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Online Technologies and Respect for Human Rights in Conflict and High-Risk Areas (Video-Workshop)

March 27, 2020

Friday, March 27 | 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Online Technologies and Respect for Human Rights in Conflict and High-Risk Areas

The Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will host an invitation-only workshop on the responsibilities of ICT companies to respect human rights and prevent ICT being used in connection with the most serious human rights violations or atrocity crimes; genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. This event will bring together an exclusive group of leading internet companies, academics, civil society groups, humanitarian personnel, and international criminal justice practitioners. This is the first workshop of a series of four over the course of the next two years and signifies the launch of a Working Group for Standards for ICT in Conflict Zones. The objective of this two-year process is to develop industry standards for ICT in conflict zones by taking stock of past experiences on a recurring basis and identifying pathways forward.


According to the UNGPs, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights requires businesses to avoid infringing on the human rights of others and to address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved. This workshop, as part of the new Working Group on Standards for ICT in Conflict Zones and Fragile Societies, will help ICT companies understand their human rights responsibilities in areas of armed conflicts and fragile societies and develop industry standards in the context of the full legal spectrum governing these situations, including international human rights law, humanitarian law and international criminal law.

The event will address the following issues:

  • Business responsibilities under international human rights law, humanitarian law, and international criminal law
  • Country risks and criminal liability/accountability risks
  • How to mitigate and prevent the use of online technology in facilitating atrocity crimes or severe violations of human rights law
  • How to advance the use of online technology in rebuilding fragile and post-conflict environments
  • Lessons from other industries
  • Lessons from Myanmar
  • Practical needs and challenges of ICT companies

The workshop will be conducted under Chatham House Rules to encourage frank conversation.

We will encourage all attendees to actively contribute to interactive discussions. A more specific agenda will follow.


  • Date: Friday, March 27
  • Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

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