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Internet Principles of Multistakeholder Cooperation

by Jutta Croll, Stiftung Digitale Chancen
Published on: 23.10.13
Source: eigener Bericht

Internet Governance Forum in Bali

Principles, moral and ethical values of digital citizenship and the rights of underprivileged groups were in the focus of the second day of the IGF 2013

Again the morning started with talking about empowering youths. Digital citizenship was discussed as a means to make children and youths aware of their rights and responsibilities on the net. Most of the young people taking part in the session argued that their parents were not digital literate enough to teach them how to behave safe, secure and responsible online. Therefore it was claimed to involve other stakeholders as well, that could be i. e. social workers supporting children. But young people also demanded Internet providers to take their responsibility to ensure that their users act with discernment.

In parallel another morning session was dealing in a much broader sense with principles of multistakeholder cooperation in regards of Internet Governance. Here government representatives as well as civil society agreed that such principles were reasonable and necessary but they should not be based on the lowest common denominator if they are supposed to unfold any effect.

Rights of disadvantaged groups were discussed in a workshop organised in a joint effort of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access in Libraries. Accessibility of websites is still a big issue. Although the Web Accessibility Guidelines could be easily applied and in addition the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has raised again awareness for the needs of disabled persons there are still providers arguing that it is too difficult and too expensive to make their websites accessible - website of the Paralympics was mentioned as an example for that fact. In this workshop it was also pointed out that marginalisation and disadvantage of people are also caused by the social circumstances they live in. Those groups would need additional support and lowered thresholds for access to the Internet and the information provided online. Here libraries can play an important role as practical experiences have also shown in the project Digital Literacy 2.0 run by a consortium led by Stiftung Digitale Chancen.

As another way to achieve digital inclusion the provision of domains in any language script, like i.e. cyrillic or arabic was discussed. Thus people who are reluctant to use the Internet so far could be better directed to local content in their respective language.

Librarians from all over the world showed up at the meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on access in public libraries at the end of the day oraganised by the International Federation of Library Associations - IFLA. The role libraries can play worldwide in providing access to informationen an teaching digital literacy was on the agenda of this session. Digitalisation of content and the use of digital devices are an important element in carrying out these tasks. In the framework of the Dynamic Coalition the exchange of libraries on this topic shall be intensified to improve digital inclusion all over the world.

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