lending money for interest.

The increasing diversity of migrant communities living in Europe means that the business development patterns and support needs of those communities are highly differentiated.  In particular, although recent migration flows are a regular contribution to national economies, there are still ‑‑ dedicated research into the means of new migrant communities for starting a business.  In EU ‑‑ collectively competed a means analysis among migrant communities in the communities through focus groups and in the participation of online questionnaires.  Data was collected from a total of 120 participants, getting an indication of areas where particular support may be needed by migrant communities.  Those needs varied depending on participating countries.  But overall, the main areas for the need for support was indicated, included ‑‑ preparation of effective business plans, sales and marketing techniques and other business networking issues.

Other barriers they encountered were competition, bureaucratic procedures, recognition of qualifications, individual expectations, communications and social skills and access to information.

Among the advantages they saw in embracing entrepreneurship one key was they believed that entrepreneurship was a means of validation in the new country and the source of pride in their motherland.  It also was a means of integration.

Primary among their needs was that they ‑‑ seeking advice and support in their new homeland.  It appears to be a matter of pot luck as to how they encounter and access advice and support.  They had strongly voiced the need for source of information and ‑‑ that would be accessible and known about by all in their position.  That source should be as comprehensive and as comprehensible as possible given their lack of familiarity with their new business environment.

Tool is able to meet this need as easily and effectively as ICT. ‑‑ website up and running, [Inaudible] resource in order to make sure that it reaches the target audience.  EU imminent now has its own Facebook page, providing a chance to ‑‑ conversation about the opportunities and challenges faced by migrant entrepreneurs and information and links to other useful resources.

May I finish by wishing you a suck Nairobi. eye successful conference.  Thank you for your participation.

>> A very comprehensive and interesting introduction about new accesses and approaches about how to work ‑‑ empower migrant workers in different ‑‑ (audio lost).

(no audio).

>> Thank you very much for that introduction.  It's great to be here.  I want to pick up, actually, from a point that you made in your remarks in relation to the speaker before last about literacy because it illustrates a wider and more important point, I think, which is this:  Every conversation that I've taken part in ‑‑ almost every, not literally, but almost every conversation that I've taken part in around public policy in respect to the Internet is based on an unspoken assumption that everybody who uses the technology is of average intelligence, average education, average numeracy, average literacy, reasonable eye sight, reasonable hearing in some cases and of average dexterity in terms of their hands and ability to move their body in whatever way might be needed to use the device, the computer, the laptop, the console or whatever in question.

 Now, that may have been true.  I'm not certain it was true, but it may have been true in the early days of the Internet when basically the only people who used it were scientists and academics in the research community or in universities and what have you.

But now that the Internet, more or less, certainly in many of the developed countries reflects entirely the population of that country, we know very well that that is not true.  We know that within all of our countries there are substantial numbers of people for whom that description does not apply, who can't read or can't write in their own language, let alone the language of the country that they're now living in, people who have got mobility issues, who have got issues of dexterity to manipulate a mouse or manipulate a mobile phone or things of that kind.  And so we are, as it were, in relation to these types of vulnerable groups, we are still very much a fringe issue.  But the mainstream of the industry is not yet properly addressed.

And I want to give two little sort of illustrations of the kinds of things that I've been dealing with in this space.

First, the good news.  The British government did a study of the effects on children's education of having ready and convenient access to the Internet.  Now, that phrase "ready and convenient" is very important because tons and tons of people have access to the Internet over a mobile phone, but when it comes to doing your homework in your house in the evening, in the weekends, whatever, doing it on a mobile phone is not much use.  You can't see the screen properly, getting to understand the Roman Empire through a screen that's only 3 inches by 2 inches is not going to work.  Writing an essay for your homework or your project is not going to work on a mobile phone.

So the definition that we used for this study was ready and convenient access.  That basically meant at lease a laptop or computer with a proper sized screen in your home.


Because, again, every library in Britain has computers with Internet access which are free for anybody who wants to use it.  But if it Manchester is playing football on the TV, there are lots and lots of reasons why kids ain't going to make the journey.  And if you live in a remote part of the country and although Britain by and large is a density populated area, there are lots and lots of country areas and lots and lots of areas where it's not so easy to move around, there's lots of reasons why you're not going to make your way to the library or Internet cafe.  So ready and convenient access at home was the criteria.

