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The latest edition of the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) will take place on 13-16 August in Vanuatu around the motto Empowering Communities in Asia Pacific to Build an Affordable, Inclusive, Open and Secure Internet. The Forum will serve as a platform for discussion, exchange and collaboration at a regional level and to advance internet governance development in the Asia Pacific region. After previously being hosted in Hong Kong (2010), Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Delhi, Macao and Taipei (2016), the fact that APrIGF 2018 is hosted in the Pacific Islands for the first time makes the region a strong area of focus in this edition.

APC considers this event very relevant to the internet governance community and will participate in several sessions, along with members Foundation for Media Alternatives and Bangladesh Friendship Education Society. Participation includes the capacity building pre-event (13 August) and the following sessions and workshops:

14 August 15.30: Responsibilities of Internet Platforms for Tackling Online Abuse Against Women & Other Marginalised Groups

This session will focus on the role and responsibilities of powerful internet platforms to address online abuse against women and other marginalised groups. Tackling online abuse and violence against discriminated and marginalised groups is crucial to ensure that freedom of expression on the internet is not just the privilege of a few, but rather reflects the fundamental principles of diversity and inclusiveness in internet governance. Powerful online platforms are very influential private actors in internet governance, exercising significant influence on social and political affairs. Thus, they can also be powerful tools in preventing violence and abuse against women and other marginalised groups, making sure that their voices are heard. This session will focus on the scope of such responsibilities, thereby contributing to the empowerment of communities in Asia Pacific to build an inclusive, open and secure internet for everyone.

14 August 15.30: Community Networks – Internet access for the community by the community 

According to ITU, around 48% of the world's population is currently not connected to the internet. A complete dependency on mainstream networks is not a realistic solution to connect the non-connected. Community networks have emerged as an excellent solution to bring internet connectivity to marginalised and unserved population. Built by the community, for the community, these networks demonstrate connectivity and openness. This workshop aims to host discussions on practical community network solutions, sustainability factors, their role in community empowerment and important policy/regulatory support required for their current and future success. It is relevant to Access and Empowerment sub-themes of APrIGF 2018.

16 August 11.00: Privacy in the Digital Age & the Rule of Law: Mapping Privacy/Data protection and ICT Legal Frameworks in the Global South

This workshop, organised by APC, relates to the overall theme Empowering Communities in the Asia Pacific to Build an Affordable, Inclusive, Open and Secure Internet and to the sub-theme Online Privacy and Protection. It will explore the relationship between internet governance and rule of law, particularly how rule of law online can erode as the gap between national and international law relating to privacy widens. One of the challenges to exploring this relationship is knowing which laws are being used to govern privacy in online spaces and how they are being applied to restrict human rights online. Several organisations have separately identified this issue and the need to find ways of assessing the health of the legal environment for rights online. This session brings them together to share lessons learned and amplify this work for internet governance stakeholders, all of which is designed to lead to an internet future with stronger rule of law and human rights protections online.

Stay updated following #APrIGF and #APrIGF2018 on Twitter. We will also be publishing updates on the event on

Read also:
Global Information Society Watch: Diversity made visible: The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum