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12 May 2022, 14:00-15:30


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Universally Digital

Human Rights Conversations

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Digitalization affects in many ways the enjoyment of human rights. Its specific impact on the issue areas covered by United Nations (UN) Special Procedures Mandates of the UN Human Rights Council has been addressed by a number of mandate holders, in particular in the areas of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the right to privacy.

This Human Rights Conversation aims at looking at what this digitalization means for the universality of human rights.

  • Does digitalization provide a path to strengthening the universal enjoyment of human rights?
  • Does the digital spread of information enhance universal understanding and knowledge about human rights?
  • What new challenges does digitalization pose to the universally recognized human rights, as defined in documents written in the pre-digitalization era? Do we need an update of the rights, or even new ‘e-rights’?

This discussion forms part of an ongoing research project at the Geneva Academy aimed at taking stock of and contributing to a better understanding of the various criticisms and tensions around the principle of universality of human rights, contrasting or reconciling different narratives.


  • Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director, Geneva Human Rights Platform


  • Clément Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of sssociation
  • Koumba Boly Barry, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education
  • Yuval Shany, Professor, Hebrew University and former Member, UN Human Rights Committee

About Human Rights Conversations

Human Rights Conversations are a series of events, hosted by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.


Human Rights Conversation : Universally Digital

Watch the latest Human Rights Conversation, which discussed the various criticisms and tensions around the principle of universality of human rights, in particular in the areas of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the right to privacy.



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