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APF members meet to discuss digitalisation, emerging technologies and human rights

Graphic: The National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia addresses participants during the dialogue

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The APF, in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHCRM) and the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, hosted a virtual dialogue on digitalisation, emerging technologies, and human rights on 4 April.

The event was a platform for APF members and stakeholders to exchange experiences and practices regarding technology-related human rights challenges and to identify common issues in this rapidly evolving landscape.

Featuring presentations from the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of Jordan, Mongolia, Nepal, and the Philippines, the dialogue highlighted key insights and initiatives in addressing these challenges. The presentations included:

  • From Mongolia, NHRCM Commissioner Ms. Narantuya Ganbat presented an overview of the institution's national inquiry into human rights and technology which will examine civil registration, digital identity, e-governance, digital literacy, law enforcement technology, social media regulation, AI, and personal data protection. The initiative will involve partnerships with international organisations including the Geneva Academy. The findings and recommendations will feature in the Commission's March 2025 Human Rights Report.
  • Ms. Samar Khaled al Haj Hasan, Chair of Jordan's National Centre for Human Rights, presented on ‘Cyberspace, Cybercrime Laws and Human Rights’, emphasising the benefits and challenges of digitalisation. She highlighted concerns about privacy infringement and cyberbullying, underscoring the need for robust protections.
  • Ms. Samjhana Sharma, Joint Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission of Nepal, discussed the critical role of human rights monitoring during COVID-19. She highlighted the importance of collaborating with civil society organisations and leveraging technology for effective engagement. The Commission's IT Officer, Rabita Twati, then shared the institution's digitalisation efforts, including the development of digital software for complaints handling.
  • Mr Raymund Rosuelo, Chief of the Research and Knowledge Management Division of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, shared insights into the Commission’s roundtable discussions on the intersection of AI and human rights, highlighting efforts to address the impacts of emerging technologies on human rights through stakeholder engagement and policy development.

The event also included a presentation by Dr. Jonathan Andrew, a Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy, who discussed the Academy’s three-year research program focusing on digital military technologies, content with human rights risks, and neurotechnology. 

Collaborating with the Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, the Geneva Academy will share its findings with the technology and corporate sectors, to encourage them to incorporate human rights perspectives into their practices and frameworks.

More information about this work is available here and here

Date: 23 April 2024

Image credits

  1. The National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia addresses participants during the dialogue - APF