And what the study showed, in some cases kids who had ready and convenient access at home were gaining up to two grades advantage in their examinations in school, the end of the school year compared with children and young people who didn't have ready and convenient access to the technology.

One of the consequences of this finding was that the last government -- you probably know we now have a new government, conservative government, coalition government.  The last government introduced a scheme called the Home Access Initiative.  And they spend 300 million pounds on it.  And this was to try to ensure that every child of school age had a computer, a laptop or a desktop with a broadband Internet connection at home irrespective of their parents' ability to pay.  Because when we did the studies, what we found was that poverty was the single biggest reason why children didn't have ready and convenient access to a computer at home with an Internet connection, but it wasn't the only reason, not by any means.  There was some reasons the parents didn't understand the significance or the potential usefulness of the Internet to their child doing their homework and so son.  And there were some religious groups who have misgivings and reservations about it.

 But overwhelmingly the truth was it was about poverty.  So the government created this scheme called the Home Access Initiative.  I was on the steering group that put it together.  My particular responsibility was for the security aspects of the scheme.  And as I say, they spent 300 million pounds giving out these machines.

There was a lot of training involved for the teachers in the schools and things of that kind because suddenly teachers were in the classroom confronted with the situation where every child now potentially, anyway, could be allocated projects to do using the Internet.

Up till then, they couldn't assume that because if you're a teacher in a school, you can't assume ‑‑ you couldn't then assume that every child had the same access to the Internet at home.  So they were constructing lessons in a rather schizophrenic way, in a way that suggested that kids didn't have access to the Internet because some of the kids didn't.

So the idea was to bridge that digital divide and bring every child up to the same sort of level.

Another reason, by the way, why we thought ‑‑ and I worked overwhelmingly with children's organizations, ‑‑ why we thought this was very important because apart from the educational aspects involved, if you were the only kid in the class that didn't have a computer at home, you were the only kid who wasn't on Facebook, you were the only kid who wasn't keeping up with stuff going on, you were easy to identify as the poor kid, the kid with the stupid parents or the kids from the socially disadvantaged background.  So it was not just an educational thing, there was also a social implications to it, as well.  So there were two aspects to this programme.

Now, the new government, by the way, can you wave your hand when I've got about two minutes left because I'm useless at time keeping?  The new government which is a conservative government has decided to kill that programme because it's killing all kinds of public expenditure projects.  But it preserved it for one group of children.  It's preserved it for children with disabilities, children who are classified as having special educational needs.

So although you won't qualify now for a free computer with free broadband simply on the grounds that your parents are poor, if you can show you're poor and you've got some learning disability or physical disability of some kind, the programme still exists.  And we were very, very pleased that the new government recognized the legitimacy and the value of that original scheme by continuing it in this way.

I want to now talk very briefly, okay, very, very briefly because they just waved his hand, about a particular project that I did with kids who were very, very severely disabled.

And I know you might think I'm a hard looking guy and I've seen everything and I've done everything, but this was one of those occasions when I was brought to tears by what I witnessed this particular day.  I work for an organisation that ran residential schools for children with severe disabilities.  Some of them couldn't walk, some of them couldn't talk or communicate in any way, had all kinds of mobility issues, dexterity issues.  We put a lot of money into developing IT schemes specifically for these children.  And the effect was absolutely tremendous.  I can remember being in the room one day when a parent came into the school and their child was there using a pointing stick that was attached to his head bashing out a message and making a picture with a video camera that was attached to the computer and tell their mum what they'd been doing at school that day.  That was the first time in that family's life when that child had been able to communicate in that kind of personal, intimate way about something that they had done that day in their life.  The mother was crying, the teachers were crying, I was, it was truly a tremendous thing.  And it illustrates a very important point about the technology:  It is a technology of liberation.  It is a ‑‑ technology can expand children's horizons and possibilities particularly for these vulnerable groups in ways unimaginable not that long ago.  And this is literally my last sentence.  We also know from many studies that have been done that needy children, vulnerable children also can be subject to forms of abuse and exploitation that don't exist for other groups so you have to also think about that side of things, think about that aspect when you introduce these schemes because we don't want the technology simply to be a gateway to abuse and exploitation.

