RightsCon is the world's leading event on human rights in the digital age.
Hosted by Access Now, RightsCon is where the world’s business leaders, technologists, engineers, investors, activists, human rights experts, and government representatives come together to build partnerships, shape global norms, showcase new technologies, and confront the most challenging issues at the intersection of human rights and technology. More than an event, RightsCon is a global community with thousands of leading voices across stakeholder lines. It is an energizing reminder of the existence of a powerful global digital rights community that is determined to defend human rights and keep the internet open and free. You can learn who from our community will join RightsCon Toronto here.
RightsCon’s mission is to provide a platform for community members to effect real and positive change in the world through both traditional and innovative approaches. The event’s programming is not only an arena of global, regional, and national policy debates, it is home to technologists creating new tools, and advocates creating new campaigns. Conference programming is created by our participants, changes each year in response to emerging global issues, and has an an explicit focus on driving tangible outcomes. Over the three-day event, there are an average of 250 community-led, groundbreaking sessions -- you can see highlights of these in our Past Events page.
Originally called the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference, RightsCon is now an annual event that rotates its location to cities around the world that are power centers for technology and human rights. In 2018, RightsCon will be hosted in Toronto, Canada.
The first RightsCon took place in Silicon Valley in 2011, and the second, regionally focused conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2012. Both events were sold out, with more than 400 opinion leaders from across the sector and the world attending.
In 2014, we headed back to Silicon Valley, and for the first time, opened up conference programming to the experts: our participants. The product was a stellar program which featured 120 distinct sessions over a period of three days.
RightsCon Silicon Valley 2016 took place from March 30 to April 1, 2016 at Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, hosting 1,100+ participants from 500+ organizations and 84 countries.
RightsCon Brussels took place on March 29 - 31, 2017, and was our largest and most impactful event ever. With 1,500 participants from 105 countries and 700+ organizations, RightsCon Brussels was an opportunity to meet face to face with European decision makers and help shape policies and practices that will have a lasting impact on global human rights.
"We were able to share our perspectives on good practices, learn with our diverse audience and meet many new people focused on these issues. RightsCon provided an excellent forum for this discussion and we’re looking forward to keeping the dialogue going!"
Nicole Karlebach from Yahoo!
"What a gathering, so many people and nations represented. I'm sure it was hard work, and I hope your team is proud."
amalia deloney from Media Democracy Fund
"So often conferences are either too tightly controlled ( and thus boring) or out of control ( and thus chaotic). It’s hard to find the sweet spot in the middle but you did it. I enjoyed the sessions I was part of and saw and talked with many great people."
Mike Posner, Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics & Finance and Co-director Center for Business and Human Rights, NYU Stern School of Business
"RightsCon is the most important event of the year for Meedan - no other conference manages to bring such a talented and diverse set of social tech, digital rights policy, and open internet advocacy groups together like RightsCon."
Ed Bice from Meedan
"Thank you for listening to us and facilitating connections. By organizing RightsCon and bringing together people from all over the world, you’ve helped create many future solutions."
Haben Girma, White House Champion of Change, Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and BBC Women of Africa Hero
"… a truly impressive event that clearly demonstrates how NGOs have become redoubtable players in cyberspace."
Uri Rosenthal, Dutch Special Envoy Cyberspace and Former Dutch Foreign Minister
"Having human contact between the people who run the [Silicon Valley] companies is very important and timely for most countries that are going through changes, especially those that are struggling trying to achieve democracy in regimes that are not willing to change."
Rosebell Kagumire, Uganda
"RightsCon was great. Incredibly substantive, fascinating people doing amazing things. Thanks for making it such a worthwhile trip."
David Kaye, Special Rapporteur, UN
Keep Up to Date with the RightsCon Rundown
Get our newsletter for updates on tickets, speakers, and programming.