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APC staff and members will be in Vilnius, Lithuania, for the fifth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum. We’ll be running two workshops and hosting a pre-event on human rights. Here’s a quick review of our activities. We’ll be providing on-site coverage for those of you following the IGF remotely.

For those of you who will be there, we hope you’ll join us at one of the workshops or just drop by our stand.

Pre-event on human rights

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. APC and partners will hold a discussion on internet governance and human rights immediately before the IGF in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 13.

Workshop 1: Sexual rights, openness and regulatory systems

Content regulation remains a critical area where competing rights and interests are played out. Within this, sexuality and sexual rights lie at the centre of the debate. Protection from the “harm” of pornography and other sexually related content are often the principal reason forwarded for regulating content. At the same time, the internet is a critical space for the exercise and realisation of sexual rights, especially by people who have less access to power and resources, such as migrants, sex workers, differently abled communities, young women etc. In recent years, internet content regulation has increasingly become more of a norm than an exception. Despite the slippery definitions of ‘obscene’, ‘illegal’ and ‘harmful’ content, governments, the private sector and civil society are shaping and implementing regulatory mechanisms, sometimes in partnership with each other. The workshop will discuss whether it worked to protect the rights of all users, particularly those who such regulations assert their protection over, such as internet users, young people and women.

When and where? September 14 (day 1), 11:30 – 13:30, room 2

Workshop 2: Applying a code of good practice on information, participation and transparency in Internet governance

“Internet governance decisions should be open, transparent and inclusive”, says the draft of a code of practice developed by APC, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the Council of Europe and APC. In this workshop stakeholders will discuss their experience of exploring the practical aspects of applying a draft code of good practice to their arrangements for governance, information and participation.

When and where? September 16 (day 3), 15:00 – 17:00, room 7

Full agenda of the Fifth Internet Governance Forum