NRI Perspectives: Rights In The Digital World
20 December 2017 - A Main Session on in Geneve,Switzerland
>> JANIS KARLINS: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. May I ask you to take your seats? Very ‑‑ very good morning, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished participants of this edition of Internet Governance Forum here in Geneva. My name is Janis Karklins, I'm ambassador and representative of Latvia to United Nations organization here in Geneva, and I have the privilege to be the coordinator of this NRI session on rights in digital world together with Anja Gengo from IGF secretarial. Let me start with making a few introductory remarks.
As you all are fully aware that Internet Governance Forum is the offspring of the world summit on information societies. It was in Tunis in 2005 when decision was made to organize under auspices of the Secretary‑General of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum to address all issues related to Internet Governance in a multistakeholder fashion.
At that time we were talking about one event per year and now we are talking about more than a hundred events a year at international, regional, and national level.
National and regional initiatives are offsprings of Internet IGF because countries recognize that address Internet Governance and related topics one can do only in multistakeholder way, and gradually, over a period of 12 years, we have reached number of 97 national and regional IGFs, and I was told that discussions are taking place with another ten countries to help them establish this multistakeholder dialogue at national level on Internet Governance and related issues.
We have had, in previous editions of IGF, sessions where national and regional ‑‑ representative of national and regional initiatives shared their experience, practice, and knowledge, told their success stories and warned colleagues about difficulties they have encountered in organizing these events at the national level.
But to my knowledge today is the first time when you, representing national and regional IGF initiatives, will be addressing and discussing substantive issues rights in the digital world.
Before we go in this conversation and before I explain how we will be conducting this conversation, I would like to invite my comoderator, Anja Gengo, to make a brief presentation on the status of the NRI network. Anja over to you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Mr. Karklins. Thank you very much for joining us this important session, I hope you can hear me that my audio is on. And, of course, thank you very much to my colleagues for entrusting me this important role and to bring all of us this discussion whose preparatory work started at the beginning of this year and went through a very lengthy journey before we gathered here all in Geneva.
The idea would be to enter this session with a very quick presentation on the current status of the NRIs network so if you would allow me appear if you are prepared I would just go through a couple of slides that are reflecting the nature of the NRIs network and the current records that we have.
Going back to the background of the NRIs, as you would know the agenda for the information society gave the mandates to the IGF and the agenda didn't call for the information of the IGFs on the national and regional levels, however, today just as Mr. Carton said we are speaking about 97 officially recognized IGFs. This is probably late in Paragraph 80 on the Tunis Agenda that encouraged the development of the multistakeholder practices on national and digital and international levels in order to discuss the issues pertaining to the Internet Governance. With that some countries started organizing their own IGF practices in 2006 and the IGF secretarial recognized a very important value of these practices and in 2011 ‑‑ in 2009 started the official recognition process in order to give more visibility and more credibility to these important practices.
What makes different the IGF and your meetings and other forums who are discussing similar issues are the core principles that (?) referred to just as the IGF itself so with that the NRIs are completely organic, they are autonomous, independent. They have a multistakeholder approach to their work. They're bottom‑up, open, transparent, fully inclusive of all views and, of course, they are of a noncommercial nature.
The core principles of the NRIs are reflected in a unique document that is a product of the collaborative work of last year's recognized NRIs and that we call the NRIs tool kit. One important segment of the NRIs segment is the engagement of the work into the IGF process. The IGF secretarial along with the NRI colleagues is working hard on trying to give more visibility to the great work that is happening on youth engagement in many countries and regions but also on a global level and so far we have produced one publication that reflects the youth engagement at the IGF.
If you look at these graphs that you see hopefully on the slides, then you will see and you can easily track the continued evolutionary growth of the NRIs across the three IGFs mandate. You can see that we started with 37 NRIs that we recognized in 2011 and today just as it was said previously we are talking about 97 officially recognized NRIs in ten countries ‑‑ and ten countries that will soon join the network. This will be the overall breakdown as you see 71 countries has a national IGF process established, 17 regions have processes established. We have youth IGFs present in nine different communities and hopefully 10 more national I was will be ‑‑ IGFs will be joining us very soon. It was very intensive year this 2017 IGF cycle. We had more than 60 NRI events organized and as you can see the biggest concentration was in November. If you could go just to the next slide, please, to the next one, yes.
So more than 60 national, regional and youth annual meetings were organized in this year. If we go to the next slide, then we can see the geographical coverage of the NRIs and as you can see there is a very good balance when it comes about the spread of the NRIs across countries and regions. The NRIs are very important partners to the global IGF and with that we are all trying to have the NRIs better integrated into the IGF annual meeting. That integration is reflected by the eight collaborative sessions that more than 30 different NRIs organized on different subjects for this year's IGF. Of course, this main session is also one of the most important outcomes of that collaboration that exists between the IGF and between the NRIs. The NRIs (?) that the IGF village is a place that you can meet other NRIs, exchange experiences and learn maybe how you can improve your own practices or join one of the existing practices. I hope that tomorrow you will join us in a very important work meeting that we call ‑‑ NRIs call the nations session, that is the session that brings together face‑to‑face in one room all the NRIs, colleagues from the U.N. DESSA, the (?) and also the team of the IGF secretarial. The main aim of that coordination session is actually to discuss what has been done in 2017 and what needs to be done in the next years for improving the overall collaboration and the IGF itself.
As I said, at the beginning, we're very much (?) about the youth engagement in the IGF. Tomorrow morning at half past 8:00 we will have a work meeting with young people enrolled in the IGF processes at different levels and, of course, you are more than welcome to join and help us to brainstorm on how to advance the overall youth engagement in the IGF.
With this I would conclude this short presentation. Thank you very much for your attention and over to my comoderator, thank you.
>> JANIS KARLINS: Thank you very much, Anja, for this presentation and let me now explain the rules of the game. So this session is like summit within two parts. We have first part where representatives of (?) will be engaging with each ‑‑ NRIs will be engaging with each other answering questions that have been formulated with the organizers of the session, and there are five. And in the afternoon starting from 3:00 to 4:00 we will open the floor for any participant wishing to engage either on five questions or interact with representatives of NRI.
So questions that we will be addressing one by one probably 14 minutes each are the following: How do the NRI community understand the rights in digital world? That's question number one.
Two, from the perspective of NRI, what are our rights in the digital world, and do you see the access as one of those?
Question number three: Are there any challenges and limitations in exercising rights in the digital world, according to views of your NRI?
Number four: How is development of new technologies affect these rights in the digital world, from your perspective and ‑‑ and last question: What recommendations or advice from your NRI you can give approaching all the identified problems in the previous questions can the multistakeholder model be an effective approach in ‑‑ from making improvements.
You need not to speak on all five because we simply have limited time. But please choose those who ‑‑ those questions that are closer to your heart or you have opinion as representing the opinion of your NRI, and if you want to speak, please do like this on the question. Raise your nameplate that I can see and I will give you the floor. Your intervention should not be more than two minutes and at the bottom of the screen you see that and after two minutes I will invite you to press the button of your microphone to shut it down.
We know, since we are living in Twitter era, we can express ourselves very successfully in 280 signs. So therefore, two minutes is much more than that.
By saying this, I would like to open the floor for the first question and I repeat the question: How do the NRI communities understand the rights in the digital world? Those who do not master English perfectly you have a choice to listen to this conversation also in French, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, six languages of U.N., and you can also speak in those languages, if you wish so. So the floor is open on the first question. Who will kick start the debate? Colombia. Colombia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Gracias [Spanish]. Yes, I'm going to speak Spanish, Chair. Since the beginning of the debate that we've started in Colombia, on the question of Internet Governance, right from the very beginnings of this debate, we have always said that in the digital world, we must respect the same rights which prevail in the nondigital world in all circumstances, whatever these might be. So we have formulated some concerns on this matter. Indeed, we need to look at how we can make sure these rights are respected in the best possible manner to protect them from vulnerabilities because we are more vulnerable in the digital world so all the rights we have in the physical world should also be implemented and respected online.
So our concern is to look at how we can do so in the most effective and efficient way possible. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, information on our rights, offline should exist also online. Italy.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Chair. So in Italy we have an important initiative that was taken by our chamber of liberties that in 2014 started a committee to discuss and prepare declaration on Internet rights, and connected to this, we had the IGF Italy in the year '14 and year '15 at the chamber of liberties. And this was then concluded with an approval of the parliament about this declaration, and IGF Italy has been always very well engaged in discussing Internet rights. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much that started in Atlantic City with the first IGF meeting in Greece and we have at least one country where Internet rights are adopted by the parliament. Brazil, please.
>> FLAVIA: Thank you. So I must start with a disclaimer that the Brazilian (?) has been since 2011 and it's truly a multistakeholder event organized by the (?) Brazilian multistakeholder (?) committee. And the Brazilian IGF community comprises a very complex set of individuals and organizations from all stakeholder work that gather around this annual event organized by CGIs, a very complex community. It's therefore the (?) of the different stakeholder groups and different cross‑community coalitions would have different responses to this question and to other questions that are presented today in this main session. So I do not speak on behalf of that whole community, I speak as a member of the multistakeholder organization team that was put together by CGI to organize the Brazilian IGF which in this year's edition which the global IGF entirely organized by community efforts. We had 78 workshop proposals from all groups and regions of the country, all 21 could be selected, and the discussions dealt with very different issues such as protection online, privacy data coalition, blockchain, algorithms, jurisdiction and many others, so any understanding of the rights in this digital world has to incorporate the complexities that enter into such a larger world of issues and to the great number of conflicting interests that have to reconcile within that context, and we can say this as a communities. We firmly believe that a principled approach such as the Brazilian (?) Internet rights and the IGF principles is for dealing with that complexity and for reconciling different views around the world. And I can please state that there is wide recognition in the Brazilian Internet Governance community and repeating what Colombian IGF has said that we have in the digital world the same rights as offline.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, Flavia for reminding that there is another country where parliament has adopted Internet rights.
Now I will go to China.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, it's a great pleasure for me to discuss with you Internet covenants. My name is Lo Ri (phonetic), IGF Secretariat in China. It was established this year, our communion to establish an IGF in China so more people will know about IGF at the same time we build a bridge so the world can know China and to expand China's experience to the whole world.
