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Thursday, December 8 • 10:00 - 13:00
Human Rights: Broadening the Conversation

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The IGF has been a critical platform to facilitate dialogue on human rights and their inter-linkages with internet policy and governance. It has played an important role in facilitating debates and policy development on internet and human rights issues in other policy processes such as the Human Rights Council.

While civil and political rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy remain high on the agenda, equal attention needs to be paid to the policy and governance implications of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs). ESCRs define the way we live, give us the rights to learn, to communicate, to earn a living. They give us a quality of life to make that life worth living. The need to open a dialogue on ESCRs and the internet is especially underscored through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015.

This main session aims to foreground a conversation on the interdependence, inalienability and indivisibility of rights. It will engage a discussion on the interconnection between civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. Through this, to facilitate a broader and deeper dialogue on Internet governance and policy to encompass the full range of human rights.


The session will be divided into 3 sections, sections 1 & 2 will be about 45 minutes, and the remaining time for the 3rd section.

The first section will delve into the area of civil and political rights, as both a stocktaking exercise as well as identifying emerging key issues.

The second section will examine economic, social and cultural rights, the extent of which it has been taken up in internet governance policy discussions, and the urgency of examining this, in particular through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The third section will look at the interconnections between civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights, and the importance of making these connections to forefront the indivisibility of human rights as a framework.

In the first two section, discussants will be invited to provide a key insight into the questions raised by the moderators, and the floor will be open for on-site and remote participants to raise further questions or comment on the inputs. We encourage you to participate actively and please come forward to take the mic for brief 1-2 minute interventions on the points raised.

The final section will be a moderated conversation that will invite discussants to examine the interlinkages, as well as provide some responses to the questions/comments raised by participants.

The session will close with one sentence brief input by each discussant on ways forward, as well as a substantive synthesis by Frank La Rue, UNESCO (former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression)


1. Civil and political rights

  • Ana Neves, Director, Department for Information Society, Science & Technology Foundation I.P., Ministry of Science, Technology & HE, Portugal (Government)

  • Hernán E. Vales, Human Rights Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Intergovernmental) 
  • Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, India (civil society)

  • Rebecca McKinnon, Ranking Digital Rights, global (civil society)

  • Luis Fernando García, R3D, Mexico (civil society)

  • Paz Peña O., Gender, human rights and internet policy advocate (civil society)

  • Will Hudson, Google (private sector)
  • Facebook (private sector) - TBC

2. Economic Social and Cultural Rights

  • Juan Fernández, Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Informatics and Communications, Cuba (Government)

  • Representative from the Mexican delegration (Government) – TBC

  • Patrick Penninckx, Head of Information Society Department, Council of Europe (Intergovernmental)

  • Sally Wentworth, ISOC (technical)
  • Sally Burch, Asociación Latinoamericana de Información (ALAI), JustNet Coalition, Ecuador (civil society)

  • Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, World Wide Web Foundation (civil society)

  • Stuart Hamilton, IFLA (civil society)

  • Burcu Kilic, Public Citizen, USA (civil society)

  • Carolyn Nguyen, Microsoft (private sector)

3. Interconnection


  • David Souter, ictDA (academic, private sector), substantive input.

  • All discussants will be invited to participate in this conversation. To encourage dialogue, inputs are reminded to be brief.

  • The floor will be opened for remote and on-site inputs into this conversation, limited to 1-2 minutes each.

Closing remarks

  • Frank La Rue, UNESCO (intergovernmental) will provide a brief closing synthesis on the discussions

  • All discussants will be invited to provide a one sentence input on what the IG community should be doing to affirm the indivisibility, inalienabiity and interdependence of the broad range of human rights from their stakeholder group perspective.



  • Anja Kovacs, Internet Democracy Project, India

  • Paulina Gutiérrez, Article 19, Mexico



Session organisers:

Jac sm Kee, APC (Malaysia)

Ginger Paque, DiploFoundation (USA)

Wanawit Ahkuputra, Electronic Transactions Development Agency (Thailand)


Session Organizers
avatar for Jac sm Kee

Jac sm Kee

Women's Rights Programme Manager, APC, APC (Association for Progressive Communications)
Gender, Sexuality, Access, Internet Governance, Ending online gender-based violence, Sexual surveillance and big data, Freedom of expression & gendered hate speech

Thursday December 8, 2016 10:00 - 13:00 CST
Main Session Room PALCCO, Guadalajara, Mexico