The 10th edition of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from April 12 – April 14, 2023, for the first time ever.
Under the theme of “building a sustainable internet for all,” where conversations on digital policies are debated and deliberated on and partnerships are forged for action.
Paradigm Initiative who is the convener of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF), is collaborating with the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), and Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) established under Strathmore University.
DRIF is a pan-African bilingual Forum that has been held annually since 2013.
This year, the sessions will focus on among other themes, Internet shutdowns, Universal Service Fund utilization, data protection, content moderation, and censorship.
Key speakers include Emma Inamutila Theofelus, Namibia Deputy Minister for Information Communication & Technology (ICT); Grace Githaiga Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Convenor, KICTANet; ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative; Vladimir Garay, Advocacy Director, Derechos Digitales, and Lawrence Murugu Mute, former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (2017-2020) and former Vice Chairperson of the African Commission on human and peoples rights. (2017-2019).
KICTANet whose mission is to promote an enabling environment in the ICT sector that is robust, open, accessible, and rights-based through multistakeholder approaches, will hold sessions on:
Introducing the Digital Enquirer Kit on Online Gender-Based Violence
12 April 2023 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EAT (Room 3)
KICTANet in partnership with GIZ and the University of West Indies(UWI) has developed the fifth e-learning module of the Digital Enquirer Kit (DEK) on Online Gender Based Violence(OGBV).
The e-learning module broadly tackles the concepts of gender, and sexual orientation. Women, sexual minorities, and people who do not conform to societal gender norms are disproportionately targeted by both online and offline gender-based violence.
Essentially, these biases based on gender form the motivation and content comprising online gender-based violence.
The session will create awareness of OGBV drawing from the experiences of Kenyan women online, present the possible triggers of the rampant OGBV and introduce module 5 of the Digital Enquirer Kit on Online Gender-Based Violence.
The African Internet Rights Alliance (AIRA): Protecting Digital Rights in Elections, Lessons & Good Practices
12 April 2023 02:15pm – 03:15pm Africa/Nairobi
Digital rights and Information Communication Technology (ICTs) have become an integral part of our lives. They are heavily relied upon for social networking, education, and governance, in the health and economic sectors. Elections in recent years have also adopted ICTs to enhance their integrity at different stages.
AIRA members that work in Kenya and Nigeria have various initiatives to advance the human rights of citizens online and offline. They have observed and monitored trends that impact digital rights during elections in Kenya and Nigeria in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
The AIRA session will focus on protecting digital rights during elections and will bring together panellists from Africa, Latin America and Global agencies, to discuss trends, identify lessons learned and identify good practices for upcoming elections.
Panellists will be drawn from AIRA members KICATNet, Paradigm Initiative and CIPIT, and joined by AIRA partners working in Latin America and globally.
Global Network Initiative: Understanding Human Rights Due Diligence Across the Tech Stack
13 April 2023 02:00 pm – 03:00 pm EAT (Main Auditorium)
As the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights make clear, businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights in their activities and throughout their value chains.
Under the Action Coalition for Responsible Technology, part of the Danish Government’s Tech for Democracy Initiative, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), Global Network Initiative (GNI), the OHCHR Business and Technology Project – B-tech, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), have developed several resources to support more rights respective decision making across the digital ecosystem.
A central resource is the “Across the Stack Human Rights Due Diligence Tool,” developed by GNI and BSR, which provides a broad mapping of the technology ecosystem in order to identify relevant overlaps and intersections between different technologies and actors and help identify and address high-level human rights issues and due diligence “questions”.
The tool was inspired by the understanding that technology and human rights challenges are system-wide, not company-specific, and industry actors may need to take coordinated action to address a given risk or impact.
We hope to explore and share perspectives on how the tool can be used by different stakeholders across regions, how to best convey and share results, and how to connect to and complement other resources and developments – in order to build on experiences and amplify results.
Towards Building Digitally Resilient Social Justice Organisations in Africa
Thursday, April, 13. 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM EAT (Main Auditorium)
Over the past decade, technology and digital platforms have emerged as critical instruments for the promotion of human rights. Social Justice Organizations (SJOs) in Africa are increasingly relying on technology and digital platforms for their work.
However, they have not fully grasped the extent of their dependency on digital technologies, and neither are they fully aware of the opportunities and risks presented by the digital environment for their work.
Some of the challenges experienced by organisations in the region include the shrinking civic space; restrictive and hostile operating environments; their limited capacity, knowledge, and awareness of digital resilience; the adverse impact of COVID-19; and funding limitations that inhibit their activities.
KICTANet together with other Africa Internet Rights Alliance (AIRA) coalition members established the Tatua Digital Resilience Centre to offer a bouquet of services to SJOs in East Africa to enhance their digital resilience, quickly respond to and recover from digital threats, and harness the power of technology to enable them to achieve their mission in a digitally changing environment. The format will be a panel session during the DRIF in Nairobi.
Other sessions that KICTANet will include:
Panel session under UNESCOs Social Media 4 Peace project titled: Big Tech & Content Moderation: Challenges, Realities, and Opportunities for Kenya/Africa Wednesday, 12 April 2023 from 11 am and 12.30 pm.
Catch the DRIF23 live stream on YouTube