The first agenda item of this world is the Internet digital rights. We believe this is an important question, even we believe that this is the basis for our discussion and of all other questions.
When we discuss the right, we must understand that there might be different understanding of the rights and different criteria to judge these rights. Our discussion might not come to a uniform understanding of this right.
Secondly, we must realize that the subject individual community, religion, or country as the subject of the right, they might have different claims. This is a reality. As for the different views of different subjects in the field of Internet we believe ‑‑ (no audio).
>> [Technical difficulties ‑‑ please stand by].
>> JANIS KARKLINS: And I'm very curious to listen thoughts coming from different parts of the world where the access is right. If I recall in one of the first editions of the report broadband commission for digital development argued that access and use of Internet is not that much right but human need so do you agree with that. West African IGF.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much, West Africa, my name is Mary Donuma (phonetic) for the record and I'm with west African IGF. West Africa has about 15 countries and we have the IGF and we have the (?) IGF and one of the things that stood out for us in defendant was this question of Internet shutdown and we considered it as against access and we should have rights to the Internet and why are we experiencing Internet shutdown mostly in West Africa in Togo and Gambia, so we assume access is a right to every person, and when there is a shutdown it could affect the health, it could facility the economy, and it's expensive to shut down the Internet so it is a right so we adopted ‑‑ in West Africa we adopted the declaration of Internet rights and freedom of 2016 by the African Union, we adopted it (?) and also adopted the Internet permanency for all government in West Africa. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you, thank you very much for this affirmation. Afghanistan.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, Mr. Chairman, my name is (saying name), I'm from IGF Afghanistan. Mr. Chairman, we have our first IGF in March this year, and this was a very successful event by bringing 200 people from all walks of life. We had a two days' meeting which included ‑‑ the topics included access in diversities, scales capacity and cybersecurity issues online safety gender and emerging issues. A little bit on the infrastructure of Afghanistan. It is the only country that has a fiber ring throughout the country and it connects all the neighbors to the fiberoptic. But still, Internet band width remains the most expensive in the world, in the country. Band width costs about 150 per month, on average. If you want to build fiber to home, that costs you $550 a month as maintenance fee. And there is a ‑‑ like insulation costs of 2,000 to $30,000 that would be charged to you in order for you to bring fiber home.
So if you are going to get at home your Internet it would cost you 15 to $16,000 per month and that's totally unaffordable for the afghan citizens. Right, according to us is the connectivity and access technology. It should be affordable for the people, common people, to have access to quality services to bandwidth that's stable and reliable. There are often fiber cuts due to security in the remote areas. Taliban are cutting fiber and that's putting us as businesses, Civil Society, the citizens in trouble we have electricity issues sometimes and that puts our data center off, you know. So these are some of the challenges we're facing in Afghanistan, but luckily we recently adopted the open access policy. Previously it was government ‑‑ a State own telecom (?) the fiber but now due to this open access policy the private sector is going to invest, the government is planning to issue more licenses to further enhance the conditions and make it easy for the investors to invest as well as to provide connectivity and improve the quality of services. So we are very determined in Afghanistan and we're working in IGF 2018 ‑‑ IGF Afghanistan 2018, looking for more partnerships and collaborations. We would like to learn from the experiences of other IGFs in other countries and love to talk to you all.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you, Amar and IGF is really the place that you can do all what you need to do. Important to retain that access as a right should also be affordable, otherwise many people simply cannot afford to get online.
Spain followed by Nigeria.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is ‑‑ for the record, so to be able to reflect the perspective of the Spanish IGF we use our annual meeting which was held on the 28th and 29th of November and detail rights specifically and we also conducted (?) that reflects the bottom‑up process. And so insights about the outcomes. So the view of the IGF is rights in the digital world shouldn't be any different from the rights of (?) has already been said within the IGF community. So the first one is by the (?) (audio poor) and secondly access to the Internet and in our perspective the access to the Internet is ‑‑ (no audio).
[Technical difficulties ‑‑ please stand by]
>> AUDIENCE: Clearly part of our democratic experience and it's not just, you know, about that but also Nigeria just came out of a recession recently and one of the key things that everyone, obviously, agrees, you know, or plays a part in the economy is the fact that there are three things that come to be. One is access, two is youth, and three is SMEs. Without access, young people can't view SMEs that can generate within the economy and help the country improve and go forward so these are some of the things that we discussed and it's great that we end with this which is good news is that the regulator, because the national IGF in Nigeria is multistakeholder, if I have to use that word again but indeed the regulator was also participating and is a favorable idea of using the license spectrum for improved access even in rural areas and I think that's good news.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, I like this expression, access as democratic experience. Brazil, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Janis. So Marcus Hill (phonetic), the Brazilian rights for the I want which has been approved by the national parliament in 2014 after a long, open, very participative public consultation process, assures several rights, especially freedom of speech, privacy, data protection, the need of court order to remove contents from Web sites and platforms and it also states explicitly among its goals and I cite the promotion of the right to access the Internet and access to information, to knowledge and to participation in the cultural life and in public policies. And I can certainly claim that the debate among several years in the Brazilian IGF and the Brazilian multistakeholder stakeholder committee has been (?) that has been enshrined in the bill.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much I will take the next four interventions starting with the democratic republic of conga, Asia‑Pacific and Nepal and then we'll move to Item 3. Democratic republic of Congo.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for giving me the floor. I believe we are the youngest IGF country because ten days ago we were able to organize the first iteration of our IGF in Congo and we're very proud of that because the government has understood the point of having such a platform in Congo. And since 2009 we have done the formalities to set up such a public forum, we've been able to, in 2016, embark upon our activities with government approval, and in 2017 we were able to have this iteration of our IGF because several changes occurred within government. As far as consumers are concerned and the problems they face, we have access to Internet. We have some 26 in 2017 Internet cuts, breaks in access. The cost to have access to the Internet remains pretty high.
The second need we have, obstacles we face is a connectivity. We need to have high debit policies, and we're far from having reached our targets in terms of coverage, and the last but one is that we need proper laws. We do not have properly tailored laws to our needs in DRC. We have two bills before parliament currently, and we are lobbying to ensure that they meet consumers' needs.
The last point I would like to raise is what we need to improve the operation of IGF in our country and how our stakeholders are representative ‑‑ represented. Thank you very much for giving me the floor.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you for your experience and I now invite Asia‑Pacific IGF to say something about access as a right.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, chairman. So this is (saying name) from the Secretariat Asia‑Pacific region IGF. In our Asia‑Pacific region human rights remains a highly concerned topics and we believe it's fundamental ‑‑ respect for human rights is fundamental achievement of the goals. And especially in the area of access development so we believe access is actually a key enabler to right to information and not only to that but also actually to education, health, and culture and all the other e‑services that happens online right now in this digital world. So therefore in some of the area in our region, actually, we experience Internet shutdowns which we consider it highly affecting the information flows and also the development of the community.
And on top of access I want to echo the Spain IGF that there is also other dimensions of empowerment that we have to consider especially the digital literacy and how weeks empower people to have true access to the information that they needed and also we believe that lastly the application of human rights should also consider cost‑cutting issues such as gender, agent, thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you, also remaining those remaining cross cultural issues. I was asked to repeat that those who take the floor, please indicate your name in the dictating speed that we can capture it for the.
>> UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: And also, please, just a kind suggestion put your name plates down because the colleagues that are streaming they don't see your face.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So with that we are going to Nepal.
>> UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Thank you very much, this is (saying name) for the record the Nepal IGF. We started the Nepal IGF since this year and it was very successful, more than 100 participants participate each year ‑‑ each day, around this for two days, and around 49, not around, it was exactly 49 organizations who participated in this Nepal IGF in various ways. It's absolutely access is one of the very major issues in Nepal as well as 82% line of ‑‑ land of Nepal is covered by either snowy mountain or high hill mountain and after 2015 disaster of big, massive earthquake, more realize that access is one of the major issues that we have to consider in that way, not only to get other kind of facilities rather than comfortable in living life very smoothly and building relationships among the people in that kind of different (?). So access is one of the very majors to discuss in Nepal and talk about in please perspective, issues previously use of the service fund. By this year we have started using universal fund accumulated through these (?) trust and now we're expanding (?) across the country and we hope by 2020 it will have a big opportunity through this access. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, indeed, access might be a difficulty in a country which ‑‑ with a very difficult geography terrain. Japan.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, my name is (saying name), I'm a newly appointed coordinator for Japan. I don't remember we have discussed rights or access in Internet Governance in Japan in the sense that most of my colleagues here talk about but we do have access issues if you look at Internet connectivity from a business or investment point of view. Net neutrality in IPv6 network is one of those examples. Also network operators are not necessarily positive about the opening up of their network to retail network operators in the way that is desirable from a net neutrality point of view. So this will definitely lead to an access issue on the citizens or consumer side so we do have some access issues like this.
And chairman, I will have to excuse myself in a few minutes because of some prior commitment. Sorry about this.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for your intervention.
Let us move now to the next item which ‑‑ I would like to invite you to speak about perceived limitations and challenges exercising rights in the digital world. I suspect that this might be probably the longest list that we will get so let me start by the Sri Lankan IGF to take the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, I'm (saying name) coordinator IGF Sri Lanka. First of all, IGF had ‑‑ Sri Lanka had two national IGFs in the last two years. For the last two years we have not discussed about these rights, human rights within IGF. But after the IGF there were some concerns of persons, activists, they asked why Sri Lankan ideas human rights in the digital arena as a topic to be discussed within the national IGF.
Then we had the same query, we checked our check and balances, we saw that the bottom‑up communication from the whole national IGF community doesn't want to have a session on digital rights. So thinking of that, the literacy is an issue on rights in our country. So what we have to do, we have to (?) the people of Sri Lanka about digital rights. Still we lack behind about human rights, fundamental human rights even so it's better. So we have to work on shadow to improve the literacy of our people towards the digital rights. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Literacy as an impediment of challenge to exercise rights in a digital world.
Look, I suspected that there will be many flags up, and I beg you not to put flags up anymore so then I will ‑‑ then I will take all those who have flags up, including Armenia and North Africa. Are we in agreement? Okay.
