What to Expect at RightsCon

Every participant’s RightsCon experience is a little different, with endless opportunities to make the event your own. Everyone who joins our community can expect:


Meet with people from every corner of the world working to protect and extend our human rights.


Attend workshops and skill-building seminars with the world’s leading experts.


Get feedback on your latest report, find new members for your coalition, or present a tech tool.


Take advantage of unconference space to relax and unplug.


Map solutions to complex problems and find partners to help put them into action.


Influence policy making and contribute to priority setting in the public and private sectors.

Shaping the Future of RightsCon

How is our community driving forward change at RightsCon and throughout the year? Explore a selection of key achievements below. You can learn more in the outcomes reports from past events.


Equality and Non-Discrimination in Machine Learning

Access Now and Amnesty International launched a declaration on the right to equality and nondiscrimination in machine learning at the opening of RightsCon Toronto. The Toronto Declaration addresses the risk of human rights harms associated with machine learning and artificial intelligence technology. It is a statement from the human rights community on the urgent need to address discrimination resulting from the use of machine learning systems.


Demanding parity, transparency, and accountability from Facebook in the Global South

Responding to the lack of Global South representation in critical discussions about Facebook’s power and responsibilities — particularly for vulnerable communities most impacted — a global coalition of activists and technologists launched a coordinated effort to hold the platform accountable for its policies and practices impacting human rights in non-Western markets. At RightsCon, the group met directly with Facebook staff, held a press conference outlining how Facebook has “consistently failed to invest in the basic contextual understanding, local language skills, and human resources needed to provide a duty-of-care for users in sometimes repressive regimes,” and organized a plan for pushing the coalition’s work forward beyond the event.


The Playbook for Gender Equality in the Digital Age

The Digital Inclusion Lab at Global Affairs Canada put forward a set of best practices for governments, legislators, policymakers, advocates, academics, and human rights defenders alike to support gender equality in digital contexts. The playbook focuses on ensuring equal access to technologies and inclusion in their development and implementation; overcoming sexist and patriarchal traditions and deconstructing social barriers; improving education and skills; and creating an international framework for gender equality fit for the digital age).


A better way to measure the cost of network disruptions

NetBlocks, in collaboration with the Internet Society, presented its new technology project, the Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST), designed to better measure the cost of internet shutdowns, mobile data blackouts, and social media restrictions. Economic arguments have already proven to be a powerful tool to combat shutdowns in contexts where freedom of expression and other fundamental human rights are too often ignored. Previous reports estimate that in 2016 internet shutdowns globally cost $2.4 billion. COST seeks to automate the cumbersome process behind obtaining and producing economic estimates by creating a platform where the user will only need to select their geographic region, the impacted services, and the duration of the incident.


Internet Access to Affordable Medication Defended at RightsCon Brussels

Advocates for access to medicines and internet rights came together to discuss the importance of, and threats to, online access to safe and affordable medication and push back against the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to control what is and is not permissible on the internet when it comes to medication sales. Following the session organized by Prescription Justice, participants began composing the Brussels Principles for the Online Sale of Medication, inspired by the belief that access to affordable medications is an essential component to the fundamental human right to health. These principles were then further developed and improved upon at RightsCon Toronto.

Past RightsCon Speakers Include

A defining part of the RightsCon experience is who you meet. Check out a selection of the speakers who have joined us before, and click to see the full list of speakers from RightsCon Tunis 2019 and RightsCon Toronto 2018.

