ADC’s input to OHCHR on HR and technical standards for ICTs
The Association for Civil Rights (ADC) responded to an Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) consultation to provide information and share views on the relationship between human rights and technical standard-setting processes for digital technologies.
In our contribution, we list opportunities and challenges for effectively mainstreaming human rights considerations into standardization processes. It also notes that “the adoption of a human rights perspective in the establishment of technical guidelines presents an ideal opportunity to place users at the center of the development and expansion of ICTs as a baseline for their comprehensive protection.”
Likewise, considering each Standards Development Organization (SDO) has its particular norms and procedures, ADC stresses that “understanding how they work is essential for civil society to participate efficiently.”
Three types of resources are mentioned as minimum requirements that guarantee access and participation of civil society in SDOs:
– Time: The formulation of technical standards is a lengthy process that demands several years before they can be implemented.
– Technical expertise: Civil society organizations must be endowed with knowledge of ICTs, either in their own teams or provided by third parties.
– Sustained funding: Civil Society must be guaranteed the financial means to maintain their attendance at the study group and plenary meetings held by SDOs, which take place in different parts around the globe and may last up to one month.
As a closing note, ADC refers to the forms of access and possible procedures for civil society to participate in technical standardization bodies.