>> ELIZABETH: This is Elizabeth Chalman (phonetic) on EuroDIG. Human rights online has received a lot of traction in Europe as well and, of course, there are challenges online as there are offline interconnected online audiences lead to larger groups of people being affected at the same time in the cross countries. While legal systems, normative beliefs, and societal principles tend to differ on how much of legitimate limitations there can be to digital rights, personal data, data security and privacy are main concerns and their attention has been outlied in the EU some European states still enforce it and stick to it but the right to privacy is discussed vividly and on a good standard for Europe. It would be desirable for intermediaries and platforms to be more transplant about the data practices and policies as it is hard for agencies to make decisions at this point in time. IT spread into everyone's life is also a big topic. Human rights protection, economic interests and the possibilities of technology have to be balanced therefore the intersections of these issues have to be addressed continuously. Thank you (EuroDIG).
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much and apologies for losing a little bit of concentration. Armenia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: (Saying name), Secretary Armenian Internet Governance Forum. We have at least three main problems which I think is not only for our country. First is intellectual property. Is it possible to protect today intellectual property? Because maybe it's possible because we have all ‑‑ we have open access to the Internet and how to resolve this point is necessary to understand, is it possible or not, and if it's possible we can find a way. Next point is privacy. According to European directives, privacy is on the first place in each country, okay, have to keep personal data in the servers on their territory. But when we have Cloud computing, this is not logical. I think necessary to find any ‑‑ any solution for that, why we need to keep data in our country. Maybe it's better to keep in other country because ‑‑ so it's necessary to understand that these formal requirements are very far from real life.
And the third point, I think, which is very important is contradiction between content provider and telecom operators. So we see that our pool in our country is less than $4 per user. It's impossible to keep up to date our cellular networks because $4 is nothing to implement 4 or 5G technologies. At the same time content providers now are ‑‑ they are gathering revenue using our infrastructure and how to resolve this? We don't know, but it's one of our most serious problems. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. Challenge ‑‑ the national tension between national operators and content providers.
North African IGF. You have the floor.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. We started in 2012 and we became active in 2016 and we were able to have our first General Assembly just some 20 days ago in Egypt. So we are an older as well as a younger version. We have all the structure necessary for the IGF, so that's old but we're also a young one because we have a young, new fresh debate. I'd like to give you an idea of what is happening in Tunisia. You know Tunisia created its IGF in 2012. When we look at rights Tunisia has enshrined in its new constitution practically all of the rights and has brought the right to communication together with more fundamental rights such as the right to water and the right to electricity. So the question of rights to communication, in particular, Internet communication, is a very current topic in Tunisia. To come back to the northern African IGF, there's still a great deal of work to be done and we started to do this, in particular, on those questions raised here today.
One core concern for us is how we encourage the establishment of national IGFs in the whole of this north African region. That's the first thing.
Secondly, how do we improve awareness of all questions related to the Internet in our region and all of the countries of North Africa are seeing great enthusiasm for the consolidation of infrastructure, which is, of course, at the very basis of Internet access in our countries. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much, Rita. So capacity‑building is one of the major issues in north of Africa. Croatia, and Poland.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Chair. My name is Nata (saying name) I'm a coordinator from Croatia IGF. Our IGF is active for three years now, and from the previous IGF meetings we had human rights present as ‑‑ in the agenda in various fields, mostly children's safety online and open data. So I'll tell something from that perspective. So we find that like digital literacy and media literacy is a huge challenge in Croatia. Many children finishing schools today are not prepared for dealing with the cyberspace threats. Also although we have a citizens project which enable services from public administration to be accessible online, unfortunately very few citizens use those kind of services, just 9.3% of Croatian citizens are e‑citizens. So it's lack of digital literacy and people are, we suppose, uninformed to use those public available online services.
Also unfortunately on the developed Internet infrastructure in all parts of Croatia causes an unequal availability to access digital services as well as those from e‑citizens or any other digital services. And also for the last few months harmful online content, especially hate speech, is rising appearance in Croatia. So it's mainly based on a different political affiliations and ideological differences where supporters of one ideology is sending serious threats toward politicians, journalists or public persons that they believe supporters of our ideology. So it's recognized as a serious problem by Croatian government, and now task force is formed in order to take appropriate measure to mitigate this issue.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. I suspect that those that ‑‑ challenges you indicated is not specifically relevant to Croatia, they're much wider. Poland followed by Netherlands.
>> AUDIENCE: This is (saying name) from the Polish IGF speaking. We have been organizing IGF meetings since last year so this year we conducted our second IGF forum, and there was no specific session on digital rights but virtual every other discussion within the Polish IGF was centered around people's rights and topics is something else entirely if commerce or cybersecurity the most basic layer of discussion was always about rights and values that corresponds with different online activities and there is a universal agreement about our community that new technologies can change how we execute our rights and can make it more difficult but the real source of the challenge is not the technology itself but always the human nature ‑‑ humans that stand behind it.
And we are able, we'll be able to solve the technical problems we believe but keeping the high standards and, in fact, entering the same rights online and offline can be challenging. And if the real source of the problems is a conflict between different values and different rights, there was one overarching theme in many discussions within the Polish IGF and it was surprisingly ethics. So as the technology progresses and new conflicts arising and other ones are escalating, we have the ‑‑ well, we have the responsibility to talk with the (?) and this is our responsibility as participants in the multistakeholder model and the supporters of the model to try to reconcile the different values and therefore solve the problems that seem technical but are, in fact, ethical in its deepest nature. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Netherlands followed by Panama. Netherlands, please.
>> LISA: Thank you, Moderator. My name is Lisa Framier (phonetic), I'm responsible for Internet and human rights as the Dutch ministry Foreign Affairs I'm very glad and honored to be here to represent our community it's a very lively community. Human rights are very much on the table in this community disturb our Dutch IGF event in September. One of the many, I would say, concerns in the Netherlands is the role of the private sector and the extent to which they experience and take responsibility for their role in advancing human rights online. I'm happy to stress there for one of the ‑‑ one of the projects that has been supported by the IGF community in the Netherlands, the private sector is very much engaged in the Dutch IGF community, both the social media as technical community.
One of the organizations in the technical sector has embarked on quite an exciting journey. SIDM which is managing .nl in The Netherlands has teamed up (?) services IT organization Article 19 and the Danish Institute for Human Rights to assess a business and human rights impact assessment. So they developed an assessment scheme ranging from freedom of expression and privacy but also workers' rights, antiharassment policies, there is a very broad scheme to assess human rights impact of the work of the SIDM. This project is I think unique in the world for a registry to embark upon and they will be presenting their results later this IGF tomorrow at the session. The IGF community, both the global and the Dutch one, have been catalyzing for this project. They have been following up on all the events and therefore I wanted to stress this project that is a cooperation between both technical and government and I would say government, sorry, services organization and the IGF secretarial. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for sharing these insights. Now Panama followed by Uganda.
>> AUDIENCE: Microphone, please. Hello, (saying name) is my name. I'm from the IGF in Panama. We were created formally in March this year 2017, and I believe that we have made significant progress as an organization. I represent the Civil Society but we're not going to speak ‑‑ what I'm going to speak about today is the consensus and what we've been working on since March. We were created in March, but in April we had a round table on Internet Governance to be able to define those themes which we needed to work on in our country to subsequently in August, in Panama, organize the regional forum for our region on the Internet. We really weren't working on these things and we needed to make progress on these things to bring together our countries.
In October, following this, we were able to identify our challenges and despite the fact that Panama is a country that has infrastructure in Latin America, we have lack of technological specificities as a result of which there are limitations in our laws. Our laws are outdated and are not in tune when the challenges that we have in the current digital market. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. The outdated laws as impediment exercising rights in the digital world. Uganda, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, my name's Naroga (saying name) and I represent the Uganda IGF. We've had the Uganda IGF since 2008 and each year we have a thematic ‑‑ thank you ‑‑ we have thematic sessions. In the past we have worked for the Internet policy laws and among these were the cyber laws including the computer misuse act. Some of the challenges and limitations we've seen in this act is being used to prosecute individuals for offensives of ‑‑ in instances where they're expressing their rights of expression or maybe they're arrested for instance of inciting violence or abusing the person of the president. But this year during the IGF, we had a special session on the official cybersecurity and the Internet in Uganda, and we had a representative from law enforcement and he agreed and expressed concern that there was too ‑‑ lack of awareness about digital rights and balancing rights and freedom of expression and privacy.
The other thing that we see as a challenge, as much as we have so many laws in my country, focusing on protection of digital rights or fighting cybercrime we really don't have that protection, no, and this is one of the things that came out highly as an issue for us in Uganda. But also there was the issue of lack of resources, both financial and human resource from all ‑‑ all actors, including law enforcement users and policymakers so these are some of the challenges and limitations that we're looking at when we look at digital rights in Uganda. Thanks.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Laws are in place, but implementation of those laws not necessarily are done in the best way. Dominican republic, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning, everyone my name is Fredricka, I'm from the Dominican Republic and I will talk about our experience. IGF in Dominican Republic was created in 2015, so we have only three years working on this, but every year we try to include in our schedule human rights and digital rights because we want to keep awareness about it.
Our rights in digital world should be the same as existing online and they should be respected and treated like that. In this context in 2016 our local chapter, our localized chapter submitted a declaration of the digital rights principles and values in the Dominican Republic. It established some principles like the freedom of Internet, the human rights ‑‑ the recognition of human rights online and offline, the net neutrality and so on.
In this case, in 2015 ‑‑ sorry ‑‑ in 2017, I mean this year, two members of the ISOC Dominican Republic board made a report about women digital rights in our country. And we collected some important information such as sexual violence and harassment and not establishing the law so women have no ‑‑ have no way to be defended. And a gigabyte cost in the Dominican Republic is two points over the goal established by the aligns for affordable Internet so it causes difficulties in enhancing sustainable public policies to achieve the universal access to ICTs in the country and it also affects Internet access for the final users. Thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much for sharing concerns from the Dominican Republic and let us listen now how things are going in Kenya.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, everyone, my name is Chris Gavenka (phonetic), I am here representing the Kenya IGF. The Kenya IGF, the tenth Kenya IGF was held in July this year. It's usually a multistakeholder grouping of organizations that come together to organize, and it's convened by the Kenyan ICT action network. This week to celebrate the ten years we held a Kenya IGF week that we conducted a Kenya school of Internet Governance for flee days, then we had a youth IGF for one day and we had a thought leaders meeting to discuss Internet shutdowns on one day and all this culminated in the Kenya IGF 2010 when among others we launched a brief on Internet shutdowns. Some of the challenges that were discussed and have continued to be discussed one is the issue of surveillance. In particular, during instances of high political agitation where the suspicion from different quarters and the citizens are concerned that they might be surveilled.