Moez Chakchouk

Moez Chakchouk

Assistant Director-General, UNESCO

Zeynep Tufekci

Zeynep Tufekci

Writer, Professor, and Techno-Sociologist

Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Nanjala Nyabola

Nanjala Nyabola

Writer and Political Analyst

Steve Crown

Steve Crown

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft

Nighat Dad

Nighat Dad

Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation

Adrian Lovett

Adrian Lovett

President & CEO, World Wide Web Foundation

Wolfram von Heynitz

Wolfram von Heynitz

Head, Cyber Policy Coordination Staff, German Federal Foreign Office

Margaret L. Satterthwaite

Margaret L. Satterthwaite

Faculty Director, Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights

Samidh Chakrabarti

Samidh Chakrabarti

Head, Civic Engagement, Facebook

Michel Forst

Michel Forst

UN Special Rapporteur, Situation of Human Rights Defenders

Clément Voule

Clément Voule

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Assembly & Association

Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake

Member of European Parliament

Alex Walden

Alex Walden

Counsel, Free Expression and Human Rights, Google

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir

Director, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

Dunja Mijatović

Dunja Mijatović

Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Julie Owono

Julie Owono

Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontières

David Kaye

David Kaye

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Hibah Kamal-Grayson

Public Policy Manager, Human Rights & Internet Governance, Google

Henri Verdier

Henri Verdier

Ambassador for Digital Affairs, Ministry for Europe & Foreign Affairs

Agnes Callamard

Agnes Callamard

UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions

Ahmed Shaheed

Ahmed Shaheed

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Peggy Hicks

Peggy Hicks

Director, United Nations Human Rights

Burcu Kilic

Burcu Kilic

Director, Digital Rights Program, Public Citizen

Sébastien Soriano

Sébastien Soriano

Chairman, ARCEP

Alp Toker

Alp Toker

Executive Director, Turkey Blocks

John Graham-Cumming

John Graham-Cumming

Chief Technology Officer, Cloudflare

Rim Garnaoui

Rim Garnaoui

Director, Public Services, E-Government Unit, Tunisia

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

Director, Ranking Digital Rights

Miriam Puttick

Miriam Puttick

Head, MENA Programmes, Ceasefire Centre

Martin Tisné

Martin Tisné

Managing Director, Luminate

Damien Kieran

Damien Kieran

Data Protection, Legal, Twitter

Lea Kaspar

Lea Kaspar

Executive Director, Global Partners Digital

Daniel Drewer

Daniel Drewer

Data Protection Officer, Europol

Brett Solomon

Brett Solomon

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Access Now

Lorrayne Porciuncula

Lorrayne Porciuncula

Internet Economist, OECD

Gbenga Sesan

Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative

Tara Denham

Tara Denham

Director, Democracy Unit, Global Affairs Canada

Emilar Gandhi

Emilar Gandhi

Head of Public Policy for Southern Africa, Facebook

Rohinton Medhora

Rohinton Medhora

President, Centre for International Governance Innovation

Wafa Ben-Hassine

Wafa Ben-Hassine

MENA Policy Counsel, Access Now

Befekadu Hailu

Befekadu Hailu

Author, Blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist

Carlos Alvarez Pereira

Carlos Alvarez Pereira

President, Innaxis

Hajer Trabelsi

Hajer Trabelsi

Member, Access to Information Authority

Eileen Donahoe

Eileen Donahoe

Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, Stanford University

Malachy Browne

Malachy Browne

Senior Producer, The New York Times

Uffa Modey

Uffa Modey

Co-Founder, Digital Grassroots

Eva Galperin

Eva Galperin

Director, Cybersecurity, lectronic Frontier Foundation

Pavithra Ram

Pavithra Ram

Content Strategist, RNW Media

Agustina De Luca

Agustina De Luca

Network Director, Open Data Charter

Friedhelm Weinberg

Friedhelm Weinberg

Executive Director, HURIDOCS

Tina Bouffet

Tina Bouffet

Project Officer for Communications & Operations, ICRC

Albert Antwi-Boasiako

Albert Antwi-Boasiako

National Cybersecurity Advisor, Ghana

Catherine Gicheru

Catherine Gicheru

Country Lead, Code for Kenya

Edison Lanza

Edison Lanza

IACHR Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression

Ayesha Malette

Ayesha Malette

Senior Policy Advisor, Democratic Institutions, Privy Council Office

Amel Saidane

Amel Saidane

President, TunisianStartups

Ramy Raoof

Ramy Raoof

Technologist and Privacy Researcher

Alexa Koenig

Alexa Koenig

Executive Director, Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley

Rob Faris

Rob Faris

Director, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard

Manal Hassan

Manal Hassan

Executive Director, Motoon

Toby Mendel

Toby Mendel

Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy

Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown

Global Policy Advocacy Lead, APC

Michael Posner

Michael Posner

Director, NYU Stern Center for Business & Human Rights

Sherif Elsayed-Ali

Sherif Elsayed-Ali

Director of Partnerships, AI for Good

Nicole Karlebach

Nicole Karlebach

Global Head, Business and Human Rights, Verizon and Verizon Media

Raman Jit Singh Chima

Raman Jit Singh Chima

Asia Policy Director and Senior International Counsel, Access Now

Jennifer Easterday

Jennifer Easterday

Co-Founder & Executive Director, JustPeace Labs

Betsy Bramon

Betsy Bramon

Principal, Kronia Collaborative: Social Impact Consulting

Caroline Greer

Caroline Greer

Head of European Public Policy, Cloudflare

Sam Gregory

Sam Gregory

Program Director, WITNESS

Gabe Rottman

Gabe Rottman

Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Sarah Clarke

Sarah Clarke

Head of Europe and Central Asia, ARTICLE 19

Avery Davis-Roberts

Avery Davis-Roberts

Associate Director, Democracy Program, The Carter Center

Kaja Ciglic

Kaja Ciglic

Director, Digital Diplomacy, Microsoft

Keegan Hankes

Keegan Hankes

Senior Research Analyst, Southern Poverty Law Center

Dorothy Gordon

Dorothy Gordon

Chair, Information For All Programme, UNESCO

Megha Rajagopalan

Megha Rajagopalan

World Correspondent, BuzzFeed News

Sam Dubberley

Sam Dubberley

Manager, Digital Verification Corps, Amnesty International

Tanya O’Carroll

Tanya O’Carroll

Director, Global Tech & Human Rights Programme, Amnesty International