Under the auspices of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, the International Conference on ‘Social Media: Challenges and Ways to Promote Freedoms and Protect Activists’ will kick off on Sunday.
The conference is organised by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in co-operation and co-ordination with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the European Parliament, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).
The two-day conference will discuss more than 40 working papers and different axes through interactive panel discussions and four working groups. More than 300 international organisations, universities, think tanks and major specialised companies and social networks are participating in the conference, in addition to a strong and qualitative participation of journalists' unions around the world.
Some 100 media outlets from inside and outside Qatar will cover the activities of the international conference for various parts of the world. These include approximately 30 international media outlets, 25 journalists from the local media and 50 social media activists.
HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee Dr Ali bin Samikh al-Marri praised the existing co-operation and co-ordination between the organising bodies, which have completed the preparations to hold the conference in Doha, pointing out that the conference will see wide participation of prominent personalities from the European Union countries, some of whom will present working papers, such as the EU representative for the fight against terrorism, the EU representative for Human Rights, along with representatives of the European Parliament and a number of UN special rapporteurs. Each of the Special Rapporteur on Privacy, the Special Rapporteur on Minorities and the Special Rapporteur on Democracy will present working papers at the conference.
The NHRC chairman added that organisations from the Gulf countries - Kuwait and Oman - and Arab, African and European countries, in addition to the US, Russia and Latin America, will take part in the conference.
HE al-Marri noted that the opening plenary session will address the topic ‘Social Media: Challenges and Ways to Promote Freedoms and Protect Human Rights Defenders and Professional Contents Creators’, while other interactive plenary debates will be held under the themes: Creating an enabling environment for online civic space: Legal and institutional perspectives; and Responses by social media companies to protect civic space.
Meanwhile, parallel working groups will discuss the legislative frameworks regulating freedom of expression and social media; human rights implications of blocking access to communications and social media; regulating big tech transparency and accountability in content moderation; and identification of future activities to broaden civic space in the social media.
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