The other thing is there's also insecurity, and this, again, is an issue of surveillance, as a result of terrorism, you know, we are in a country that has continued to experience terrorism in Al‑Shabab attacks. There, a concern that has continued and it was very much in the Kenya IGF was there's a lack of data protection in the country and this was ‑‑ this was a fear that was expressed as a result of Kenya going through a general election, and the fact that citizens were told that their data was told in Europe so there was a concern that that data can be used in any way without any protection, and therefore there needs to have a data protection act.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Suspicions on surveillance and data protection as challenges identified by Kenya IGF. Before going to Asia‑Pacific and Italy, we will listen to youth representatives and we'll start with the youth representative from Turkey.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. My name is Susanna Herring (phonetic) and I'm one of the coordinators of IGF Turkey. Shortly about our initiative this was the third year this year that it was at the end of November and it was the most bottom‑up and inclusive one with travels on that ensured participants from ‑‑ from ‑‑ not from Istanbul was also able to come, we had different cities, different backgrounds, it was multistakeholder. But about the challenges and limitations, we did some surveys and also during the discussions our government was listed high on the list as a challenge in front of exercising digital rights both in content blocks and survey links official and unofficial surveillance, both in use of online vials by, violence by trolls, and this was more felt by female users online. And also we ‑‑ we discussed in length the increasing exclusion of People with Disabilities because there are ‑‑ because the design of things does not keep them in mind. So raising awareness in that sense. And also self‑censorship came to the forefront as another issue, again, due to surveillance and political climate. So these were the main challenges the youth of Turkey identified.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Okay, thank you very much for sharing challenges identified in youth IGF in Turkey. And now let me invite youth LAC IGF, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, everyone, my name is Allison (phonetic), and I'm here representing youth LAC IGF. The youth LAC IGF is (?) has been working for two years in Latin America. In both years we have a session about human rights and the Internet and we have realized that (?) especially the lack of connection in rural communities (?) is one of the biggest limitations towards satisfying the rights in the world. We have (?) from Latin America is a developing region. The poverty, the discrimination, the lack of opportunities, especially with young people (?) issues that are present in the digital world too. 2017, there were more a half a billion people in Latin America and the connected ones are just 54.5% data for 2016. For the people connected, Internet is present every month in their lives and it's limited to exercise their rights not only on the platform but also due to enhance their capacity of rights for these ideals and their different points of view and et cetera. On the other hand, the unconnected are being deprived of all of this, deprived to have access to technology. They might be able to create different ways to improve their lives and to exercise their rights. Because, like I say, the Internet gives us potential for (?) of things from communicating with others to work and exercise your rights. So I think that lack of connection together with lack of access to information are the major limitations and we as several institutes are working to struggling to end it.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much. Affirmation that the digital divide still exists and it causes a major problem in Latin American and Caribbean region. Asia‑Pacific privilege.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, this is (saying name) from the Asia‑Pacific IGF again. So I want to highlight one of the most concerned issues within our region or challenges and limitations as the gender digital divide and also the gender‑based violence. This is a critical concern which actually impeding us to address disparity and Internet access in our region because actually the gender‑based violence would limit the women's ability to take advantage of the opportunities of that ICTs can provide and also the full realization as women's human rights and oftentimes in some part of our region there is not equal access between the different genders, and for example, within a family, if they should build a family plan there might be discrimination over the gender ‑‑ I mean, over a daughter instead of a boy so these are some of the challenges that we observe in our region. And, of course, there are also other persist tenth disparities for example, in literacy income and also other barriers in the form of personal and cultural norms that we observe in the region thank you.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much and now Italian IGF.
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning to everybody. My name is (saying name), I'm here representing Italy IGF. Given I was in Bologna this year on the 20th and 21st of November, it was quite a successful event and it has been managed following the five principles of IGF tool kit so it was open and transparent, inclusive, but a statistical and noncommercial event and we set up an online participatory platform just to ‑‑ to take on the comments from the community on the agenda.
We are actually several session and I try to say a little bit about the session. There was one reality cybersecurity and the Internet about a lot of discussion has been debated about the importance of data security and importance to ‑‑ to start a discussion, a public debate on the security to involve more people on this discussion because we think security is not only to be intended as a cyberattack but it's important security for what concerned data and the privacy.
Then we share importance also to start training project at the school and the university to improve awareness about privacy and data protection.
And then we share important social to ask Italian government to have more human resource tools able to manage emerging situation, also to push more on research on cryptology, IoT and scatter system and also another issue came out during our discussion about cybersecurity and the Internet. So important we have a body, a body in Italy and Europe, a specific body focused on the hardware and software and firm certification to be used by the public administration, and also important to have more involvement of cities in public ‑‑ in defining the public policy using a multistakeholder model.
Then we had also another session on intelligent ‑‑ on artificial intelligence. And also here, a lot of issues came out related to the use of big data. As they usually have ‑‑ or manage ‑‑ use the predictive algorithms, so this algorithm are not using human intelligence. So this could be a problem for citizens.
And, actually, we have discussed a lot of things so maybe my time is finished but anyway, there were also a lot of problems related to the risk opportunity between Internet and work, also the new business model coming from (?) so maybe I can try to report and share ‑‑
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. As we usually say, that problems grow with kids, seems the problems of Internet grow as Internet spreads in the country, where the country is developed or developing alike.
I must say I absolutely failed in my task, moderate the discussion and keep the time. We are lagging about half hour behind the initial schedule so therefore, I don't think it is wise to start discussion of question four. That we will do in ‑‑ we will start with question four in the afternoon session and therefore, remaining three minutes we will spend listen ‑‑ list of challenges coming from Brazil and from this democratic republic of Congo. Flavia, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you Janus (saying name) Wagner speaking for the Brazilian IGF. Limitations in exercising our rights in the digital world I bring a legal perspective the Brazilian bill, the bill of rights on the Internet is still very young, it dates back to 2014. Debates in the Brazilian IGF has shown that the Brazilian community fears that some of these rights that have been enshrined in the bill could be negatively affected by new bills proposed in the national parliament afterwards, very recent years and mostly by pressure from very specific sectors. This is clearly the case for net neutrality for instance which is firmly established in the bill but should be weakened according to telecom companies just to mention an example. Also rights to privacy and data protection could be affected by a new bill on data protection which is under discussion for several years without a final decision yet.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: So thank you very much, and Democratic Republic of Congo [French].
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for giving me the floor. As far as I'm concerned, this is just something I omitted to say but it's quite a significant omission, it has consequences that is. First of all, our government is determined through its vice minister in charge of new technologies to organize the next iteration of the IGF in the central African region. That's a piece of information I had this morning, a confirmation I forgot to share with you early on.
The second piece of information I'd like to share with you is at the same time as the IDC/IGF was launched we also launched the youth platform, the young DRC which is now up and running as such.
The third point I would like to raise ‑‑ well, it's a comment really. We are speaking about the forthcoming IGFs. Our catalyst was the fact that our vice minister in charge of new technologies was invited to our IGF, and he was able to concretely see how important it was to set up such a platform in the DRC and I think that for all the other countries in the future it would be good to involve directly the authorities' concerns so that they can understand directly what the IGF is and what the point of the IGF is.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Your ‑‑ your experience highly relevant, especially for those who are planning to start their IGF initiatives so with this we have come to the end of our allocated time for the first part of the session. As I mentioned, I failed completely in managing the time properly as planning, what can you do, life is life, and I think we heard many interesting things that were very educational for all of us and we share that information and now we have about two hours to digest what we heard in order to come back at 3:00 and to talk about question four and question five. And after that we will engage also in a dialogue with the audience if there will be any questions or comments from those who haven't taken the floor until then, so by saying this I would like to thank all of you for your active participation and I invite you to be back in the room at 3:00 p.m. that we can maximize the time of one hour.
>> ANJA GENGO: So before you leave the room very importantly the second segment will be devoted to listen you will have an opportunity to ask questions with the colleagues so I hope you will be back here at 3:00. I think Marilyn has an announcement.
>> MARILYN CADE: My name is Marilyn Cade, I'm the chief catalyst of IGF USA and part of the NRI network and we have agreed in the NRI network among the coordinators that we'll have a session just with the NRI coordinators or representatives from your NRI with UNESCO from 2:30 until 2:55 and the discussion is between the UNESCO team and the NRI coordinators or people who are officially in their NRI. It's not that others can't be in the room but the dialogue is going to be primarily pushed around a discussion that we have been trying to develop to learn more about UNESCO's programs so the NRIs themselves can take that into account in their future planning. Thanks.
>> ANJA GENGO: Marilyn in, this room, right, in this room?
>> MARIYLN CADE: In this room.
>> I would like to thank our repertoire for their hard work, and I'm going to ask Dustin to read the general messages sent during the first segment over the divider community by the participating NRIs.
>> DUSTIN PHILLIPS: Thank you, Anja. My name is Dustin Phyllis, for the record.
And so there were several key themes that emerged at the first part of this session. One over the most prominent themes that rose was the broad consensus that online rights are the same as offline rights.
Then, we went on to talk about the access and connectivity is rights for the digital world r world. Beyond that, the access alone is not enough. That there's an additional need for capacity development, such as increasing digital literacy and raising awareness about protecting certain rights online. And the rapid development of certain new technologies online can have an impact and effect on our digital rights. And the last thing that was a common theme among all of the ‑‑ not all of the NRIs, but a lot of them was that the approach to the matters pertaining to these online rights needs to be inclusive of all perspectives, especially, including the vulnerable communities.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Dustin, I know you didn't have an easy task given the complexities shared during the first segment. Now, building, Dustin summarized for us and what we heard during the first segment, I think we have identified a lot of issues, a lot of problems. Some of those problems, issues, and priorities in terms of what needs to be resolved are different across countries and regions.
