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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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Forging Alternative Models for Business and Human Rights [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 12


Responding to Mass Atrocities in the Digital Age: Challenges and Lessons Learned from Myanmar
In 2018, the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar concluded that the role of social media had been significant in the spread of hate speech across the country. Drawing on the events in Myanmar, participants will be invited to discuss two core questions:

1. What is the key lesson we can take from the Myanmar Fact-Finding Mission’s work on the use of social media evidence for human rights investigations?

2. What are the responsibilities of social media companies to prevent, detect and/or remove hate speech, giving particular consideration to the trade-off between freedom of expression and policing hate speech, as well as the kinds of accountability mechanisms that may be applied to direct perpetrators and the platforms they rely upon to spread hate speech in practice?

avatar for Barrie Sander

Barrie Sander

Postdoctoral Fellow, Fundação Getulio Vargas
Barrie Sander is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) in Brazil. His research interests include global cybersecurity norms, human rights and technology, and international criminal law. Currently, Barrie is examining the paradigms of international law that apply... Read More →

avatar for Shannon Raj Singh

Shannon Raj Singh

Legal Officer, Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Shannon Raj Singh is an Associate Legal Officer with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague, where she advises the Appeals Chamber on procedural and substantive issues of international law. She has previous experience working with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda... Read More →
avatar for Dunstan Allison-Hope

Dunstan Allison-Hope

Managing Director, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Dunstan leads BSR's human rights, inclusive economy, and women's empowerment practice areas. Dunstan's specialist fields are human rights due diligence in the technology sector and sustainability reporting and disclosure. Dunstan facilitated the multistakeholder process which led... Read More →
avatar for David Kaye

David Kaye

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Prof. Kaye’s scholarship and teaching focus on public international law, especially international human rights law, international humanitarian law, accountability for violations of human rights, and the law governing the use of force. He is just as interested in efforts to translate... Read More →

Yvonne McDermott Rees

Swansea University
avatar for Sarah Joseph

Sarah Joseph

Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University
They should talk to me about social media and human rights, and also the need for "hard law" obligations wrt business and human rights
avatar for Rebecca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton

Assistant Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law
Rebecca ("Bec") Hamilton is an Assistant Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law, and has just been awarded a 2019-2020 fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations.Bec is the author of Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide... Read More →

Wednesday June 12, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Hannibal (Laico)
Thursday, June 13


A multi-stakeholder dialogue on internet platforms, sexual content, and child protection
Since the anti sex-trafficking law FOSTA was passed, Internet platforms have been forced to implement increasingly draconian restrictions on sexual speech, in an effort both to comply with the law, and to appear tough against sexual abusers. But this can actually make child sexual abuse prevention harder, by restricting the flow of information to children and caregivers alike as well as by conflating child sexual exploitation material with legitimate speech. This event follows on from an event held in San Francisco in May, aimed at providing platforms with strategies to remove more material that is harmful to children and has no protected expressive value, and less material such as lawful, accurate information on child sexual abuse prevention. This session builds on the earlier event by proposing concrete recommendations on reconciling child protection with freedom of sexual speech. Participants should expect to contribute to a facilitated roundtable discussion between experts and stakeholders who are are normally excluded from the development of child protection policies. Our objective is to enable industry participants to ensure that their child protection policies and practices are scientifically sound, and that they fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

avatar for Jeremy Malcolm

Jeremy Malcolm

Executive Director, Prostasia Foundation
Jeremy Malcolm is Executive Director of Prostasia Foundation, a child protection nonprofit. Prior to that he was Senior Global Policy Analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he worked on the international dimensions of issues such as intellectual property, intermediary liability... Read More →

avatar for Mariel García Montes.

Mariel García Montes.

Mariel García Montes is a public interest technology capacity builder and researcher from Mexico. Her main topics of interest are privacy and information security, social exclusions in technology and participatory processes.Most recently, Mariel was a graduate student at the Comparative... Read More →
avatar for Jac sm Kee

Jac sm Kee

Women's Rights Programme Manager, APC, APC (Association for Progressive Communications)
Gender, Sexuality, Access, Internet Governance, Ending online gender-based violence, Sexual surveillance and big data, Freedom of expression & gendered hate speech
avatar for heather barr

heather barr

acting co-director, women's rights, Human Rights Watch
Starting work on a project on online abuses against women in South Korea--would be very grateful for advice and contacts!

