Internet Governance Forum 2010: Pre-event on human rights

By CL Publisher: APCNews     MONTREAL,

Attempts to get human rights on the internet onto the agenda at the Fifth Internet Governance Forum –the UN conference now in its possibly final edition— which is to take place in September foundered in the face of government resistance. And the IGF agenda for 2010 will focus on development and internet governance. However Vilnius will be the scenario to shape a debate on censorship, freedom of expression and privacy that has been clamouring for attention. Download the APC human rights pre-event agenda.

APC, Global Partners, the Centre for Internet and Society, IT for Change, and the Dynamic
Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles are hosting an event on Internet Governance and Human Rights: Strategies and collaboration for empowerment. It will take place on 13 September 2010 from 2-5 pm in the main IGF venue, Vilnius.

Main inputs will be provided by Frank la Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Arvind Ganesan from Human Rights Watch.

Internet governance has significant impact on human rights. This is reflected by the inclusion of human rights considerations in the Geneva Declaration of Principles and the Tunis Agenda, which gave the IGF its mandate. However, human rights discussions have not featured prominently at the IGF.

What discussions there have been tended to focus on civil and political rights without also sufficiently considering how the internet relates to cultural, social and economic rights. The indivisibility of rights has not received the attention it requires.

The internet governance and human rights communities work in different spaces and rarely have the opportunity to interact. The presence of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Frank la Rue, at the 2009 IGF and again at the 2010 IGF shows that this is beginning to change. The 2010 IGF presents a valuable opportunity to place human rights more firmly on the Internet governance map and to identify opportunities for collaboration with mainstream human rights communities.

With an increasing emphasis on the development agenda in the IGF it is also a good opportunity to look at the links between human rights, development and the Internet.

Join the conversation with human rights, internet governance and development activists as we review pressing IG issues such as access, diversity, equality, freedom, openness and development with aview to strengthening the human rights agenda at the IGF.

More concretely, we hope to: – continue building effective collaborations promoting human rights in
internet governance – identify appropriate spaces for intervention in the 2010 IGF.

For more information, or to confirm your participation, please contact:
Chad Lubelsky chad [at]

The IGF will be prefaced by at least two preparatory regional Forums in Latin America and West Africa co-organised by APC. Pictured, members of APC’s Latin American women’s programme at the Quito LAC IGF, August 3-5 Photo: APC WNSP


Monday 13th September, 14.00 – 17.30
Lithuanian Exhibiton and Conference Centre (IGF venue), Room 5

14.00 – 14.15 Introduction: Background and rationale of the session, aims and objectives
14:15- 14.30 Keynote speaker : Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and
14:30 – 14:45 Keynote speaker: Arvind Ganesan, Director or Business and Human Rights Program, Human Rights
14:45 – 15:00 Questions
15.00 – 15.40 Open discussion session on ‘Human rights and internet policy: the interconnectedness of economic,
social, cultural, civil and political rights.’
15.40 – 16.00 Coffee/tee break
16.00 – 16.40 Breakout group discussions
16.40 – 17.00 Group discussion reports
17.00 – 17.20 Plenary discussion on the way forward
17.20 – 1730 Closing remarks

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