And with that, my question, first of all, for the NRIs panel, would be what would be the effective approach to find solutions to these problems? And how can we improve the overall internet pertaining to our countries and improve the conditions globally? Can the multistake holder approach maybe be an effective approach in advancing the overall internet governance conditions?
I would kindly ask you to limit your interventions if possible to one minute. And with this, maybe to start with ‑‑ I know it's challenging, but let's see ‑‑
>> Thank you, Anja. We need to pursue and we need to get. But at the same time, it's a huge challenge. How can we build multishareholder model with the weak institutions in early one of the models. So the weak representation from companies. Weak representation from the nongovernmental side and the business side, too.
So this is the big challenge we have to deal with. You know, to work in a multistakeholder model which we really believe is the model we need to work on this internet governance.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much to the Colombian IGF, now Nigeria to see the multistakeholder approach.
>> Thank you, Anja. Brazil has been following the multistake holder model for more than two decades now. Also multistakeholder event does not propose on the recommendations. It serves as a policy forum, using important inputs for CGI, and the executive role. And for all actors of the Brazilian system. Taking an example, the CGI log seeking principles for the development of internet was the result of the committee. And none of the important bases for the widely known Brazilian bill of rights for the internet. And among those rights as mentioned before, you have freedom of speech, privacy of data protection and remove contents from websites, net neutrality.
It was the resort of a very wide consultation process which strong involvement from all stakeholder groups allow two years of intense debate and the legitimacy of that framework and the legitimacy has been stronger but the multistakeholder nature of the debates inside CGI leading toward the principles and outside of CGI with the whole society.
>> Thank you very much, I think that this is very important to underline that the legislation itself when it comes about the internet is a platform that requires, first of all, all of us to be involved, not just traditionally the governments. Let us see maybe what are the perspectives.
>> Thank you, this is Elizabeth. At this point in time, what European governance processes can do is capacity building and the policymakers and regulators. Decisionmaking remains UN Nation state centric. Europe has not been regulating. But there's a certain pressure to do so in the future.
But European countries mostly have high standards of human rights protection by legislation. So Europe is in a position to translate the standards into digital practice and to protect human rights across different European conditions. And this would be desirable to involve expertise of multistakeholder processes.
>> Thank you very much. We do have Spanish IGF inputs and I'm going to give priority as I know colleagues need to leave very soon.
>> The challenges about digital rights can be addressed through the multistakeholder model. There's a model that can potentially solve the challenges that is a multistakeholder model. Building ‑‑ so I would like to share with you very briefly some details about initiatives and detail rights ‑‑ so the IGF (?) Engaging the community. So the first group is a collaborating, while the second group is the ethics and the economy. And producing conduct the public sector and a guide for the practices for the private sector. So we had this multistakeholder enable for the cooperation to (?). Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for these ‑‑ sharing these good practices from their respective communities. Moving now to the Italian IGF to see what is the status of the multistake holder approach to these complex issues there.
>> So every one of us understand that the multistakeholder is a key for the management of the internet, especially, even in the countries. There are different models. Models, someone wants to share with the government and the government has to accept the model. In this committees. Another is that the government listened before. The opinions of the other constituencies and then they decide.
We tried in Italy, and it is now to discuss this for making the pressure on the government. This year, we think to have a result, a result that is positive, maybe more even of the previous two years. But then, the real point is that we are in an electoral campaign. That is not so easy. But we have to insist we have good signals in order to proceed. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for bringing these remarks on behalf of the Italian IGF. I think what you said is important. Goes in line with the fact that the IGF is not a decision-making forum, but a discussion forum. But ones that are making decisions are here and they're listening. And I think there is the biggest when it comes to the IGFs regardless on the level they're organized.
I do have from remarks from the IGFSA to hear remarks on this discussion.
>> One of our challenges was getting people to participate beyond what they're used to thinking is a Washington representatives taking care of this problem. Thankful that Larry Strickland has liked the multistakeholder model and implemented it in the US government beyond internet governance. Kind of used the multistakeholder models to lower the formality. It's been helpful not only in the internet governance portion, we're starting to see it involved in other areas of the government.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much to the colleagues from IGF‑USA. Now these remarks from the Portugal IGF, I know you have established within your respective community.
>> Thank you very much. Well, actually, you are right. So I'm not the coordinator, I'm part of the multistakeholder community that prepares the national initiative of the IGF in Portugal.
And because of I'm going to talk I'm going to wait I want to be certain all of my colleagues from the other fields feel comfortable with what messages that come up from our national initiative that was held on the 29th of September.
So on this ‑‑ so I'm ‑‑ as far as I'm understanding, the question.
>> So we open the second segment with discussing the multistakeholder approach. But of course, you have all of the flexibility to address all other items given the complexity of the topic.
>> So, we have a very good discussion. So we had to ‑‑ we have very good discussions, and as a result, we put in our messages that the contribution of the difference vital, to enrich the content and the ongoing discussion. It's problematics in a process allowing different perspectives to complement each other with the purpose of having a data comprehension of our reality.
This, in turn, empowers us to define the pathways to inclusions and digital competences to protect individual data, fundamental rights, the right to be forgotten, and to face up the challenges attached to issues like cyber security. Different perspectives, actors and stakeholders, they result in ‑‑ where we can recognize the main internet scenarios for today and tomorrow. But also, and perhaps, most importantly different uses, advantages and the challenges it entails. We have this initiative, now, in Portugal, it is called (?) 2030. It's an initiative, but it entails everything even the fifth pillar is about research with a computer and robotics, et cetera. And while I'm mentioning this. Because we are prepared to ‑‑ to better understand the future. Because we don't know what the technology would lead us in the morning of tomorrow. So before it was, like, day‑to‑day, we would change. Now, it's from the morning to the afternoon. Thank you.
>> Anja, thank you very much for defining how the multistakeholder approach is needed in that sense to address the issues that are emerging. Now to move to Afghanistan IGF. And see what are the perspectives that you are bringing from your respective community.
>> Thank you. As I mentioned before connectivity in being one of the greatest challenges that Afghanistan will also face the problem about having sufficient content and technologies has been a challenge here in the country that policy in the environment, taxation, government official having business interests so that it creates sort of an issue for the businesses in fiber optic, although it's open access policy that started a few really expensive really high‑end local businesses are not able to invest in the optic, fiber optic.
Public/private partnership has been an issue in Afghanistan, especially the organizations that are generating ‑‑ there's a complex cashback system in Afghanistan. All of the cash received by certain government agency go to a municipal finance fund. And then, it will come back not to that specific entity within the government body. But it will be, you know ‑‑ it'll come as a more whole, you know, for the whole ministry.
So that particular agency will not receive it back and that makes it difficult for the private/public partnership. If you're partnering with a specific agency, if we take (?) It's a problem. But recently, Afghanistan adopted a public/private partnership policy that will make it easier for us to, you know, work on that ‑‑ there are a couple of programs, which a literacy campaign and the target is to provide digital literacy across schools throughout Afghanistan. And 34 provinces.
And there are about 200 topics that will be taught in the digital literacy program. And this has been the municipal education. Has been partnering with us on that. There's a big program called promote that's the biggest US‑government funded program in the world. They have got $250 million for that.
And the purpose is to, you know, empower the Afghan women and the Afghan part of this program. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: I find it interesting that the multistakeholder approach didn't only reflect the substance to the discussion forum, it reflects the whole facilitation of the process because somebody needs to implement the whole process and invest its time and resources ‑‑ thank you for pointing this out. Can you share the inputs on behalf of your initiative?
>> Thank you, Anja, in Argentina, we underwent the second national IGF experience ‑‑ part of the core aspects of the discussions that we take into consideration. I would just guessing on the ‑‑ to the amount of time we have and the question about how does multistakeholder processes help in raising awareness and developing these human rights that in many parts of civil society in Argentina, seeing this increasingly as a vital component of its national policy. We are proceeding as the mechanism of having just run initiative in the yearly event is not enough as a multistakeholder process as such.
So the idea of this IGF ‑‑ visualized illustrated in work along the year where the national IGF is only one more of the activities that it is currently undertaking. And we see, this is the only way forward to make this a valuable space in terms of contributing towards these key priorities that are potentials between technology, human rights, the role of the internet in the economy and the promotion of innovation access to technology. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Carlina for being precise. Can you please just share very quickly and concisely, if possible, inputs from your perspective?
>> Secretary of African IGF. The sixth African IGF was held under a team in Italy and the digital transformation of Africa. It was preceded by the African School of governance, part of the African IGF process. The one key element was the African IGF. Based on very much stakeholder process. You can retain the ‑‑ relaxation of regulation to allow competition and reduced cost of services and products to consumers.
Affordability of content or connecting devices. The infrastructure is open that our policy for research. Capacity building, easy access to resources and application of use to encourage innovation, especially for use. Availability of space to bring all stakeholders together to share as best practices and make a stakeholder, each stakeholder understand and play its role.
As a multistakeholder model is overcoming problems in the digital world. If you want to see, you are invited to IGF open forum, from 5:20 to 6:20 in the room 23‑E.
>> Thank you very much, and looking forward to that open forum tomorrow. I hope in six minutes after we exhaust all of this today ‑‑ today, it's today. Okay. Thank you. I hope in six minutes after we exhaust all of the interventions, we can make open the floor for other colleagues to engage with you in the discussion.
Maybe if we could respect the timing of one minute and maybe ‑‑
>> The Polish IGF, I'll try to be brief. There are some fluctuations depending on the topics that are current to the internet themes and been discussed. It was in the European Union what we are trying to do as far as awareness raising is concern. We try to reach to the opinion leaders and other well‑formed communities working around internet things.
We did attract a lot of interest from the initiative, had a few successful sessions during the IGF on this topic. And we reach out to other neighboring countries that do not have for the national IGF with a session organized by our colleagues. We had some speakers and moderators from the Czech Republic. And it proved successful. It interested attention and spectators from Poland.
What we lack, really, is the more attention from SMEs, small and medium enterprises. We have big companies, we have civil society. What we do not have small, a small interpreters present at our IGF. Thank you.
>> Thank you very much. The colleagues from Polish IGF, similarities to what we heard.