Thursday June 13, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Utique (Laico)


Technology in Conflict: Assessing platform companies’ human rights responsibility and accountability in high-risk settings
There are increasing calls for the tech industry to embrace a rights-centered approach to engagements, especially in high-risk settings. But stakeholders across sectors continue to wrestle with what exactly this means in practical terms. And platform companies in particular are grappling with their relationships to human rights and ethical standards. During this strategic roundtable, participants will collaboratively and candidly talk-through the following discussion questions, based on current real-world situations where these problems are especially acute: What responsibility do companies have for third party content shared or developed on their platforms and the impacts or harms the content may enable? As AI developers create new technology, what expectations will be placed on developers to understand how their customers plan to use the technology? What responsibility do platform companies have to prevent, mitigate or remediate human rights harms for which it is not possible to demonstrate causation or contribution? What would that responsibility look like? Can we align the interests of relevant stakeholders (public and private) to agree on a set of guidelines for platform companies introducing their products in high-risk settings? Participants’ views and experiences will help inform a publication of recommendations for platform companies introducing their technology in high-risk settings.

avatar for Jennifer Easterday

Jennifer Easterday

Co-Founder & Executive Director, JustPeace Labs
I am an attorney with expertise in human rights law, international criminal law and peacebuilding. My work with NGOs and international tribunals focuses on strengthening responses to armed conflict and mass human rights abuses in Africa, Latin America and Europe. I promote ethical... Read More →

avatar for Steve Crown

Steve Crown

Deputy General Counsel, Human Rights, Microsoft
UNGPs. HRIAs. Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights.
avatar for Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Public Policy Manager, Human Rights and Internet Governance, Google
avatar for David Sullivan

David Sullivan

Learning & Development Director, Global Network Initiative
avatar for Helena Puig Larrauri

Helena Puig Larrauri

Director, Build Up
Helena is a governance and development professional with over a decade of experience advising and supporting UN agencies, multi-lateral organisations and NGOs working in conflict contexts and polarized environments. She specializes in the integration of digital technology and innovation... Read More →
avatar for Chloe Poynton

Chloe Poynton

Co-Founder and Principal, Article One
Chloe is a Principal at Article One, a business & human rights consulting firm that works with companies, institutions, and state agencies to develop and implement strategies to promote corporate respect for human rights.

Thursday June 13, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
El Jem (Laico)


Tackling Takedowns: Building platform transparency and accountability
While debates continue about the standards that platforms should use for content moderation, there is broad agreement on the need for greater transparency and due process mechanisms. These include the Santa Clara principles, as well as more specific proposals on transparency and the building of institutions to bolster due process, such as a social media council, and Facebook's proposals for an oversight board and/or a "Supreme Court" to adjudicate takedowns. While overall pressure has led to some improvements, we need a broader strategy to force change. The organizers will circulate a paper with key proposals and questions ahead of the session, with the aim of identifying their strengths and weaknesses. The session will inform groups working in this space, and begin the process of developing at least some principles for civil society's approach to these issues.

avatar for David Kaye

David Kaye

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Prof. Kaye’s scholarship and teaching focus on public international law, especially international human rights law, international humanitarian law, accountability for violations of human rights, and the law governing the use of force. He is just as interested in efforts to translate... Read More →

avatar for Faiza Patel

Faiza Patel

Co-Director, Liberty & National Security Program, Brennan Center for Justice
Faiza Patel serves as co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, where she specializes in issues relating to counter-terrorism, surveillance and Islamophobia. She is a frequent commentator for media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington... Read More →

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


Transparency with Teeth: Making supply chain data work in the apparel industry
The conveners - Clean Clothes Campaign, ICAR, WikiRate and the Open Apparel Registry – play an active role in the push for more and better transparency in the apparel industry. More and more companies are publishing factory- level supply chain data. However, this data is far from perfect. Supplier lists on brand websites are listed in incompatible and non machine- readable formats. There is no standard update frequency. The lists are often hard to find, and are disclosed without explicit permission for reuse. Comparing and analyzing across these data sets without a unique factory identifier is difficult and time consuming. We will present the current initiatives to make this better. But more than that, we want to hear from others about their experiences and expertise that can help. Eg: - Tech companies: how to present data in attractive and accessible ways to worldwide audiences - Open data experts: how to make disclosure and updating more efficient and cost- effective. - Regulatory initiatives (think IATI) and policy makers: how to drive standardization forward With those inputs, we aim to identify the next steps forward to turn transparency into a better tool for consumers, workers and other stakeholders.

avatar for jill tucker

jill tucker

Head of Labour Rights Programme, C&A Foundation
Promoter of transparency for accountability and justice for workers in the global fashion industry.

avatar for Laureen van Breen

Laureen van Breen

Program Manager, WikiRate
WikiRate is a collaborative research platform that focuses on the collection, analysis, and discussion of corporate ESG data. Working together with many different stakeholders the aim is to make information about the social and environmental performance of companies accessible, comparable... Read More →
avatar for Paul Roeland

Paul Roeland

transparency lead, Clean Clothes Campaign
Passionate about providing non-profits with the best tools available. Long time activist working on the intersection of human rights, worker rights, and technology. Open source for an open world. Cat whisperer.
avatar for Katie Shaw

Katie Shaw

Stakeholder Manager, Open Apparel Registry
Katie Shaw is the Stakeholder Manager for the Open Apparel Registry (OAR), an open source tool mapping garment facilities worldwide and allocating a unique ID to each. Katie has been working in the sustainability sector for more than a decade, following a varied background studying... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Dougga (Laico)