>> Last sentence ‑‑ could you in two sentences share with us ‑‑ eye the exploited children, the programme ‑‑

>> Yeah.  In the UK, now, although I'm here representing the European‑wide NGO, in the UK, we have a single button.  In fact, it's run by the police.  It's linked, the police created it, but with our cooperation and support, to enable any child to report abuse.  You click on the button and it then takes you instantly to a menu of different organizations if you're feeling suicidal or depressed, there's a link straight to the Samaritans.  If you've seen what you think is illegal content, there's a link straight to the hotline.  So there's a range of different organizations ‑‑ if you're being bullied, there's a link straight ‑‑ bullying is a big issue for children with disabilities and vulnerable groups of that kind.  There's a link straight to a bullying organisation.  So we put this menu of different things together to make it easier for children to report abuse or to report issues, get help.  Suicide websites, that's been a bit of an issue from time to time.  They're all there.  The site, by the way is called  And we've encouraged all of the big websites to put that button on their own web site as well.  So we can get some uniformity about ‑‑ children shouldn't have to learn a whole new vocabulary every time they go to a new website simply to be able to report that they're in trouble.  There should be some uniformity in the presentation of that type of thing.

>> They can go to this website to report and was done by one of the study members.

>> Yeah.  In the UK, we have an organisation called Childline.  Every kid knows it.  Everybody knows ‑‑ it was originally a telephone‑based conversation.  0800 ‑‑ everybody knows Childline.  You can also now go to Childline over the Internet, but it's set up in such a way because if it's your mum or your dad that's abusing you or your big brother or somebody, you don't want them to know necessarily by looking at the history folder in your browser that they've been to that website.  So it automatically wipes any trace or history of you having visited it.  So this is to allow children to feel confident that if they go to the websites to report something, nobody will be able to find out that that's what they've done.

>> Subject of exploited children and exploited persons.  I would like to move on to the legal perspective, to the legal part and to discuss how we can protect, legally protect vulnerable groups of people.  Would you say that these vulnerable people through Internet fragile concerning Internet danger?  So I would like to move to professor ‑‑ with university and could you please maybe share your experience.

>> Thank you very much Julia for the invitation.  Vulnerable people of crimes on the Internet and offenders what are the consequences.  John already mentioned on the point of victims that vulnerable people are a target group that are specifically targeted by offenders.  We see that a number of people, vulnerable people don't ‑‑ did not build up the protection instruments that others do.  So we see people, especially among minors that have developed skills to ‑‑ threats of the Internet.  We found others.  Vulnerable people are the people who did not build the protection.  So therefore the ability to prevent crime, which is more important than fighting crime.  If you can prevent crime, you can stop people from being harmed.  So the ability ‑‑ and this can include legal matters to prevent crime.  And if you cannot prevent it, to at least investigate crime and make sure that the same offender is not committing further crimes and is a very important aspect when we want to protect vulnerable people.  So therefore it is certainly a comprehensive approach that is necessary coming from educational aspects to legislation and enforcement and the topics that I'm covering as a law professor are really limited.  However, I think it's important that we include this in the debate. 

And the second point I would like to mention is vulnerable people as offenders, because when we look at crime statistics and I don't necessarily really believe in crime statistics, but if you look into the crime statistic, it indicates that among the offenders, especially minor offenders that are committing Internet crimes, there is a significant number of vulnerable people itself that are using this technology.  They sometimes don't actually see what they are doing. 

For example, participating in a denial of service attack is rather easy.  You download a software, you press a button and all of a sudden you're participating in such an attack.  Many of the minors believe that this is cool.  They can be part of a group, part of people that change something.  However, it is a criminal act.  And what we ‑‑ what I believe we need to do is we need to make sure that when we start criminalizing conduct on the Internet, we should be aware that that should be not overcriminallization because it could cut off people from using the Internet and it's not always about arresting people but we've seen a couple of countries that decided that one of the sanctions that could be introduced with regard to people that committed Internet crimes is to cut them off the Internet.  So you do things like one of the things that was discussed was copyright violations. 

And the point that was raised was if you are committing such a crime, your Internet connection can be completely blocked that means you cannot communicate anymore.  And I believe that this is a wrong development.  I think the Internet access for vulnerable people is an important thing.  For minors in general.  And we should make sure that the sanctions that we're introducing and the conduct that we're criminalizing does not lead necessarily to an overcriminallization.

