11 MARCH 2021
States and other stakeholders have increasingly recognized the need to adopt more effective regulatory and policy responses to the growing risks posed by digital technologies. A variety of States are currently considering regulatory and policy measures to better frame the development and uses of technologies such as artificial intelligence at the national and multilateral level.
An online expert consultation co-organized by the Geneva Academy and the United Nations (UN) Human Rights’ B-Tech Project – which aims to advance the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights (UNGPs) in the technology space – discussed regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.
The UNGPs provide a framework for States to address the governance of new technologies and their impact on human rights. The 30 experts – from government, national human rights institution, business, academia, civil society and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – discussed the key features of the UNGPS’ State duty to protect pillar and provided comments on a draft foundational paper for B-Tech Project Focus Area 4 that set the frame for the consultation.
The consultation covered all aspects of this pillar, including:
The soon-to-be-published foundational paper serves as a conversation starter on the State duty to protect human rights in the technology space, and policy and legislative incentives to require business to respect human rights.
‘Human rights and international human rights law must be at the centre of regulatory frameworks developed to accompany the development of digital technologies. We will continue to collaborate with OHCHR and its B-Tech Project to conduct much-needed research to identify ways of placing international human rights law at the centre of policy and regulation’ explains Dr Ana Beduschi, Associate Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
In our new Working Paper The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review, Professor Olivier de Frouville shares his own views on the work of UN treaty bodies during the period running from March to December 2020.
UN Photo by Violaine Martin
Our new Working Paper Towards Transversal Standards to Evaluate the Impact of UN Special Procedures discusses the impact of UN Special Procedures, reviews progress made to measure it, and proposes avenues to improve this assessment.
The 2021 Annual Conference will discuss the connectivity between national human rights actors and the Geneva-based international mechanisms.
UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré
This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre