Humanity has witnessed how the digital revolution, especially the emergence of Internet, has transformed the most basic human relationships as well as the economic, political and cultural. Internet has undoubtedly turned into a milestone in the realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, most notably freedom of expression, democracy development and social justice. But new dangers, threats and challenges have come out in the digital environment jeopardizing human rights.
Along with the growing importance of the Internet, governments’ attempts to control their citizens’ access to the Internet and online ‘dangers’ has increased. All too often, these digital policies have failed to take into account its impact on human rights. For instance, they have the intention to restrict unduly the freedom of expression on the Internet without considering the open nature of this mean of communication. We must not forget that freedom of expression is the cornerstone of democratic rights and freedoms. Therefore, this right must be promoted both offline and online, given its criticalst role in democracy and public participation in political life.
Another highly controversial issue on Internet regulation -that has the potential to collide with human rights- is associated to the protection of intellectual property and copyright online. Although copyright holders have a legitimate interest in ensuring that their rights are protected, legislative reforms in this area tend to adopt an overly restrictive approach, taking an unbiased approach to the question of online piracy. This problem highlights the need to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the guarantee of free speech and Internet openness, and on the other, the promotion of the adequate intellectual property and copyright protection.
The conference on Human Rights in the Digital Age aims to examine the Colombian situation as regard human rights in digital environments, in dialogue with Latin American and international experiences. In this sense, challenges and opportunities for human rights protection in the digital environment will be assessed. This effort is conducted to open a bridge for dialogue on how the society can anticipate and respond to human rights issues related to new regulations affecting Internet. It is also anticipated to take a look at current debates in the public arena. Particular emphasis will be given to the implications of free trade agreements in the fields of copyright in the region and, therefore, new opportunities to build a strong legal guarantee framework.
This event is an invitation for anyone interested in understanding the evolutionary digital regulatory environment. International, regional and national experts will accompany us on this conference to explore the various issues relating to human rights and new information and communication technologies.
The conference is open to the general public, upon registration on the registration form. Simultaneous translation will be provided into the working languages of the conference (English and Spanish).
Date: July 25, 2013
Venue: Bogotá, Colombia. Aula Mutis – Universidad del Rosario (Calle 14 No, 6-25)
Hour: 08:00 – 18:00
We invite you to consult the programa and biographies of the invited experts, and to join us in this event.