IGF 2018 WS #112
Marganlized Communities, Tech, and Human Rights in Ukraine


Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Babynska Nadiia, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Neverytska Luidmyla, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Olga Kyryliuk, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Tymur Levchuk, Civil Society, Eastern European Group


Round Table - 60 Min


Because we're proposing only an hour program, we'll only have minimal participation of a moderator, allowing the speakers to take center stage to discuss their work and experience in the country. We'll have a few preset questions from the moderator to ensure topics are covered in comprehensive manner and that the conversation remains on track. Beyond that, we'll be encouraging significant audience participation in order to have a robust conversation with a multiplicity of voices.


Counterpart is proud to support civil society activists, researchers, and advocates to IGF who might not otherwise have the means to attend. Ukrainians involved in the tech and internet governance space do not not typically associate with activist marginalized communities, particularly women in this historically patriarchal culture. Counterpart wishes to amplify the voices of Ukrainian women, LGBT, and the disability rights community, voices virtually non existent in international internet governance advocacy spaces. Through our project support and travel support to IGF, Counterpart hopes to enrich the national conversation on fundamental rights online in Ukraine with these typically under-represented voices. Additionally, the majority of participants on this panel will be first time IGF attendees.

Speakers representing the disability rights community, women in tech, and the LGBT community will discuss their advocacy work, the state of online rights in Ukraine and efforts to use tech and the internet to expand democratic social inclusion. We'll begin with an overview of fundamental rights online, governmental attempts to limit access to Russian resources online, and internet governance legislative initiatives in advance of the country's 2019 election. Following the brief overview, representatives from each community will discuss their online behavior, threats to online rights, and how tech is being used to expand access for women, the disabled, and the LGBT communities. For example, our LGBT partner is conducting research on threats faced by that community online while our disability rights activist will discuss how technology and the internet are being used to expand opportunities for the disabled in Ukraine.

Each roundtable panelist will give a brief introduction of their work, the unique challenges its community faces, and the solutions based advocacy work it is engaged in. Beyond the introductory remarks, the remainder of the discussion will involve audience participation, which the moderator will facilitate and encourage. Moderator will highlight similar types of advocacy work offered by female audience members from CEE (Central/Eastern European Countries)

Marginalized communities, internet governance, and tech in Ukraine post Maidan. Ukraine has been a country in transition ever since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. As it continues on its path to EU ascension, the country struggles with a "hybrid conflict" with Russia, in which not only traditional arms are being taken up, but also cyberattacks, social media disruptions and an ongoing propaganda campaign. The Ukrainian government has responded by blocking hundreds of Russian language websites including its most popular social media sites and Russian mail services. In an ever increasing securitized internet including government proposals to install black box surveillance technology, what are civil society groups doing to highlight threatens to online rights and to work towards greater social inclusion online in Ukraine? We'll explore that question in this panel.

Online Participation

We'll have an online moderator fielding remote questions and participation. We'll announce online participation periodically throughout the panel and will also encourage voices from Ukraine and Eastern Europe to participate.