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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon 2019, the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

Together at RightsCon Tunis, our first summit hosted in the Middle East and North Africa, more than 2500 expert practitioners will come together across over 400 sessions to shape, contribute to, and drive forward the global agenda for the future of our human rights.

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Thursday, June 13 • 10:30am - 11:45am
Does Social Media Deserve a Sin Tax? The impact of Internet service levies on human rights and sustainable development in Africa

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Increasing incidents of taxing popular Internet services have occurred recently, including on social media use and voice of IP (VoIP) calls. While such measures are proposed for a variety of reasons, they could pose a significant threat to digital rights and make it more difficult for people to gain Internet access. This, in turn, can limit developing countries’ ability to harness the potential of the Internet for sustainable development. For example, a daily levy in Zambia applies to VoIP calls, while in Uganda online content providers must register and pay an annual fee, while users must pay a daily social media tax levy to access social media platforms. The session will examine recent work by APC and RIA, as well as other practitioners, to understand the impact of such mechanisms on digital inclusion, sustainable development, and human rights. Stakeholders from different communities will reflect on evidence from their respective regions on how taxations and deployed, and for what reasons. Finally, stakeholders will investigate the potential harms that may arise from imposing such levies in developing regions in particular, with the aim of making general recommendations for policymakers considering the use of such levies in Africa in the future.

avatar for Anriette Esterhuysen

Anriette Esterhuysen

Chairperson, United Nations Global Internet Governance Forum's Multistakeholder Advisory Group
avatar for 'Gbenga Sesan

'Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a pan-African social enterprise working on digital inclusion and digital rights through its offices in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society... Read More →
avatar for Eleanor Marchant

Eleanor Marchant

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford, Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy
I'm a researcher specializing in communication, technology innovation, and startup culture, internet policymaking, internet shutdowns, internet connectivity as a human right, and connectivity in conflict and crisis, particularly for refugees, with a focus on the African context.Will... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 10:30am - 11:45am BST
Utique (Laico)