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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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RightsCon is brought to you by Access Now.
Wednesday, June 12 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Lightning Talks: Questioning access and accountability

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How to effectively use the experience and expertise of former extremists and academics to disrupt terrorist recruitment (CENTRI)

With academic knowledge, tech, and media at our disposal how can we best architect a viable alternative to extremist narratives? Terrorists' recruitment tactics follow a simple pattern whether that be white supremacism or Islamist terror. They distort, play on fear, and encourage hatred of the other. Drawing on knowledge of formers and academics together with the help of tech and media organisations, it is possible to organise grassroots activities that will be an effective antidote to extremist narratives.

The Groundswell Project has been devised to do exactly that using Hadiya Masieh’s 22 years of experience and insight. She was part of a radical Islamist group for 10 years and has spent over a decade pulling young women out of and away from Al Qaidah/Daesh. The key has been to bring around the table media, tech, academics and activist and devising similar tactics extremist use to spread their rhetoric. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, everything we need to challenge this at its roots is right in-front of us. It’s necessary however to be practical, passionate, creative, and to join forces with others to effectively push back against extremism and create an environment that does not provide fertile ground for extremists to grow in numbers and recruit new people to aid their cause. Her talk will be on how to practically do this.

Speaker: Hadiya Masieh

Barricades to Justice (Media Matters for Democracy)

Description: The session introduces a legal aid program our organization has initiated in Pakistan that aims to provide journalists and activists with free legal assistance. It will start by highlighting the need for this program, in which we plan to explain the attacks on media persons for voicing their dissent in the country. Followed by this, the speaker will give a very brief overview of the cases that have been or decided by the Courts relating to freedom of expression, and how these cases have impacted the rights of people. A few major cases in this regards pertain to network shutdowns and connectivity. The session will then highlight the challenges faced by lawyers and media persons when approaching the courts to guarantee freedom of digital expression. By engaging in a discussion on this, the ultimate goal of the session would then be to collect feedback from the legal experts and activists from other countries/ communities, on legal methods that have to be adopted and how to combat the challenges, by using the law, and how to better protect the right to free speech in an online space.

Speaker: Salwa Sameer Rana

Intellectual Property and Sacred Reciprocity at the Frontiers of Psychedelic Medicine (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - MAPS)

Description: If a hot Silicon Valley startup develops a new mental health treatment by applying machine learning to a publicly available scientific database, what legal or ethical obligations does it have to the indigenous ayahuasca shamans whose plant medicine expertise made that database possible? This scenario may seem fanciful, but it raises important questions that affect real people. The “Psychedelic Renaissance” is here, and questions like this – about ownership, access, and practicality – remain. Existing international frameworks for protecting indigenous genetic resources and traditional knowledge were created at a time when drug development often required transferring physical samples across borders. The international community is still grappling with whether and how such frameworks apply to synthetic biology, just as artificial intelligence is poised to exponentially accelerate the pace of drug development. The session will open with a short, high level overview of relevant international frameworks (including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol, and ongoing negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization). Then we will shift to an interactive discussion that will explore the ethics of legalizing and commercializing psychedelic plant medicines – like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and even cannabis – and principles for equitably sharing the benefits of indigenous knowledge.

Speaker: Ismail Ali

Breaking Down the Prison Walls: Digital Community Platforms for Access to Justice (International Bridges to Justice)

Description: 3 million people around the world languish in pre-trial detention without access to a lawyer and at risk of torture. Can the global movement for access to justice harness technology to connect legal defenders and put a stop to these human rights abuses? Karen Tse’s lightning talk will tackle this question by highlighting the power of digital community platforms to create sustainable and long-lasting impact on a broad scale. She will share IBJ's journey towards the creation of IBJ’s JusticeHub (a digital platform for accessing justice), discuss its core functionalities and spark a conversation on the impact of digital community platforms on the work of lawyers and human rights advocates across thematic spheres. IBJ’s JusticeHub will serve as a “work forum” and “strategic convener” to connect the global legal defender community. This community currently lacks a participatory online space. IBJ believes technology can overcome this coordination problem. Join Karen to hear how NGOs can bring technology and justice together to move towards a world free from torture and other abuses.

Speaker: Karen Tse

avatar for Hadiya Masieh

Hadiya Masieh

Founder and CEO, Groundswell Project
Hadiya Masieh is an expert consultant in the area of community cohesion, interfaith relations, counter extremism, and women’s involvement in extremism and radicalisation. Her experience spans over 22 years. She has been a counter extremism consultant for various Governments and... Read More →
avatar for Karen Tse

Karen Tse

Founder & CEO, International Bridges to Justice
Karen founded International Bridges to Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. A former public defender, Karen first developed her interest in the cross section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 1986... Read More →

Wednesday June 12, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm BST
The BeeHive (Palais)