>> I would say there are similarities. I would start with the identified problems. We had in previous interventions. As a solution for lack of digital competency that's identified in Croatia. We perceived that introducing digital literacy and media literacy problems formal and informal education would be important to engage more citizens in active participation if it is a problem. And online accessible services as well as to enhance the cooperation between citizens and the government team, and all government entities.
And currently, Croatia is taking place the education and critical reform, recognized those identified shortcomings and we all hope that it will mitigate them. Also, this digital competencies is recognized by my affiliate to the organization, research network, which started the huge project that aims to make school digital competent and mature. And we hope it'll bring some positive impacts.
>> ANJA GENGO: Just in time. Thank you so much. Moving now to The Netherlands IGF. To hear about the multistakeholder approach there.
>> Thank you. Thank you, again, from The Netherlands. The Dutch IGF has a multistakeholder engagement in The Netherlands. The platform engages various groups from all society, also young people. They're very engaged. I would like to stress, especially, the participation of government inside the IGF. I'm from the government ‑‑ but also, officials from economic affairs and from security and justice. Are involved in the IGF, which represents a very broad amount of knowledge policy in various fields.
I think this is a very strong aspect of approach. Next to the multilateral forum we are engaged in, we address the multistakeholder when we act internationally and we advance a free, open and secure internet all over the world.
For example, for where we are active, the form of internet freedom in Africa, but also, the global conference in cyber space in India, any IGF, of course, and I just wanted to say that other ‑‑ I want to highlight two other fora we initiated. Those are the global for cyber expertise, for all stake holders together on cyber security, capacity building and the government coalition of internet freedom and its advisory network that really is there. It will be launched today for the participation of nonstate stakeholders. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you for being on time. And I think you mentioned a lot of similar views that colleagues mentioned. But one very, very important, which is the role of the multistakeholder process. And with that, I would kindly ask to share the perspectives from your IGF.
>> Most effective model to deal with building ‑‑ research in the model as (?) And the model it's modelled directly and indirectly. The opportunity to (?)
>> Thank you very much. Can you briefly tell us what is the regional perspective there?
>> It's run as a multistakeholder group since establishment, actually. But I want to reiterate as colleagues mentioned about the importance of capacity building. So it's not just about opening the door for the people to come, but we'll have to make sure that we help them and prepare them to make some meaningful participation. And specifically raised by some ‑‑ town hall sections during our Bangkok meeting and also recognize this concern.
So therefore, we have been expanding our fellowship programs, which we were very proud to say we have been supporting from around the region to come to Bangkok meeting. And we also think it is very important to encourage new faces to come to the IGF meetings and to equip them with the understanding on how they can participate and exercise their rights here. And also, out of IGF, of course.
So that's why when you consider capacity building, I think it is very important to ensure the materials or courses we give them so we can see the diversity of language and culture as well as the background, knowledge and skills of the participants so that they can fully understand the issues. And lastly, I want to say, so we feel that by creating a network of fellows or from around the region, it would help to enhance the capacity with these peer support and shared information and encourage them for the continued participation. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. There's a very good multistake holder process in this year and well documented, I would say. What is the situation currently now there?
>> It was very multistake holder. And all of the stakeholders mentioned in IGF principle. All of them were included. In investing in government officially, the department of IGF is individual capacity, not ‑‑ is the chair of IGF. And civil society and we have the vice chair from the business community, as well. So it was very inclusive, multistakeholder. And interestingly, this was the budget.
But it is almost like funded, like organizing and organizers were there in the board and contributed. While connecting IGF activities, it is very interesting. And the most thing that there was one IGF issues. And then, that was very good discussion. And stakeholder and recommend all of the NRIs to be more focused on those and excluded community to build into this IGF that is very important.
And important thing that we are not able to admit is that most of the participants from the government itself and not from the outside of the capital. So that was one of major challenge to bring them all of them in the forum and discuss them in that way. So it was a nice discussion. And we hope we can bring who are not able to participate in the process.
>> I know it wasn't an easy journey, but you succeeded with a great outcome. In IGF, can we briefly hear about the status of the multistakeholder approach?
>> Thank you very much, Anja. The process was a success. From all points of view. In terms of organization. Makes it possible to reduce the cost, to open up debate in terms of national exchange to open debate on management of the domain and the CTFD. And all of these experiences have enabled the government to come to the conclusion that it was useful to participate to have the representatives of the local community but also all of the other officers who are in charge, with IT issues. And this has been very effective.
And so, around the IGF, they have been able to discuss the quality of services provided to the communities. We think this model should remain one and remain our process, should enable us to achieve results.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for respecting times and bringing very important inputs. I'm going to ask you to prepare your remarks and notes for intervening. While you're preparing on the policy questions we discussed during the first segment. And now the second segment with regard to the digital rights. While you're preparing, many will be quick on the behalf of IGF. Yes. We have only 20 minutes.
>> Thank you. Thank you. We try to have multistakeholder. The secretariat in the regional economic commission. But we reached out and it was multistakeholder. We want to say by 2018, we're trying to bring the West Africans to the School of internet governance. So we are hoping to hold that in 2018. School of internet governance, specifically targeting our participant that had not been enjoying the school of internet governance as we do in Africa.
Thank you. And is willing to separate us. Thank you.
>> Thank you very much, Mary. Let us just quickly go to Lianna. To hear perspectives.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you for giving me the floor. I'm Lianna Galstyan. And all change in the internet governance related issues are being discussed within this group. And even the discussions of the annual IGF in forms of messages go through this console. And finally placed in the world map of action plans for the coming years. The multistakeholder model can be an objective approach for making changes and improvements. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. On behalf of IGF Turkey.
>> This year was the most open transparent multistakeholder organization out of the three. And there's not much awareness about multistakeholder approaches among these. But once explained, the benefits and how it works and how it fits perfectly with the governance of internet is very enthusiastic and willing to participate in all processes. There's a general culture of government versus civil society, but at times, when this is broken, it comes with great results, such as the new legislation proposal and the analyzing of personal data. And, of course, we need to see if it will actually be enforced. And other challenges include local language content on internet governance. And more awareness about it because, like I said, once there's awareness, most parties are willing to participate, including the government.
>> Thank you very much, Sonia. Grace in Kenya, how is the situation?
>> I must say that the trend has continued because there has always been multistakeholder participation. But, you know, this year, we saw the participation of the youth determining what topics they want to listen to. And also, in terms of funding, we actually had the businesses putting in money, the government putting in money, we had traditional donors putting in money, and thin, we had organizations like the bloggers giving their time to just generate content. It was multistake holder all the way. And we felt that there are more voices this time.
And we hope that even in 2010, we will bring in more voices.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Grace. And on behalf of the Kenyan IGF, we will conclude this segment with brief remarks from the Italian IGF on the process.
>> During the Italian IGF. Because the proposal was put to the ‑‑ in the plenary session. And decent proposal of multistakeholder ability to be tackled locally for addressing internet government issues. We'll be putting public (?) Calling on this issue and multistakeholder in IGF Italia.
>> ANJA GENGO: With this, we have exhausted the initial remarks. I'll ask you to indicate whether you would like to intervene and ask a question or maybe add a suggestion for this session. I guess, there will be by raising hands. Yes, we have a first question here. I'm going to ask you to say your name at the beginning.
>> I'm from the Syrian IGF and west Africa IGF. What would perhaps put forward is ‑‑ I think every IGF should have a diversity indicator. It seems most IGFs are dominated by civil society. At this IGF, so many people from civil societies ‑‑ so many from the government, so at least you know it is multi‑stakeholder. Not more civil organizations, which is the case. Looking ahead, we don't have that many anyway.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for the question. My suggestion is we take the questions and then we will try to respond to all of them. Any other questions or suggestions? Yes, please.
>> It's more of a comment. Because after hearing all of the testimony, I feel like sharing that we launched two reports just on NRIs that raised a lot of the challenges that have been discussed here. Both are in line. And one is to open for participation by NRIs that want to share, like, the experience of their founding and the challenges encountered to multistakeholders and others.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you for this. Any questions reflecting the substance that we're hearing during the first and second segment? What is the concept of digital rights where there are issues to consider access to be a right. How are they affecting our rights?
>> Thank you, Anja. I wanted to make a 30‑second comment and suggestion. One thing I noted as a uniqueness. We have my observation. And as most of you know, my observation is we have very different models where in some cases in Europe, the government is almost the host. And in other cases, we have models where the ‑‑ maybe I should say the originator, the originator is civil society. And in other cases, it's already evolved very equally, and other cases, may be the technical community. What I've observed is there's a real challenge and I'm from the business sector. But what I've observed, there's a real challenge in all of the NRIs. And particularly, those that are not located in the countries to be able to reach businesses and particularly, outside of the telecom and internet business sectors. And I wanted to ask a question even by a show of hands of those who feel that our ability to attract businesses from health care, from financial services, et cetera, where if we're going to achieve the SDGs, we must be able to bring along more than what I think of as the supplier side of the internet, et cetera.
Because, I can say I'm looking at the co‑chair. We are able to get the communication companies. We're able to get the media companies. But it's difficult for us to interest banking or health care, et cetera. So I just think that's a common challenge that all of us face. And I guess, I'd be interested even just a by show of hands if that engagement with business is a big challenge everywhere.
I think that's very helpful and something for us in the network to think about what would make it more exciting and interesting and relevant to health care suppliers who are delivering ehealth, et cetera. So thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Marilyn, for the comment and suggestion, and I think your question was answered by the hands that were raised.
Any other comments or questions for the NRI colleagues? I do have one from the NRI ‑‑ just looking quickly whether there's anyone from the audience. If not, then I will give the floor to Catalina.
>> I think the issue just raised by Marilyn is one of the challenges we have with the branding of internet governance. And she were referring to companies that are part of the digital economy these days or traditional sectors or all of the sectors. And maybe the concept of ‑‑ they don't understand the concept of internet governance. They feel it's somehow unrelated to them. And I'm feeling this more and more.
And even in the university where I work, if I say this is a course in internet governance. Or if I say it's digital policy, oh. So there is a kind of a branding that I'm perceiving is challenging to overcome this next step over ‑‑ in this case, businesses, but other actors that should be incorporated into the ecosystem.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Catalina. I think we have an online participant. Lianna is online.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Yes, we do have around 20 online participants. And we have a discussion and questions to the panel. And I combined them in this way. And so, is there possibility of creation if a global institution that will monitor all of the cases of breaking the law of digital right and to regulate and solve those cases?
