What to Expect at RightsCon Tunis

Every participant’s RightsCon experience is a little different. When you join the RightsCon Community, you can expect opportunities to:


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.

The Global RightsCon Community

Who You’ll Meet

RightsCon participants include representatives from every sector. Below is just a small snapshot of who joins us.

Past RightsCon Speakers Include

The RightsCon network of speakers is expansive and includes thousands of the world’s leading technologists, government representatives, business leaders, civil society organizations, and human rights defenders. Below is a small selection of speakers who have joined us before. See the whole list of RightsCon Toronto speakers here.

Matthew Prince

Matthew Prince

Co-Founder and CEO of CloudFlare

Gabriella Coleman

Gabriella Coleman

Wolfe Chair Scientific & Technological Literacy, McGill

Steve Huffman

Steve Huffman

CEO and Co-founder, Reddit

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

Board Member at the Freedom of the Press Foundation

Kathy Brown

Kathy Brown

President and CEO of ISOC

Nighat Dad

Nighat Dad

Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation

Steve Crown

Steve Crown

Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft

Nathaniel Gleicher

Nathaniel Gleicher

Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Facebook

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin

Chair, CNIL (French Data Protection Authority)

Kathryn Hume

Kathryn Hume

Vice President Product & Strategy for integrate.ai

Alix Dunn

Alix Dunn

Executive Director, the Engine Room

Salil Shetty

Salil Shetty

Secretary General at Amnesty International

Harlem Désir

Harlem Désir

Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE

Matt Chessen

Matt Chessen

Senior Technology Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of State

Uri Rosenthal

Uri Rosenthal

Special Envoy for Cyberspace and Former Foreign Minister, Netherlands

Alp Toker

Alp Toker

Executive Director, Turkey Blocks

Julie Owono

Julie Owono

Head of Africa Desk, Internet Sans Frontières

Michael Geist

Michael Geist

Professor, University of Ottawa

David Kaye

David Kaye

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Japleen Prasicha

Japleen Prasicha

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Feminism In India

Edward Santow

Edward Santow

Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission

Gbenga Sesan

Gbenga Sesan

Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative

Daphne Keller

Daphne Keller

Intermediary Liability Director, Stanford Center for Internet & Society

Jim Halloran

Jim Halloran

Global Lead, Strategy, Policy, and Narrative, Google

Sunita Bose

Sunita Bose

Head of Policy & Global Brand, Change.org

Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon

Director of Ranking Digital Rights

Jackeline Stewart

Jackeline Stewart

Vice President, Spitfire Strategies

Ei Myat Noe Khin

Ei Myat Noe Khin

Digital Rights Program Manager, Phandeeyar

Ron Deibert

Ron Deibert

Director of the Citizen Lab, author, and co-founder of Psiphon

Melissa Tidwell

Melissa Tidwell

Vice President & General Counsel, Reddit

Mario Oetheimer

Mario Oetheimer

Head of Sector Information Society, Privacy and Data Protection, EU FRA

Hillary Hartley

Hillary Hartley

Chief Digital Officer, Province of Ontario

Carmelyn Malalis

Carmelyn Malalis

Chair and Commissioner, NY City Commission on Human Rights

Tara Denham

Tara Denham

Director, Democracy Unit, Global Affairs Canada

Alex Walden

Alex Walden

Counsel, Free Expression and Human Rights, Google

Cindy Cohn

Cindy Cohn

Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Renu Mandhane

Renu Mandhane

Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights of Ontario

Milton Mueller

Milton Mueller

Professor, Georgia Tech School of Public Policy

Thomas Drake

Thomas Drake

Whistleblower

Eva Galperin

Eva Galperin

Director of Cybersecurity, EFF

Maryam Al-Khawaja

Maryam Al-Khawaja

Bahraini human rights activist

Scott Busby

Scott Busby

Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State

Jen Castro

Jen Castro

Program Coordinator, Digital Democracy

Ramy Raoof

Ramy Raoof

Technologist and Privacy Researcher

Cathleen Berger

Cathleen Berger

Global Engagement Lead, Mozilla

Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown

Global Policy Advocacy Lead, APC

Michael Posner

Michael Posner

Director of NYU Stern Center for Business & Human Rights

Nicole Karlebach

Nicole Karlebach

Global Head, Business and Human Rights at Oath

Deji Bryce Olukotun

Deji Bryce Olukotun

Head of Social Impact, Sonos

Bassem Awad

Bassem Awad

Deputy Director for Intellectual Property Law and Innovation, CIGI

Mark Surman

Mark Surman

Executive Director at the Mozilla Foundation

Fabrice Houdart

Fabrice Houdart

Human Rights Officer, United Nations

An Xiao Mina

An Xiao Mina

Director of Product, Meedan

Lorena Jaume-Palasi

Lorena Jaume-Palasi

Founder & Executive Director, AlgorithmWatch

Courtney C. Radsch

Courtney C. Radsch

Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Matt Mitchell

Matt Mitchell

Director, Digital Safety & Privacy, Tactical Tech

Mira Milosevic

Mira Milosevic

Executive Director, Global Forum for Media Development

Chenai Chair

Chenai Chair

Researcher, Research ICT Africa

Maryant Fernandez Perez

Maryant Fernandez Perez

Senior Policy Advisor, European Digital Rights (EDRi)

Anahi Ayala Iacucci

Anahi Ayala Iacucci

Senior Humanitarian Director, Internews

Ursula Wynhoven

Ursula Wynhoven

Representative to the United Nations, ITU

Hans de Zwart

Hans de Zwart

Executive Director, Bits of Freedom

Ann Cavoukian

Ann Cavoukian

Former Three-Term Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Bruce Schneier

Bruce Schneier

Cryptographer, privacy specialist, and writer

Bertrand De La Chapelle

Bertrand De La Chapelle

Executive Director, Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network

María Paz Canales

María Paz Canales

Executive Director, Derechos Digitales

Dia Kayyali

Dia Kayyali

Program Manager, Tech+Advocacy, WITNESS

Mary Bridger

Mary Bridger

Head of Operations and Engagement for Equal Measures 2030