30 December 2013

TaC/IFLA Open Forum calls on governments to consider guidelines on better inclusion of vulnerable groups in the Information Society

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At a time of major changes in the Internet landscape when governments, civil society and the private sector are coming together to connect the most vulnerable people (As defined by the Tunis Agenda and Geneva Declaration of Principles), worldwide communities have an important role to play.

TaC - Together Against Cybercrime International and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) organised an Open Forum of the Multistakeholder Group on Vulnerable people & ICTs at the 2013 IGF in Bali. The Forum, which is the direct outcome of previous IGF dialogue, discussed a set of areas that could be included in guidelines for a global strategy on the better inclusion of vulnerable groups in the Information society.

Mr Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN in his opening message to the Forum underlined that « (…) the mark of a just society is one which includes and takes care of its most vulnerable citizens. The same has to be true with the Internet; we all will be judged by how inclusive access to, and use of, the Internet is.  I recognize there is much work to do by all of us. (…) ».

A message from Mr Henri Malosse, President of EESC, the voice of the civil society in Europe supported the Open Forum discussion. Mr Malosse reminded participants that access to education could be better achieved with the help of ICTs - «  (…), and through ICT we can arrive in every place of the world… we could bring education, and education is the future. (… ) - said Mr Malosse». The President of the EESC also underlined the fragility of vulnerable people with regard to online abuse. 

Mr Nigel Hickson, Vice-President, Stakeholder Engagement for Europe at ICANN noted that «  (…) We are not going to attract marginalised groups to the Internet unless it is a single, open and secure Internet. That is something at the heart of the ICANN mission. »

Mr Stuart Hamilton, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) said: «  (…) we must not forget about the importance of public access to ICTs in the community – vulnerable and marginalised people need safe spaces like libraries where they can access computers and training. »

The Multistakeholder Working Group on Vulnerable people & ICTs will therefore continue its work on a set of guidelines for a global strategy on the better inclusion of vulnerable groups in the Information Society and engage with governments to provide input and support for its work.

             

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