As Germany was mentioned several times here, statistics indicate that over a quarter of the German population and around half of the Internet users are using file sharing systems and are downloading copyright protected material from the Internet.  That will be a significant number of offenders in the country.  And the question is whether we really want to go this way and say we criminalize a quarter of the society or whether we have to come to a different approach and try to think about alternative strategies.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Let me ask you.  Do you think about the legal framework for vulnerable in order to protect ‑‑

>> I think within an approach of protecting vulnerable, there might be legal measures necessary; however, when it comes to Internet crime and things like this, I think we should have a technology‑neutral approach and, as well, gender and age‑neutral approach.  So I don't see that there is any need to implement specific legal measures.  I think it is more in the question of enforcement and sanctions where we have to look into this.

>> Thank you.  Before going to the discussion, just quickly share ‑‑ and because mainly how to ‑‑ vulnerable children from schools in socially stressed and ‑‑ areas public life especially specifically the area of Internet information sites.  So we realise the frustration eye Forum in order to keep them to be there and prepared a message to the professional society leaders and ‑‑ very short one.  I would like now to share this with you ‑‑ discussion and questions.



(various voices simultaneously).



>> Presentations ‑‑ from different parts of the world from different areas, from different interpretations of vulnerability and what could be defined as a vulnerable group ‑‑ (no audio).

>> Thank you.  My name is Andre from School of economics.  Thank you for the interesting presentations especially the last one video presentation.  As an ex‑UN modelist, I think that raising awareness among youths and school children concerning the Internet Governance issue are very important.

The other issue I would like to say that we have different definitions of vulnerability, of vulnerability groups.  So in the same place, we are talking about women, children, migrants and other, I think that the problem is much more wider that because we should differentiate approaches among these groups.

The other issue I would like to raise is the issue of the information culture and the legal culture of Internet users.  For example, in some segments of the Internet, we could say that the information culture or the absence of the information culture could be in the one hand for raising vulnerability of the groups of people I would like to have just one example.  If vulnerable colleagues said that they have websites helping to prevent suicides, in Russia we have websites which assisting in suicides.


This is a real website when indicated 150 methods of committing suicide of home base.  So this is open content.  And so I'd like to raise the issue of the information culture of the Internet users which is very important in issue of assisting vulnerability groups.  Thank you very much.

>> (no audio).

>> Thank you so much.  I think, do you have other comments?  Please.  (no audio).

>> User content there and policies to be able to do that but also access to the infrastructure.  This in Europe may not sound terribly important or America, I come from Guatemala, a Latin American country, and the concerns are proximate the poorest villages did not even have Internet service.  So it's very important ‑‑ and the international community be responsible granting access, universal access for everybody to be able to enjoy equal rights, otherwise we will make the Internet a part of the digital divide.

>> Thank you very much:  (no audio).

>> Thank you very much.  My name is ‑‑ I represent ‑‑ of Europe and programmes ‑‑ children and young people building Europe for and with children.  So the question which sort of raises how to reach vulnerable groups.  In that case, children and young people.  I would say that adopt three main approaches which I wanted to share with you.  The first one is the legal framework that was raised and addressed earlier.  The Council of Europe has been developing a wide range of standards for the public at large but also targeting more vulnerable groups and children in particular.  We have a Convention for instance fighting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children which takes into account the development of certain technologies and their use ‑‑ so soliciting children and the Internet and how to tackle that.

Another aspect is capacity building, as it was said earlier.  And here's the idea of trying to raise awareness to children and young people by showing that they also need to adopt responsible behavior on the Internet for themselves and towards others.  But as one participant said, you can be a vulnerable member, a victim but also an offender.

>> Thank you so much.  I think we can conclude now on the concrete solution you brought to us and maybe say my personal point is beginning of the solutions could be ‑‑ can maybe just raise ‑‑ at least if people here agree.  And to share initiatives, to exchange our ideas and maybe to conclude what can be the next step.  So if you just want to join us and to leave the person who are interested in your email address, we will create a mailing list and communicate after this workshop.  So thank you so much for attending this workshop.  And have a great continuation of the IG4.  Thank you.


(end of session).