Advancing human-rights with the ROAM principles at Fundamental Rights Forum

On 12 October, UNESCO organized a masterclass workshop at the Fundamental Rights Forum 2021. Entitled “Advancing human-rights with ROAM at the digital age”, the workshop included the presentation of the Internet Universality ROAM principles and indicators framework, and demonstrated their crucial role in shaping digital transformation and advancing digital rights in Europe and beyond.
In her opening remarks, Marielza Oliveira, UNESCO’s Director of Partnerships and Monitoring, stressed the relevance of the Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators in shaping human-rights policies to foster a better Internet for all. In this context, she stated: “People must have the same rights offline and online”.

Matthias Kettemann, leading author of the newly launched national assessment of ROAM-X indicators in Germany, reaffirmed the importance of the multistakeholder approach in conducting this comprehensive study to get a better understanding of the different dimensions of Internet and deepen policies for a more human-centered digital environment.

Lucien Castex, Researcher at Sorbonne Nouvelle, shared updates on the ongoing national assessment of ROAM-X indicators in France. He also stressed the importance of involving all stakeholders to formulate strong digital rights policies using a multidisciplinary perspective.

Representing the SHARE Foundation, Danilo Krivokapic underlined several challenges in the ongoing ROAM-X indicators assessment of Serbian digital landscape such as the violation of rights and the dissemination of information. He added that to foster digital inclusion, testimonies of vulnerable groups about how Internet impact their lives are needed.

Bissera Zankova, President of “Media 21” Foundation, informed the progress of building consensus and securing resource for initiating ROAM-X indicators assessment in Bulgaria. She encouraged national stakeholders to advocate and engage more with the implementation of the ROAM principles and indicators at national level.

Frane Maroevic, Director of Content & Jurisdiction Program at Internet Jurisdiction, highlighted that both his institution and UNESCO’s mandate is to facilitate digital cooperation by producing tools to protect humanistic values and human-rights online.

He further stated: “To preserve human-rights online, we need to think of two specific issues: how can we develop a framework to prevent content to be blocked on a global scale? How can we frame the debate on transparency to contribute to guiding the growth and implementation of human-rights policies through the ROAM prism?”

Suada Hadzovic, Co-Chair of GAC Human Rights & International Law WG, highlighted ICANN and UNESCO’s long-term collaboration through consultations for the development and finalization of the ROAM framework and their continuous work to jointly advance human-rights using the ROAM principles and indicators.

Xianhong Hu, UNESCO’s Programme Specialist and focal point of the ROAM-X project, invited all participants to attend UNESCO’ sessions at the Internet Governance Forum 2021. The Organization will hold a Day-0 pre-event dedicated to the ongoing national assessment of IUIs conducted across 5 continents and a session focused on the Dynamic Coalition on IUIs, respectively set to be held on 6 and 9 December 2021.