Our approach to convening safe, productive, and inclusive spaces at RightsCon
The 10th anniversary of RightsCon is one week away (June 7-11, 2021) and we’re taking a moment to provide an update and reminder of core policies, principles, and processes that help ensure the space is safe, productive, and inclusive.
Registered participants can find information about safety and security directly on the RightsCon platform, including on ways to report, details about our approach, and our full policies.
Strengthening our approach
Last year, we had to quickly transition our policies and processes for an online environment. In an effort to be clear and transparent about adapting our practices, we outlined our process in detail. We were impressed and heartened by the community’s ability to adapt and engage in this new space. While we have all learned a lot about effectively and sustainably convening since our last summit, the reality is many are still experiencing the different and inequitable effects of COVID-19. We know it is important that our approaches continue to adapt and reflect the current moment.
This year, the RightsCon security working group – an internal committee operated by Access Now – has had more time to reflect and prepare. In this time, we undertook a comprehensive review of our safety and security documentation and processes, both internally, and with an external partner who is a trusted and experienced expert in community safety – online and off.
We’re confident that in undertaking this review we have strengthened our plans and ways of working, as well as deepened our understanding of the capacities required from our teams to uphold our Code of Conduct and Privacy and Participation policies. As a result of the review, we have:
- Clarified our workflows, roles, and processes;
- Updated and improved our governing and process documents;
- Improved and further tailored our Code of Conduct training for staff and partners;
- Closed registration ahead of the summit;
- Mapped out all platform and technical spaces (see our FAQ section for more details);
- Completed detailed, updated scenario planning and evaluations.
Informing your participation
RightsCon is online, it’s open to the public, and free registration is available. It is, and always has been, a multi-stakeholder space and environment and an opportunity to bring diverse voices and opinions into one space.
While we take great care to ensure every participant enjoys a safe, enriching experience, we also rely on each participant taking stock of their own safety and security, and implementing measures appropriate to their own circumstances. As you prepare for next week, we encourage you to take some time to assess your digital hygiene and digital security best practices when working and interacting in online spaces.
When participating in RightsCon, we encourage you to:
- Be mindful of the public nature of certain spaces and manage the information you share accordingly;
- Be thoughtful regarding the information you share or receive (including URLs and attachments) relative to your ability to verify a fellow participant’s identity;
- Where you have the need to discuss highly sensitive topics, consider the most appropriate platform or channel for such exchanges.
Reporting and responding
During RightsCon, participants will be able to reach out to our response team with any questions or to report an incident. To create a safe and supportive environment that remains productive there might be some instances where our team needs to respond with a quick decision (“First Response”) to ensure the safety of the community, prevent further harm, and stabilize the situation. Our response team will then work to assess the situation carefully and decide on the final response and remedy, with the best interests of our community, and those most at risk, in mind.
In building an adaptive reporting and response process, we were guided by the following objectives:
- Maintaining a safe environment where participants can engage freely without fear of intimidation, harassment or violence, or threat or reprisal;
- Fostering a space that supports strong dialogue and productive conversation;
- Developing strong response mechanisms designed to take quick action to reduce the amount of harm;
- Operating with confidentiality, recusal, and documentation security as top priority;
- Clearly and transparently communicating our policies and processes;
- Continuously listening and learning about how we can best support and serve the community.
Below are the ways you can get in contact with us during the conference:
- RightsCon Help Desk: All technical issues or platform questions can be directed to our help desk 24/7 during the summit via a chat function in the platform or by email at [email protected].
- Code of Conduct: All Code of Conduct questions or incidents can be reported 24/7 during the summit via email at [email protected].
- SecOps Team: If you have any other concerns related to your attendance that are not covered above, you can reach out to us 24/7 during the summit via email at [email protected].