Centre for Internet & Society

Leading up to the 2010 IGF, The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Global Partners, the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), IT for Change, and the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles are hosting, on 13 September 2010 in Vilnius, an event on 'Internet Governance and Human Rights: Strategies and Collaborations for Empowerment'.

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 a view to strengthening the human rights agenda at the IGF. 

More concretely, we hope to:

  • continue building effective collaborations promoting human rights in Internet governance, and, 
  • identify appropriate spaces for intervention in the 2010 IGF. 



Moderator: Chad Lubelsky. Global Networking, Policy & Advocacy Coordinator,

Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

14:00 Introduction: Background and rationale of the session, aims and objectives. Anriette Esterhuysen (APC)

Keynote speaker : Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.

Keynote speaker: Arvind Ganesan, Director or Business and Human Rights Program, Human Rights Watch.

14:45 Questions

15:00 Open discussion session on 'Human rights and internet policy: the interconnectedness of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights'. Moderated by Lisa Horner (Global Partners) and Anja Kovacs (the Centre for Internet and Society).

15:40 Coffee/tea break

16:00 Breakout group discussions

16:40 Report Backs

17:00 Plenary discussion on the way forward (Anriette Esterhuysen, APC and Parminder Jeet Singh, IT for Change)

17:20 Closing remarks