During the RightsCon 2021
, WO=MEN will co-host a session on 'Countering digital exclusion of the most marginalized in online spaces in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Uganda, Lebanon& Sudan'.
There is growing concern over how technology companies’ surveillance of billions of people and deployment of particular digital technologies poses a threat to human rights. Even as digital technologies are critical tools for LBT, women human rights defenders and sex workers movements and organising, they are often most at risk. The goal of this session is to facilitate a conversation between these actors to upfront realities, build understanding and ultimately influence decision-making and technology development.
Even as the internet and digital technologies enable participation in public life, they also compound discrimination and reproduce structural inequalities. Companies that own and operate digital platforms regulate content in ways which are ambiguous, opaque and in violation of the rights of users. They also rely on a mix of automation and devalued human labor for actual moderation). These companies determine online public space and discourse on the basis viral popularity and profit, rather than on democratic and sustainable processes or justice. Even with these problems, LBT, WHRD and sex worker communities continue to use these technologies to organise, challenge discriminatory norms, structures and practices, amplify their work for justice and strengthen their collective impact a.Despite expressing commitment to human rights, there is a huge divide between expressed intentions of technology companies and the realities of these communities. It’s time confront the contradictions and get on the same page.
*What do we want to learn from the session*:
We want to have a frank conversation between technology companies and LBT, WHRD and sex worker organisers about the impact of both technologies as well as the policies that govern use have on human rights and potential of these technologies movement organising. – what are the minimum requirements to ensure safety and security of these communities? - how can we counter the huge space occupied by anti-gender and anti-rights actors online, without compromising freedom of expression and association? - how can LBT, WHRD and sex worker movements meaningfully participate in the development of technologies and the policies that govern them that affect their lives beyond PR representation on councils?
The exact date and time will be published later.