Human Rights Online Receding as CSOs Consider it 3rd Priority Issue of Interest for IGF 2019


IGF_Rio_2007Interest in  human rights on the Internet seems to be receding as civil society organizations which have hitherto considered it theirtop most priority issue no longer  see it as the important issue for them. In  responding to a call for issues for discussion at the forth-coming Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2019, CSOs rated issues of human rights online as the third most important issue for them.

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from around the world consider human rights as their third priority issue for discussion IGF 2019. This issue was ranked third after ‘digital inclusion’ and ‘evolution of internet governance’ came first and second respectively as issues CSOs believe should be explored at the 2019 IGF.

Following the call for issues by the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), 132 civil society groups responded, with 21% selecting digital inclusion as the most important issue followed by evolution of internet governance at 20%, human rights at 18%, cybersecurity at 17%, emerging tech at 14% and lastly innovation and economic issues at 10%.

The call for issues saw the following responses from different stakeholders: 17 from governments, seven from International Governmental Organisations (IGOs), private sector 95 and 73 from the technical community. None of these stakeholders listed human rights as their topmost priority except the IGOs which tied human rights with cybersecurity and evolution of internet governance.

Responses from Governments had cybersecurity ranked as the most important issue at 35% followed by evolution of internet governance at 29%, digital inclusion 18%, human rights sits in fourth place with 12% and emerging tech at 6%.

IGOs responded to the call having cybersecurity, human rights and evolution of the internet governance tying at 29% while innovation and economic issues came fourth at 14%.

The private sectors prioritized evolution of internet governance at 27% followed by cybersecurity at 22%, emerging tech 20%, innovation and economic issues 13%, digital inclusion 11% and human rights at the bottom of the list at 7%.

The technical community in its response to the call ranked cybersecurity first at 30%, emerging tech 29%, evolution of internet governance 18%, digital inclusion 12%, innovation and economic issues 10%, and human rights issues at the bottom of its priority at 1%.

The results also included a regional breakdown: none of the regions responded with human rights as its top priority issue.

In Africa out of the 35 responses, digital inclusion ranked first at 29%, evolution of internet governance 23%, cybersecurity 20% while human right and emerging tech had 17% and 11% respectively.

For the 102 respondents from Asia, cybersecurity was the top priority at 27% closely followed by emerging tech at 26%, 21% for evolution of internet governance, digital inclusion 14%, innovation and economic issues 7% and human rights coming last at 5%.

Eastern Europe had 21 respondents and evolution of internet governance was the top priority issue at 38% followed by innovation and economic issues, cybersecurity, and digital inclusion tying at 14% while emerging tech and human rights stayed at the bottom with 10% each.

Latin American and the Caribbean with 16 responses had evolution of internet governance ranked first as the most important issue with 31%, digital inclusion 25%, cybersecurity 19% followed by human rights, and innovation and economic issues at 13% respectively.

For Western European and Others Group (WEOG) with 107 responses, cybersecurity was at the top with 22% followed by evolution of internet governance and emerging tech tying at 21%, innovation and economic issues 14%, human rights 12% and digital inclusion 9%.

A category of others which had 37 responses prioritized digital inclusion and human rights at 22%, evolution of internet governance, and innovation and economic issues tying at 16% while emerging tech came last at 11%.