ADC participates in the IGF 2021
ADC took part in a new edition of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which brings together stakeholders and experts in Internet governance from all over the world. Our participation was focused on two highly relevant topics: web accessibility and the relationship between business and human rights.
On Tuesday, December 7, ADC led the panel titled “Digital accessibility is a right: keys to build accessible digital environments,” within our PUEDA – For an Accessible Digital Environment campaign. The panel was aimed at stressing that digital accessibility is a right for all people, including those with disabilities or low digital literacy.
Pablo Lecouna, member of the campaign collaboration table, addressed three axes: what we talk about when we talk about digital accessibility, what rights are crossed by it, and what we can do from each place to incorporate visibility as an essential dimension in the digital environment.
In this way, she highlighted the importance of “ensuring that the contents of the digital environment can be used under equal conditions by this wide range of audiences”. He added: “Accessibility is not a technical issue. What this technical issue does is not allow access to other fundamental rights, for example, access to education, work or health.”
On the other hand, ADC researcher María Sol Abichain, a member of PUEDA, concluded that it would be important to “include the perspective of digital accessibility in vocational training institutions.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, December 10, researcher Eduardo Ferreyra spoke on the panel “Promoting the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights in the Technology Sector”, where organizations from Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia, and Kenya also participated.
During the session, Ferreyra presented on the National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights (NAPs) and the Argentine case. “The UNGPs offer authoritative ways to route the demands and efforts of various actors on the integration of digital technologies to commitments to human rights and the rule of rights. They are based on three fundamental pillars: the duty of the State to protect human rights, the responsibility of companies to respect them and the joint obligation to remedy damages,” he said. And he added: “That is why our work at ADC is oriented towards promoting the UNGPs in both the public and private sectors”.
Then, the researcher pointed out that although in 2014 the UN called on all member states to develop their National Action Plans, Argentina lacks a Plan as of today, although a process in that sense was started in 2017 that has not yet been finalized. At the closing of the panel, Ferreyra added that, as far as Argentina is concerned, one of the most worrying issues is that “most of the technology companies that operate do not have their headquarters in the country at the same time that many of the surveillance technologies that are applied are manufactured abroad”. And he concluded: “This is a problem because a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights can be promoted, but since the companies are not located here, it is difficult to enforce it”.