Event information

18 October 2022, 14:00-19:00
Register start 16 August 2022
Register end 16 October 2022

2022 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

GHRP Annual Conference

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On/Off: Implications of Digital Connectivity on Human Rights

Digitalization impacts the realization and enjoyment of human rights. It offers new ways of protection and creates new openings for violations. The mere slogan that what applies offline also applies online is surely not sufficient anymore, if it ever has been.

Over the last three years, the Annual Conferences of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) have been looking at connectivity between human rights actors. This year’s conference will focus on digital connectivity in the field of human rights. This includes a view of the digital connections by and among mechanisms within the human rights system, but also the substantive impacts of digitalization.

How has international human rights law evolved in this area? And what will be the role of the Geneva-based international human rights system to ensure the continuum of protection in a world where for some the dichotomy online-offline is blurring ever more, while others entirely lack access to the benefits of digitalization and any kind of online connectivity?

The conference will focus on those questions in two panels, looking at the implications of being ON and OFF the grid. Going beyond other thematic debates on those issues, we will explore in particular what contributions can be expected from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights mechanisms. How can UN treaty bodies (TBs) expand the interpretation of treaties and conventions, drafted decades ago, into the new reality of connectivity? How can the mechanisms of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), its Special Procedures, the Advisory Committee or the Council member States via resolutions and the Universal Periodic Review work toward a more comprehensive substantive evaluation and definition of digitalization’s impact, beyond the specific approaches taken so far in some high-visibility areas such as the rights to privacy or to freedom of expression?

Programme

The public part of the conference in the afternoon will be preceded by an expert roundtable (upon invitation only) bringing together for the first time representatives of all recently established digital tracking tools for the implementation of international human rights obligations and the recommendations stemming from the international accountability bodies – TBs, HRC Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review.

9:00 – 12:30: Expert roundtable on digital human rights tracking tools (upon invitation only)

14:00 – 18:00: Public event

18:00 – 19:00: Reception

Discover the full programme.

Discover the keynote speech by Teki Akuetteh, Executive Director of the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub.

Partners

The 2002 Annual Conference is organized in partnership with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Access Now, the Centre for Civil and Political Rights, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, the Digital Rights Foundation, HURIDOCS, Impact OSS, the International Service for Human Rights, Poverty Stoplight Privacy International, UPR Info and Voices of Influence Australia,

Videos

2022 GHRP Annual Conference Keynote and Welcome Speeches

Welcome and Introduction

Yves Flückiger, Rector of the University of Geneva

Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva

Gloria Gaggioli, Director of the Geneva Academy

Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Keynote Address

Teki Akuetteh, Executive Director of the Africa Digital Rights’ Hub

Input from the morning expert round-table on digital human rights tracking tools

Lisa Reinsberg, Executive Director of the International Justice Resource Center and Board Member, HURIDOCS

Plenary 1: Human rights implications of digital connectivity for surveillance interception & data collection

Watch the Plenary Panel 1 of the 2022 GHRP Conference on the development of increasingly advanced digital technologies which has enhanced the capacity of States - as well as the private sector - to conduct surveillance, interception and data collection activities.

Speakers:

 Nighat Dad, Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation and Member of the Facebook Oversight Board

 Yuval Shany, Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in Public International Law at Hebrew University

 Peggy Hicks, Director, Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures, and Right to Development Division, OHCHR

 Moderator: Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the GHRP

Plenary 2 - The digital shift and the role of new technologies towards comprehensive human rights monitoring and implementation at the national level

This plenary 2 of the Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform discussed possible convergences, complementarities, and best practices concerning available human rights tracking databases and the value of digitalization for a more systemic approach to human rights monitoring and implementation that is also well positioned to contribute to sustainable development.

2022 GHRP Annual Conference: Concluding Remarks

 Beatrice Ferrari, Directrice, Direction des Affaires Internationales, République et Canton de Genève

 Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

 Miloon Kothari, Member of the GHRP Advisory Board

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