Between the Silicon Valley-China Spectrum: Towards a democratic regulation to promote a free and open Internet
The aim is to discuss proposals for a democratic regulation of the Tech Giants to guarantee a free and open internet and the promotion of the freedom of expression online, helping to stop attempts of abusive and anti-democratic state Internet regulations frameworks - taking as extreme points the two models suggested by the French President Emmanuel Macron at the Internet Governance Forum 2018 (see session description. The intention is to promote an informed debate about the wished scope of regulation in order to safeguard users and platforms without harming freedom of expression. The foundations and limits of this regulation should be the internationally recognized human rights standards, contained in documents like the statements of the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and those built in multistakeholders fóruns, like the Manila Principles and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We should also take into account asymmetries, encompassing large platforms without being an obstacle to innovation or for small businesses or non-profit initiatives. Thereby, our goal is to foster and promote the participation mainly of the voices from the Global South, generally excluded from large international fora and from multilateral decision-making spaces.

avatar for Jamila Venturini

Jamila Venturini

Regional Coordinator, Derechos Digitales
Periodista, desde 2007 trabaja en la intersección entre tecnologías y derechos humanos. Entre 2014 y 2017 fue parte del Centro de Tecnología y Sociedad de la FGV Direito Rio (CTS/FGV), donde lideró proyectos relacionados con gobernanza de internet, vigilancia y privacidad. Fue... Read More →

avatar for Joan Barata

Joan Barata

Intermediary Liability Fellow, Stanford CIS
I am the Intermediary Liability Fellow at Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. As a scholar, I have spoken and done extensive research in the areas of freedom of expression, freedom of information, media and platform regulation, working and collaborating with various... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
Amilcar (Laico)


Business and Human Rights in Africa and South-Asia: Network shutdown and data disclosure requests under conflicting legal frameworks
This roundtable brings together policy-makers, business representatives, civil society members and academics to discuss strategic ways forward to work on business and human rights under conflicting legal frameworks in the tech sector. Many companies are operating in countries in which the local rules can stand in conflict with international laws and norms or legal standards in their home countries. In this dilemma situation, it is challenging to deal with business and human rights issues, in particular in the light of network shut down and data disclosure requests from governments. Lead questions: • How do companies publicly communicate network shut downs and data disclosure requests? • Does engagement with stakeholders and media coverage lead to a change in corporate behaviour on business and human rights? • What are differences and similarities of corporate behaviour when responding network shutdowns and data disclosure requests? The session aims at identifying reasons why the government ask for shutting down the internet or requests data from companies. The goal is to formulate how telecommunications and internet companies can use the scope of action under a business and human rights sense when they are operating in countries with challenging legal frameworks.

avatar for Gayatri Khandhadai

Gayatri Khandhadai

Asia policy regional coordinator,, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

avatar for Lisa Garbe

Lisa Garbe

Research associate, University of St.Gallen
Our research team maps and analyzes all African ISPs and their shareholders; ISP involvement in shutdowns; and consequences thereof
avatar for 'Gbenga Sesan

'Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise that works on digital rights and digital inclusion across Africa, with offices in Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia. Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi... Read More →

Thursday June 13, 2019 5:15pm - 6:30pm
El Jem (Laico)
Friday, June 14


Antitrust, consumer protection, and the digital economy
Dialogue with experts from the US, Europe, and Latin America on how we can use antitrust and consumer protection law to defend an open internet and govern technology.

avatar for Charlotte Slaiman

Charlotte Slaiman

Senior Policy Counsel, Public Knowledge
Charlotte is Senior Policy Counsel for competition policy at Public Knowledge, advocating for ways to increase competition against today's dominant digital platforms. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Charlotte worked in the Anticompetitive Practices Division of the Federal Trade... Read More →

Friday June 14, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Elyssa (Laico)


Tech Policy, AI and Investment in the GCC: A path to digital development or digital dystopia?
Data might not be the new oil, and the Middle East isn't China, but Gulf Arab states are seeking a new global role in technology policy and investment. Their efforts are being embraced by international organizations encouraging digital development without confronting current digital dilemmas, as well as by global companies, who are both investing in and seeking investment from these states. Despite repressive cybercrime laws and a dismal record of human rights protection online in the Arab region, few in power seem to be asking what the implications of the Saudi government's $3.5 billion investment in Uber might be. Or how Bahrain's new data protection law will affect data stored in Amazon's new data center there. Or how the UAE's prioritization of applied artificial intelligence to advance citizens’ “happiness and wellbeing" could possibly go wrong. At this strategic roundtable, we will pose these and other questions to illuminate underexplored relationships between global technology companies and governments in the digitally developed GCC, and interrogate their impact on human rights. We hope to highlight the dilemmas raised when tech companies do business in these countries and/or receive investment from them and will discuss strategies to keep human rights top of mind.

avatar for Jessica Dheere

Jessica Dheere

Founder/Executive Director, SMEX
I'm the co-founder and executive director of the Beirut, Lebanon–based SMEX (smex.org), the Middle East and North Africa’s leading digital rights research and policy advocacy organization. I'm also a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and the Carr Center... Read More →

avatar for Afef Abrougui

Afef Abrougui

Advox Lead Editor, Global Voices

Friday June 14, 2019 2:15pm - 3:30pm
Carthage 3 (Laico)