IGF 2022 Open Forum #78 Guaranteeing Universal Digital Rights for All

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (10:45 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (11:45 UTC)
Banquet Hall A

Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min


Digital technology and the internet provide significant opportunities for advancing human development, and have transformed the ways in which we interact and exercise our rights. But not everyone has been able to access digital technologies and the internet. Also, there are new and gravely alarming developments in digital technology being misused to undermine people’s rights and freedoms, for instance hate crime, invasions of privacy, online gender based violence, automated decision-making locking the most vulnerable out of essential services and algorithms replicating and amplifying existing stereotypes thus coding structural inequalities into the global digital domain.​​ Existing international law is not always well-equipped to protect all rights in the digital sphere - there are gaps in protection and in application, that are deserving of critical consideration to: - Ensure transparency of automated decisions and provision for redress rights. - Protect citizens’ access to the Internet. - Apply a human rights based approach to online content moderation. - Protect people from human rights violations that are outside the framing of our current laws, e.g. rape in the Metaverse or deepfakes used for image-based sexual abuse. The session will be an interactive discussion with 4 panel members experts to discuss why in working to connect all people and safeguarding human rights, bold, transformative, and universally agreed digital rights are needed, to access gaps and in protection or application of existing laws and policies. The session will include an open discussion where participants will engage with the Panel on how to ensure that the rights of all people, especially the most vulnerable, are protected in the digital space. Session structure Part 1 - 25 minutes: An introduction will be made by the Moderator, introducing the topic and need for universal digital rights. The Panel will then discuss the topic, including initiatives governments are taking and could take, highlighting the implications of the same for the global human rights community. Part 2 - 20 minutes: Participants will be invited to comment and feedback on the issues highlighted, and share perspectives on possible solutions. To accommodate online participants, a chat-box will be used to crowdsource views. We will also use a live poll, for online participants to vote on possible solution(s) presented. Poll results will be shared in real-time. Part 3 - 10 minutes: The Panel will provide final insights and respond to questions raised. Part 4 - 5 Minutes: Closing remarks and a call to action.

1) How will you facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees? A Chatbox and raise hand function will be used to integrate views, opinions and conversation between the online and onsite participants and speakers. 2) How will you design the session to ensure the best possible experience for online and onsite participants? Our Online Moderator will share the ongoing discussions in the Chatbox, and refer any questions and comments for further discussion by the panelists and the onsite participants. 3) Please note any complementary online tools/platforms you plan to use to increase participation and interaction during the session. The Chatbox and Poll function


Equality Now
Adrian Martin Couce, Government of Spain, Government, WEOG; (Onsite Moderator) Emma Gibson, Women Leading in AI, WEOG; (Onsite Rapporteur) Amanda Manyame, Equality Now, Civil Society Organization, Africa Group; (Online Moderator) Niki Kandirikirira, Equality Now, Civil Society Organization, WEOG


1) Rafael Pérez Galindo, Deputy Director General for the Digital Society, Government of Spain, Government, WEOG

2) Ms. Aleid van den Brink, Member of GREVIO (Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence), Council of Europe, WEOG

3) Katya Vera Morales, Gender Consultant for the Organisation of American States (OAS) Cybersecurity Programme, GRULAC

4) Tsitsi Matekaire, Global Lead-End Sexual Exploitation, Equality Now, Civil Society Organization, WEOG

Onsite Moderator

Emma Gibson, Women Leading in AI, Civil Society Organisation, WEOG;

Online Moderator

Niki Kandirikirira, Equality Now, Civil Society Organization, WEOG;


Amanda Manyame, Equality Now, Civil Society Organization, Africa Group


5. Gender Equality

Targets: Under SDG 5, Governments committed to achieve gender equality and end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls. Indicator 5.1.1 measures Government efforts to put in place legal frameworks that promote, enforce and monitor gender equality. Governments also committed to under SDG 10.3 to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation and policies. Experts drawn from governments, GREVIO, and civil society will discuss the opportunities presented by the SDGs and other international standards such as CEDAW to secure the rights of women and girls in the digital space. They will also consider any gaps in protection, and how commitment to universal digital rights may help to address the gaps and contribute to achieving the SDGs. Meaningful access to the internet contributes to the wellbeing of societies, providing for other rights such as freedom of expression, access to information and political participation. Under SDG 9c, Governments committed to significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet. However, more than 3billion people have never accessed the internet. The proposed session will discuss the importance of access to the internet for vulnerable and marginalized communities.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

The digital space mirrors and amplifies our physical world which is rife with discrimination and inequality, which profoundly and disproportinately affects people with intersecting identities like gender, disability, migrant status. Yet exisitng laws mostly focuses on the physical body and not the digital aspects. This needs to change to acknowledge online harms. If we are not secure online, we cannot fully exercise our human rights.

Addressing the continuum of violence of women and girls which manifests online and offline. A holistic approach needs to be adopted, like the Istanbul Conventions’s four pillars - Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Co-ordinated Policies. Including laws and supporting measures preventing all types of violence, protocols preventing stigmatisation and revictimization and accessible pathways to justice including removal of online content.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

We are calling for the adoption of a universal digital rights framework, rooted in human rights law and underpinned by an intersectional feminist, anti-discrimination analysis. The Global Digital Compact provides an opportunity for this approach to be embedded in globally shared principles for an open, free and secure internet for all.