The digital era has modified how people interact, learn, and communicate. The role of the internet has become so important even in government’s policies. It even reveals how the misuse of the Internet can threaten citizens’ rights. In my opinion, the Internet should be a safe space with the full enjoyment of human rights. Yet, the violation of human rights online is increasing and the state along with the stakeholders have a key role to protect and promote them.
This session started with the sharing of the Malaysian experiences on government trying to institutionalize the multi-stakeholder processes of Internet governance discussion. The pandemic has limited the space of freedom of expression and cracked down on dissenting voices in certain extend. There are roles of the state to maintain civic space in terms of information and control the fake news and misinformation from spreading on the internet.
The policy tool introduced by UNESCO, which constitutes an example of a multi-stakeholder model, is called internet universality. It is a set of four principals constituting the acronym ROAM. It means how we need to guide the internet towards the good governance path and the internet shall be universally accessible to all. In addition, internet governance should function based on the multi-stakeholder approach. Hence, the model of UNESCO is the exemplary model for the countries which wish to embark on this multi-stakeholder approach for better internet governance and freedom of expression.
Therefore, the multi-stakeholder collaboration can bring up the different clusters of interest and can be aggregated into general interest on various digital issues rather than being captured by the single power which is against human rights. The multi-stakeholder approach contains multiple categories of solving the digital issues, decision mechanism system which also promotes sustainability for internet governance. Hence this approach promotes the internet and addresses human rights by contributing to capacity building and identifying emerging issues, to bring them to the attention of relevant authorities and the public.
About the Writer
(Youth IGF 2020 Participant, Nepal)
BALLB, Tribhuvan University