And this is one question, and the other one is what is a most appropriate way to engage young people in internet governance initiatives? How to make sure that they are equally involved in the IGF question. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. Having an institution that will do the monitory incorporating the digital rights.
>> This first question, I think we have been in this territory. And there are a variety of opinions whether we should strive to create some centralized governance model organization to address all of those issues. Or, we should simply continue addressing internet governance relate LD issues in the variety of organizations, variety of forums.
And coordinate these activities through specific actions, like internet governance forum where we come together, exchange information.
Probably, following the logic of internet architecture, avoid creation of single point of failure. One would argue that the governance model also should try to avoid create the single point of failure. Hence, my personal preference would be a variety of points where the decisions should be made. And, actually, coming back and thinking how idea of IGF was created, it was created exactly with the idea in mind that people who do care about internet about internet governance and related issues should come to learn, listen, tell their story, tell their concerns, better understand suggestion.
Different aspects of the issue. And then, go back to the respective constituencies organizations and make necessary decisions based on better understanding and fuller set of information about any given question.
>> ANJA GENGO: Mr. Peter Major, thank you.
>> Okay. Sorry. I'm Peter Major, just to follow‑up on what Janis was telling us. There's a cooperation within the commission of science and technology for development just discussing this possible models. They have distributed arrangement as we have now or should we have some kind of unified approach that is creating a new mechanism. As for the mechanism, it may be a mechanism of open working group or it can be a mechanism of a body. So the discussion is still going on.
There has been a previous working group that carried out a study about the issues and the existing mechanisms identifying also gaps. And this is a very valuable study, I believe, which pointed out that many of the issues or majority of the issues are being taken care of existing mechanisms. And of course, we have to think about how to fill the gaps. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for the very concrete answer. I think the Colombian IGF would like to intervene.
>> Thank you very much, Anja. Well, basically, I would like to assess the first exercise that took place this year in various sessions. These sessions had the participation of national and regional levels. And, I think, it's important to conduct an assessment to see if we can make improvements and maintain these areas for cooperation. Where we can share our experiences with respect to these issues here in the IGF.
Because, I see this as a mechanism to share the results of our national initiatives as well as good practices in this global space. Thank you very much.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. I think currently the records and the status of the network and the produced outcomes probably speak in favor to what you said, which is very important that the NRIs should have a good calibration. And I think there are good grounds laid for that. Thank you very much for bringing this up.
Second online question, yes? Lianna?
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: So we're taking a question from an online participant. The second question is what is the most appropriate way to engage young people in IGF initiatives? How to make sure they are equally involved in the IGF discussion.
>> ANJA GENGO: I think, Marilyn, you would like to intervene.
>> I'm going to make a comment about what I would say four models that I could point to. And we have some of them here. And the IGF‑USA, we have involved youth as advisers. They have been speakers on the plenary sessions. We've also involved Elon University on an ongoing basis. Through a multi‑year continuous involvement with Elon University and four other universities, we've been able ‑‑ we tried various models. And we ‑‑ our goal is just to make sure that we're integrating youth.
There are other models where youth have their own design. And I think maybe hearing from you about the other models, I would just say one size does not fit all. And I think that's important to make ‑‑ bring the voice of youth actually into the overall IGF, as well.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. And I think we need to wrap up here. But on this question, I'll invite everyone tomorrow morning at half past 8:00 to join us at the meeting into the IGF processes with the idea to have public consultations and see how we can improve the engagement of young people. With this, I believe, we have exhausted our time.
I'm going to first of all, from my side, thank you, not just the session, but thank you for working hard the whole year for this day to happen. And I'm going to especially thank for accepting this responsibility and for, of course, doing a wonderful job and in giving the last remarks, then, to Mr. Karklins.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. It was my pleasure to visit this to this community who dedicate their time to connectivity of internet in the respective countries and kudos and I'm very pleased to see that the community's growing.
And from my side, thanks to session organizer, conceptors and interpreters who helped us understand each other better. And I wish you ‑‑ all of you, wonderful end of the day and closing day of IGF that is tomorrow. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> Hello, hello, is this working? Can I ask everybody to take your seats, please so that we can start the main session on gender?
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Hello, can we sit down, please? So we can start the session? The gavel works. Hello, everybody, and welcome to the main session on gender. Which is Gender Inclusion and the Future of the Internet. I'm going to ask, this is a significant moment for gender and internet governance. Because after ten years, this is the first main session on gender. I'm going to ask that we applaud.
[ Applause ]
Thank you. And my name is Bishakha Datta. I'm from civil society. And my co‑moderator.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: I'm Emilar Gandhi, and I work for Facebook.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: When the first main session on human rights was held at the internet governance forum and that led, along with other things, to the recognition of human rights both offline and online at the human rights council. So our hope is with this kind of session, we will be able to signal the importance of integrating gender as a core dimension of internet policy and governance, which has been happening every year at the global internet governance forum, as well as at regional and internet governance forum.
So with that in mind, we just want to run you through a little bit of how the session is going to be organized. Basically, the session is broken into four chunks. The first three chunks are what we're calling 1A, B and C. And all of these, actually, relate to key issues and challenges related to gender, human rights, access, internet policy, artificial intelligence, et cetera.
And this will take us the first sort of one hour, 15 minutes or so. After that, we switch to the last segment, which looks at gender and internet governance. And we're going to try and actually shift around the ‑‑ where we sort of do the segments a little bit so that the first three segments will have interventions of three minutes each from our fantastic lineup of speakers.
And then the fourth segment, which is on gender and internet governance, we're going to run more like a talk show. And Emilar and I will model different segments. We're going to alternate with each other. So with this, let me hand over to Emilar to take it forward.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Thank you. And we don't want to waste a lot of time talking. We do have experienced speakers, experts in their own fields and they can introduce themselves later on. But before we even start with the speakers, we have David Kaye for us. And just in opening and let us, everyone in the room know why is this significant? Why should people stay in the room for the next two hours?
>> DAVID KAYE: Okay. That's a lot of pressure. Maybe we should shut the doors, lock the doors because I don't want you to leave while I'm talking, or when anybody else is talking. I just want to say a few things about this. First of all, I'm David Kaye, I'm Freedom of Opinion and Expression. And one of the things I've been very lucky about ‑‑ (audio stopped) working in a space of freedom of expression and gender and gender rights.
And I want to say a couple of things about this. I don't know if I can frame the discussion. That's a heavy burden. But I think there are a couple of points to make. So the first one and one of the reasons why I think, I think it's so important to have organizations, like APC, active in this space is that there are two ‑‑ it's often seen that the two kinds of issues that are competing in some way. So on the one hand, you have gender‑based violence. And then, competing with that is freedom of expression.
And I think that one of the really brilliant insights that many of the people in this room and I think people on this panel have been saying for a long time that APC has been really essential at coordinating is that expression and protection are not independent of one another.
And that, really the first place to be ‑‑ the first way to think about these kinds of issues is not in terms of a victim of gender‑based violence as purely a victim, but as also an agent in her own right or his own right.
But that, I think, is a critical perspective that APC and others have brought to the table. And I hope it's a way that we can think about the issue over the course of this ‑‑ of this discussion. Although, I'm leaving, I say we in the genetic sense. That's the first point I want to make is that the gender‑based violence and expression, don't need to be add odds with one another. That protection and expression can go hand‑in‑hand. The second part of that is that as we're thinking about the race to deal with ‑‑ in particular, online abuse or online violence ‑‑ that we need to be really careful in ensuring that the steps that we take or that we're asking either companies or governments to take are on the one hand targeted to addressing the real serious threats that are gender‑based online. Also, don't do so in a way that disproportionally impact the rights that all people enjoy online. And in particular, that have a gender oriented.
Couple of generic examples, but examples nonetheless. In an effort to deal with problems of, let's say, I think it's important to make sure that policy and rules target that problem and don't give governments the opportunity to target other issues such as the sharing of information about sexually reproductive health.
And one of the things that I think we've seen all too often is that rules that might have a sound basis and are well‑intentioned are often misused by governments to deny rights that have to do with public health, let's say or sexual health.
And so, we need to be very careful on this as an example where the basic rules of freedom of expression, the basic principles of freedom of expression can really help us. And I'll close with that and maybe this will be my last kind of framing.
So article 19 on the covenant provides that everybody enjoys the right to secrecy and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers and through any media. It's a brilliant formulation in many ways. And if people have heard me say this before, I'm sorry, but it seems as though the language is actually from about 1948 from the universal declaration. It's language that also feels right in the digital age. It's regardless of frontiers and it's through any media. Governments also have the ability to restrict freedom of expression, not opinion, but expression. And can only do so when they (audio stopped). To ensure that those putting burdens on expression justify that there's burdens meet those three conditions so they're provided by law. They're clear, they identify the specific kind of expression that is problematic. They don't provide excessive discretion to governments or other or companies or other kind of regulators.
We shouldn't just rest or allow governments or companies to say it's necessary to do this because of X, Y or Z. We want them to show us why there needs to be transparency about why a particular restriction is necessary and proportionate and that proportionality part means definitely tackle gender‑based abuse, but don't use that as a pretext to target other kinds of expression that might be offensive for reasons of public morals or religious bias or something that might be offensive but not within the framework of human rights law.
Finally, ensure that the actual restriction is for a legitimate purpose. And too often, we see governments and, I think, companies adopting restrictions that don't meet, at least one of those conditions. So I think that this is an absolutely essential discussion. It's a discussion that I think can be important not just for thinking about gender and online rights, but also, can be a discussion that has spillover effect into all sorts of other kinds of expression. And thankfully, because of the people associated with APC and the organization itself, there's a framework for thinking about rights and expression that is sensitive, both to the violence and abuses out there, but also, to the rights that people have to access information and ideas of all kinds.
So thank you. And I apologize, but I'm going to speak and run.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Before you run, we want to open this up for maybe two questions for you before you run from the floor.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Any questions?
>> DAVID KAYE: All questions were answered. I see a lot of people in this room who always have a question, so, shoot away.
>> Can I ask you a question, David?
>> DAVID KAYE: Yes.
