Launch Event for the Council of Europe and IEEE Joint Report on the Metaverse and its impact on Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Democracy – Pre 11 2024

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17 June 2024 | 14:00 - 15:30 EEST | Building 4, Event Hall | Video recording
Consolidated programme 2024

Session teaser

The session will explore the profound implications of the Metaverse on human rights, the rule of law, and democracy. Discussions will focus on the need for adaptive regulatory frameworks to manage privacy, data protection, and intellectual property rights within these immersive environments. Ethical considerations will also be examined, particularly how these technologies affect individual autonomy, identity, and societal values. Furthermore, the event will highlight the importance of inclusive design to ensure equitable access for all users, especially vulnerable populations, and address the critical issue of protecting children's rights and well-being in virtual spaces. This comprehensive dialogue aims to foster a nuanced understanding of the Metaverse and its impact, paving the way for a more inclusive and rights-respecting digital future.

Session description

Introduction: The concept of the Metaverse, a virtual world where digital and physical boundaries blur, presents a paradigm shift in how individuals perceive and engage with technology. From immersive gaming experiences to innovative educational platforms, the Metaverse offers a myriad of opportunities and challenges that demand attention from policymakers, technologists, and civil society.

Background: The EuroDIG Forum serves as a pivotal platform for dialogue on digital issues, bringing together stakeholders from across Europe to discuss emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in the digital sphere. Against the backdrop of Lithuania's presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and its focus on digital governance, the launch of the joint report by IEEE and the Council of Europe on the Metaverse's impact on human rights, rule of law, and democracy is both timely and significant.

Objective: The launch event aims to unveil and discuss the findings of the joint report, shedding light on the implications of immersive realities for human rights, rule of law and democracy. By convening key stakeholders, including policymakers, academics, industry representatives, and civil society actors, the event seeks to foster a nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by the Metaverse.

Key Themes:

Governance and regulation: Discussion on the necessity for adaptive regulatory frameworks to address privacy, data protection, and intellectual property rights in the Metaverse.

Ethical considerations: Examination of the ethical implications of immersive technologies on individual autonomy, identity formation, and societal values.

Inclusive design: Emphasis on the importance of creating virtual environments that are accessible and equitable, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Youth protection: Analysis of concerns related to children's rights and well-being in the Metaverse, such as psychological effects and privacy risks.

Environmental and societal impacts: Exploration of how the Metaverse affects the environment, labor, societal literacy, sustainability, and funding.

Neurological and cognitive challenges: Discussion on the cognitive and psychological risks associated with brain-computer interfaces and virtual environments.

Legal challenges in immersive realities: Consideration of the legal complexities that arise from the merging of physical and digital realities, including jurisdictional and privacy issues.

Enforcement of international laws in virtual environments: Evaluation of how international laws and regulations are enforced in virtual settings, ensuring safety, security, and compliance.

Anticipatory policies for emerging technologies: Discussion on developing policies that anticipate the societal impacts of emerging technologies and promote ethical and inclusive use.


Hybrid session with some online participants; round-table discussion

Further reading

Abridged version of the Council of Europe- IEEE report on the metaverse and its impact on human rights, rule of law and democracy:


Key participants:

  • Irena Guidikova, Head of Democratic Freedoms and Institutions Department, Council of Europe;
  • Clara Neppel, Senior Director, IEEE;
  • Melodena Stephens, Professor of Innovation and Technology Governance, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government;
  • Ricardo Chavarriaga, Head of CLAIRE Office, Switzerland;
  • Monique Jeanne Morrow, Tech Leader;
  • Kumardev Chatterjee, Member, INTERPOL Expert Group on Metaverse;
  • Epaminondas Christophilopoulos, UNESCO Chair on Futures Research, ESIR member;


  • Irene Kitsara, European Standardisation Initiatives Director, IEEE

Online moderator

  • Rodica Ciochina, Council of Europe

Video record