WS 10: Confronting the digital divide (2) - Refugees, human rights and Internet access

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Session teaser

In light of discussions in Workshop 2, if human rights indeed should apply online as they do offline (UNHRC 2014) then what sort of techno-legal and sociocultural challenges arise in order to enable, and protect the rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers to Europe to access the internet and, once online, to be able to participate fully in the online environment?

Session description

For some commentators a striking feature of the current refugee and migrant crisis is how central a role mobile phones and internet access play in providing information, and contact with family back home as they seek refuge from war and conflict. Keeping these devices working, and being able to use various sorts of social media, is a vital lifeline for displaced persons on the road. They also play an integral role in being able to start a new life as newcomers in another part of the world.

But providing internet and mobile phone access to these communities raises a number of questions for policy makers and service providers, be it for physical access and online service provision for people on their way to safety, whilst awaiting the outcome of their applications throughout the world, or for their needs such as education and information on public services once resettled. This flash panel brings together a range of views and expertise on the legal and technical challenges that arise when providing internet access and mobile phone provisions to refugees.

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This workshop is in tandem with workshop 2. Themes discussed will draw on the following submissions to the EuroDIG program: ID 11; 55; 60; 90; 30; 33; 41; 132

Keywords

refugeerights, internetaccess, netrights, humanrights, refugeesandminorities, digitaldivide, digitalinclusion, disabilityrights, publicaccess

Format

Roundtable Discussion with key participants, and invited audience members; Proposed output to be up to 6 recommendations to the European Parliament, EC and Council of Europe.

Further reading

Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents.

People

  • Focal Point: Marianne Franklin, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition/Goldsmiths (University of London, UK)
  • Key participants
    • Kiamars Baghbani, IFLA (Finland)
    • Marianne Franklin, Goldsmiths/Internet Rights and Principles Coalition; Academic
    • David Krystof, Freifunk Rhein-Main; Civil Society
    • Fatuma Musa Afrah; Civil society
  • Moderator: Julia Reda, MEP (European Pirate Party)
Co-moderator: Sebastian Raible
  • Remote moderator: Ruth Hennell (Youth, UK)
  • Org team
    • Charles McCathie-Nevile, Yandex
    • Andreas Palmqvist, Civil Society (Sweden)
    • Didier van der Meeren, Le Monde des Possibles ASBL
    • Dixie Hawtin, Minority Rights Group International
    • Frederick Donck, Internet Society (ISOC)
    • Hanane Boujemi, Hivos/IRP Coalition)
    • Julia Brungs, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
    • Julia Reda, MEP
    • Justus Roemeth, European Parliament
    • Karmen Turk, TRINITI Estonia
    • Maarit Palovirta, ISOC
    • Marianne Franklin, IRP Coalition/Goldsmiths
    • Mattias Bjarnemalm, European Parliament
    • Olivier Crepin-Leblond, GIH
    • Ruth Hennell, Youth/University of Cardiff
    • Sebastian Raible, European Parliament
    • Stephen Wyber, IFLA
    • Stuart Hamilton, IFLA
    • Valentina Pellizzer, One World Platform
    • Wolf Ludwig, EuroDIG Programme Director
    • Yuliya Morenets, TaC International
  • Reporter: Valentina Pellizzer (One World Platform)

Current discussion

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page.

Conference call. Schedules and minutes

Both Workshop 2 and 10 have emerged out of an interactive drafting and conferral process online

Supplementary discussions via the email list.

Mailing list

Contact: ws10@eurodig.org

Video record

See the video record in our youtube channel

Transcript

Transcript: Confronting the digital divide (2) - Refugees, human rights and Internet access

Messages

  • Acts of terrorism being used to justify excessive forms of control and denial of full access for refugees/newcomers in atmosphere of racism and xenophobia
  • Now that internet is crucial for right to information, education, health services, employment, and well-being need to denounce curtailment of full internet access in detention centers that deprives refugees legal assistance and communication with families and thereby their human rights.
  • Public authorities and intermediaries cannot continue to delegate access provisions of key services to volunteers from civil society.
  • One size does not fit all e.g. need to recognize specific needs such as safe and equitable access for women, and young girls, safe spaces online and offline, to sustain learning, confidence, and mental health.
  • All service providers and governments have a duty of care towards providing realistic access for these vulnerable communities. This includes not subjecting them to privacy intrusions, disproportionate monitoring of uses, or restricting access to social media tools.
  • Need to generate alternative narratives to enable offline and online rights for refugees i.e. to combat cultural stereotypes, racist assumptions about needs at local and national level.
  • Outcome was initiation of an inventory of positive initiatives responding to the actual communication and information needs of refugees in Europe. Link to pad on 1 and 2

Session twitter hashtag

Hashtag: #eurodig16 #refugeesinternet