>> All questions answered cannot go unanswered. Yeah. No, what I wanted to ask you, actually, is that I know you have rarely talked about, you know, freedom of expression. Like, that when there is gender‑based online violence, that itself affects freedom of expression for those who experience gender‑based violence online, right?
So in that context, you know, how do we get platforms, policymakers or government processes to recognize that in sort of ‑‑ or even laws? You know, how can that be put into practice or something that I wanted to ask you.
>> DAVID KAYE: So, there's not enough time to get into specifics, and I think the whole discussion will focus on that, which I think is really valuable. But I think there's at least two parts of an answer ‑‑ at least put us on the path to an answer. So one is, I think, if we're talking about companies, they need to engage with civil society. I think that the companies and some have been doing this more and more because of a recognition that they can't make rules in the absence of the actual stakeholders, right?
So I think that's important as a process issue is that people in this room need to be involved in that kind of discussion. And particularly, if we're thinking about this space as being almost like public space, if not actually public space. I mean, many of us consider our interactions in social media to be more or less our public space, our interactions, our ability depends on having that kind of access that if we're going to ‑‑ if they're going to talk about themselves in terms of a kind of a public function. And if we're going to think of them as providing that space, that should also include making the rules not exactly the way democratically accountable governments do. But also, making the rules with a kind of deep, regular input from those who are most affected by those rules.
So I think that's important: And then, the second part, which is connected because you can't engage if you don't have information is that we need to be advocating for maximum transparency. And not just transparency in terms of the rules but transparency of process, transparency of cases, of how things of examples of how things are being taken down. I think those two things together can actually provide better ‑‑ a better chance that the specific rules on the merits will be more consistent with what people in this room might think are how those rules should be constructed.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Thank you so much. We can release you, now.
>> DAVID KAYE: Sorry.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: The doors can be unlocked now. Yes. And over to you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Okay. We move on to the next segment, which is looking at key issues and challenges. And we have three speakers with us. Our first speaker is a researcher with a think tank. And Chenai, I wanted to ask you a question related to your work and the question of access. What are the key challenges and what are we missing in the debate? Are there blind spots we're not looking at that could take us to sort of a more meaningful solution? Other questions, actors, initiatives not part of the conversation? And how can IGF facilitate this?
>> CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much. I thought this was one question. But ‑‑ I think at least the transcripts are showing me that there are six questions in there. Firstly, thank you for having me on this panel. It's actually an honor. Because the first time I joined IGF, seeing gender sessions, they had been hidden in the back room on the last day, everyone's gone shopping and you don't know it exists.
But to respond to your question, what we have seen in terms of the gender issue is that there have been initiatives and policymaking processes that focus on ensuring the issue of gender's addressed. There is some mechanism that allows for the gender question to be properly addressed.
However, I think the biggest prime spot has been that it seems to more of a one‑size‑fits‑all policy. And I know this is, perhaps, maybe because more of the context of which I'm coming from the different African countries I look at really has been understanding gender from a very heterosexual perspective. Looking at the differences between men and women. But there hasn't been much in terms of looking at the differences amongst women.
And so, then, this morning, we had a session that looked at the different subgroups. And some of the subgroups we looked at, which were rural women, youth, women from refugee camps, just some of these groups. So I think what's definitely missing is the way in which we approach the gender question.
There needs to be an unpacking of what these forums understand to be a gender question. Because when you come to the global IGF, you can have this main gender session and it's all dedicated to gender.
When you go to your regional IGF, you have gender packed with something else. Once again, it's, I think, when it comes to the ‑‑ access question and priorities of issues it has been how do we approach the gender question. That's the group that has been missing. We've been working in siloed conversations. People working on research, working on their own, tech sector, working on their own to address the gender question or people in the civil society space are working on their own.
There hasn't been as much crossover as necessary to ensure that the conversation is similar and there isn't a repetition of work. I think, also, it's about involving the question of access to not simply be about access to resources, but to actually understand what does access mean to the type of group we want to focus on.
So for us, we've been trying to coin this topic around meaningful access where it actually is defined by the groups of people that we're trying to understand and our researchers understanding what is it that you do online? Why do you go ‑‑ why do you access these services? And what do you intend on doing when you get access? I think that's one way we will then understand why is it that when in cases of gender‑based violence or in cases of where people would describe as bad content, we have women or different groups that then decide to not be online.
So then, we can improve access to get people online, but then, what happens when to access you get is not exactly what you want and you end up leaving the online space. That's my intervention.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you very much. Our next speaker is Doreen Bogden. She's the most senior ranked woman at ITU. And Doreen is also the founder over the gentec awards. Since ITU has been championing the work around leadership in the area of gender and ICTs, as well, could we hear a little bit from you about the lessons that you've ‑‑ that ITU has learned in this process? Some of the insights and what we can bring to bear IGF has the result of that?
>> DOREEN BOGDAN: Thank you very much, it's a pleasure to be here. 2017 has been an important year for the digital gender divide. As you mentioned, we have succeeded in being a named session here at the IGF, that's big progress. We also succeeded in having a reference in the G20 this year. And in the women's 20, that's big progress. And most recently, we had a whole paragraph included in the ICT resolution of the second committee in the general assembly.
What's next? Our next big challenge? Our next big challenge is to have no more gender sessions because we actually have no more gender gap when we talk about digital. I think that's my hope. My hope for the future. I just wanted to touch briefly on the access gap. Because we know that we still have a gap. That there are, when we look at the gap, it's 12% less women than men that are using the internet. We know that the gap globally is growing. It's growing most in Africa where more men are getting connected and fewer women.
The gap is about 25% fewer women online than men. And we know that when we look at least developed countries, the gap is even bigger where there's only 1 in 7 women that are using the internet. And this is really a big concern. There is a lack of disaggregated data. And we believe that we can't solve problems that we can't see. So we really do need to address the data gap. We also know that chronic underinvestment in rural areas actually has a disproportionate negative impact on women living in rural areas.
But we believe that there are lots of things that we can do. There's lots of solutions. And when I talk about the solutions, I want to mention three names. Mala, Kenley and Aurora. Last night, they were here and they were awarded at our equals in tech award ceremony. And this morning, just before the best practice forum, they joined us for a panel and told us their stories.
And what I found interesting from their stories as one of them mentioned, even small initiatives can do big things. These three women have done incredible things in their home countries. With very little funding, very little even political support. But they were motivated and they were inspired to make a difference, and they have. Mala has created the Lebanese alternative learning where she's focusing on Syrian refugees. It's very much centered around access.
And this morning, she shared with us some of the challenges that she faced. And I think a lot of us can understand those challenges linked to the digital gender gap. She highlighted some of the social, cultural issues. It's not just about connectivity. There are lots of other issues that we need to overcome. About how to convince teachers. So getting the message out there and how to convince educators the problem with devices and the cost of devices and what she's done.
And also, the problem with local languages. So I think it was really great that she could share with us some of the work that she's been able to do in Lebanon assisting Syrian refugees. We also heard from Kenley. She's from Costa Rica and she's looking at ways to bring women and girls in the technology sector.
When we look at the digital gender gap from the ITU, we break it into skills, access and leadership. So she's taking on the leadership side and really trying to figure out ways to get girls and women interested in the ICT infrastructure. Coding for moms, girls, digital skills training to help develop future women entrepreneurs.
And then, specifically on the skills side and that's where Roya comes in, she's from Afghanistan. And she is the founder and CEO of the digital citizen fund. And what she has been working on is establishing sustainable, economic livelihoods for women and girls in Afghanistan. And she has focused on digital literacy programs and making them very much sustainable and community‑focused.
And what was great to hear from her is that financial literacy was such a driving component, and she was able to overcome a lot of barriers in traditional communities because she showed that by giving them the digital skills, making them financially literate, they were able to generate income.
She gave an example of a 16‑year‑old girl that had 25 employees. So I know I am short on time, but I thought it would be good to share with you three names. Three specific cases, three amazing women that we awarded here at the IGF. And we heard from this morning because that's how we can really make a difference. And through our equals partnership, where we're working with civil society, the private sector, governments and academic institutions, we believe that we can all come together, share experiences, share know‑how and really make a difference on the ground. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you, Doreen. I just wanted to say that thank you for also reminding us that small initiatives from the ground‑up can actually sort of have big outcomes or do big things. And I think that's a valuable insight that we take away.
Our next speaker in this particular segment which looks more at one of the key issues and challenges, which is access is Joyce Donyez, and I know you've been doing work with engaging in the sustainable development goal which is the one around gender equality. At the same time, I think ISOC has shown some interest in working on the issue of gender and mainstreaming gender much more.
So Joyce, if you could speak to some of those.
>> Thank you very much. As you may know, the fundamental goal of the internet society is to bring an open, globally connected trusted and secure internet for everyone everywhere. And that includes, obviously, all genders.
Now, what we see is that the latest internet society reports that was focusing on the future of the internet has identified that there's some divide in terms of people. People are divided between hopes and fears regarding the future.
But there's also gender divide. So, we know that there are 200 million fewer women online than men. And we heard some figures already. But in the developing world, women are 25% less likely than men to have access. And when you look at sub-Saharan Africa, the numbers jump up. One of the discussions we had, amongst others, is that technology in and of itself is not really causing inequality in gender.
We need to look at it from a broader perspective, as well. We need to look at it from a social, economical and cultural aspect, as well. And it's necessary to have proper infrastructure, which brings us back to the access, obviously. We need to have access to the internet before we can start having the conversation.
But it needs to be affordable, we need to have affordability taken into account. And we need to go beyond all of that and look at development issues from a broader perspective. We need to look at what happens after people get online, after women and girls get online. And that brings me to the meaningful access that we mentioned earlier already. How do you use the internet? How does it make your life better? How does it put in the central of that technology? Crucial in this effort is also the role of role models. And we've seen some amazing examples yesterday, thanks to the equals in tech awards. Internet society has also ran a campaign on shining the lights to actually shine some light on those amazing projects that all of these amazing young girls and women are doing around the world.
And this is bringing some inspiration to other women to probably step up and do the same. We need to make sure we build that community over success stories and attract more women in that. And internet society, I'm very proud to say has actually a special interest group on women that was created and launched last month.
So I encourage all of you to join and be part of those discussions. But talking of ‑‑ talking of role mo