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Published 30.04.21

IGF 2021 Call for Session Proposals

Marlene Fasolt, Stiftung Digitale Chancen

The United Nations Multistakeholder Advisory Group calls for active participation in the Internet Governance Forum 2021 (IGF) program development. The IGF is an annual global multistakeholder forum for dialogue on internet governance issues. Stakeholders can submit a variety of types of sessions including workshops, open forums, lightning talks, networking sessions, and more until 26 May at 23:59 UTC. This year the IGF will take place in Katowice, Poland from the 6th to 10th of December and will be organized as a hybrid event. This means that participants can join on-site or online, which has to be considered when proposing sessions because all participants should be able to engage actively and have the same experience. This year the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) has opted for using an issue-driven approach to design the IGF 2021 programme. The goal is to work with fewer issues treated in greater depth, instead of having broad themes, like in past years. The two main focus areas this year will be (1) economic and social inclusion and human rights and (2) universal access and meaningful connectivity. There are also four cross-cutting issues including emerging regulations, environmental sustainability and climate change, inclusive Internet governance ecosystems and digital cooperation, and trust, security, and stability.

Issues relating to children’s rights are of great importance for both main focus areas. The recently published General Comment No. 25 (2021) on Children’s Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment underlines the necessity to address the issue appropriately on all levels of policy making. Also children have expressed the importance of universal and meaningful access to the internet for children across the globe and the necessity to feel included and safe in the accompanying Report “Our Rights in a Digital World”. Human rights, children’s rights and child and youth protection are all important aspects of internet governance and need to be considered in all decisions made in regard of the internet.

We strongly encourage the child rights community to participate in the programming and to submit a broad range of proposals as it was the case last year. To achieve acceptance of proposals it is particularly important to ensure the diversity in regard of regional origin, societal group, gender and age. Please contact us at jcroll@digitale-chancen.de if you would like to submit a workshop proposal and you need support in addressing international partner organizations or in selecting speakers. We will also be happy to help you fill in the necessary information in the submission form.

More information can be found here.