CALLS FOR
SUBMISSIONS

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0): UN Geneva

Open Calls for Submissions

Thematic report on new information technologies, racial equality, and non-discrimination (2020 Report to the Human Rights Council)

Deadline: 13 December 2019

For her 2020 report to the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance intends to analyse acute and structural threats that new information technologies such as big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) pose to rights to non-discrimination and racial equality human rights principles and standards. She invites written submissions on this theme from interested stakeholders.

Purpose of the Report

Recent UN human rights reports have concluded that although recent technological advancements contribute to human rights advancements in many ways, they also threaten equal enjoyment of the human rights to privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association, access to information, and to effective protection from hate speech, bias, and discrimination. Scholars, journalists, and human rights mechanisms and advocates have warned of racially discriminatory harms of AI and other data-driven technologies, including in the fields of employment, education, healthcare, housing, safety, and criminal justice. Furthermore, there is concern that widespread use and reliance on predictive models that incorporate historical data—data often reflecting discriminatory biases and inaccurate racial profiling—sustains policing, national security, immigration, and other policies that are inconsistent with racial equality and non-discrimination.

Call for Submissions

To inform her report, the Special Rapporteur wishes to receive input from relevant stakeholders, including national and local governments, national and international non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions and equality bodies, inter-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and entities, activists, academics, and corporations. She invites all interested stakeholders to share their views and provide information on the following:

    • Descriptions, examples, scholarship, and other accounts of how emergent information technologies—including AI, machine learning, and big data—have affected and may affect equal enjoyment of human rights;
    • How new information technologies may entrench existing racial inequalities, including through the use of datasets or metrics that already reflect racial biases;
    • The importance of racial diversity to creating and securing better outcomes in technological innovation;
    • Benefits of new technologies and AI for advancing human rights, especially ensuring social development for vulnerable and marginalized populations;
    • Gaps and limitations in international human rights law approaches to regulating new technologies and AI;
    • The obligation of States to ensure private actors and corporations do not contribute to or otherwise engage in or facilitate racial discrimination in the context of new information technologies;
    • International human rights law perspectives on extraterritorial harms of new technologies and AI;
    • Political economy of new information technologies and AI, including which States regulate these technologies, the dynamics of regulation, and which States benefit most from these technologies;
    • Barriers to advancing effective, human-rights based regulation of new technologies and AI;
    • Achievements in making digital economies and new technologies more inclusive;
    • Lessons learned from advocacy, legal, and regulatory approaches to combatting technologically related racial discrimination; and
    • Human rights-based remedies for the racialized harms of new technologies.

Guidelines for Submissions

Please email your written submissions to racism@ohchr.org.

The mandate will receive written submissions through December 13, but strongly encourages early submissions.

Respondents are requested to limit their comments to a maximum of 2,500 words. Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other background materials may be annexed to the submission.

To help her staff identify submissions, the Special Rapporteur kindly requests that respondents write “Submission regarding thematic report on new information technologies” in the email subject line.

With apologies, the mandate can only receive submissions in English, French, or Spanish.

Secure Submissions

If you have concerns about digital security and your submission, you may wish to contact organizations that can provide you with information and support. One such organization, Access Now, has a free digital security helpline to help keep individuals and organizations safe online. Inquiries can be sent to help@accessnow.org.

Public Availability of Submissions

Please indicate in your submission whether we can publish all or part of it on the website of the Special Rapporteur. We will not publish any submissions without the explicit consent of the submitting individual and/or organisation.

Call for submissions: 2020 Report to the Human Rights Council on combatting glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Deadline: 13 December 2019

Background

Beginning in 2012, the General Assembly has adopted annual resolutions mandating the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to produce two reports on combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. As mandated by the resolutions, Special Rapporteur Achiume has presented three reports—two to the Human Rights Council and one to the General Assembly since 2018. In October 2019, she will present to the General Assembly her fourth report, which addresses the resurgence of antisemitism and alarming trends of antisemitic violence, hate crimes, hate speech and other incidents.

For her 2020 report to the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteur Achiume will focus on mapping how antisemitism intersects with other forms of racism and intolerance. The Special Rapporteur invites interested stakeholders to make written submissions on this topic.

Thematic Focus: Intersections of Antisemitism with Other Forms of Racism and Intolerance

Reports and incidents of antisemitism, one of the oldest and most enduring forms of discrimination, continue to surge. Recently, several UN Member States have recorded new annual highs for reports of antisemitic attacks. These record levels appear to comport with individuals’ experiences of discrimination and hate speech; a recent survey from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that nearly 90% of respondents believed that antisemitism was worsening.

Recognizing that the eradication of all forms of racism requires both broad and narrowly-targeted measures, the Special Rapporteur wishes to focus her 2020 report to the Human Rights Council on antisemitism’s intersections and commonalities with other forms of racism and intolerance.

The Special Rapporteur hopes that her report on this topic will help affected persons, policymakers, civil society, and other individuals contemplate effective strategies to combat antisemitism and other forms of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and xenophobia.

Call for Written Submissions

The Special Rapporteur believes that wide participation is vital for ensuring the quality and usefulness of her reports. For this reason, she welcomes submissions from stakeholders who can share experience and knowledge that can inform her reports. The Special Rapporteur hopes to receive submissions from, among other stakeholders, States, civil society organizations, private companies, academics, policy researchers, and relevant experts.

For this report, the Special Rapporteur would especially appreciate submissions that provide

    • descriptions, examples, scholarship, and other accounts describing contemporary
      manifestations of antisemitism;
    • perspectives on how antisemitism relates to other forms of racism and intolerance;
      examples of how broad-based efforts to eliminate racism either alleviate or fail to alleviate
      manifestations of antisemitism;
    • lessons learned (positive and negative) from measures used or attempted to reduce or
      eliminate other forms of racism and intolerance that can be applicable to antisemitism;
    • the effects of online activity (including, inter alia, enabling hate-speech, and assembly of
      like-mided groups) on manifestation of antisemitism and other forms of racism and
      intolerance; and
    • historical/statistical perspectives on the intersections and correlations between increases
      and decreases of antisemitic incidents and other forms of racism and intolerance.

Guidelines for Submissions

Please email your written submissions to racism@ohchr.org.

The mandate will receive written submissions through December 13, but strongly encourages early submissions.

Respondents are requested to limit their comments to a maximum of 2,500 words. Additional supporting materials, such as reports, academic studies, and other background materials may be annexed to the submission.

To help her staff identify submissions, the Special Rapporteur kindly requests that respondents write “Submission regarding 2020 report on antisemitism and other forms of intolerance” in the email subject line.

With apologies, the mandate can only receive submissions in English, French, or Spanish.

Secure Submissions

If you have concerns about digital security and your submission, you may wish to contact organizations that can provide you with information and support. One such organization, Access Now, has a free digital security helpline to help keep individuals and
organizations safe online. Inquiries can be sent to help@accessnow.org.

Public Availability of Submissions

Please indicate in your submission whether we can publish all or part of it on the website of the Special Rapporteur. We will not publish any submissions without the explicit consent of the submitting individual and/or organisation.

Past Calls for Submissions

Thematic report on reparations, racial justice, and equality (2019 Report to the General Assembly)

Thematic Report on Natural Resource Extraction and Racial Discrimination (2019 Report to the Human Rights Council)

Thematic Report on Natural Resource Extraction and Racial Discrimination (2019 Report to the Human Rights Council)

Nazi, Neo-Nazi and Other Extremist Groups’ Youth Recruitment Efforts and Their Implications for the Enjoyment of Human Rights and Racial Equality (2019 Report to the Human Rights Council)

Thematic Report on the Impact of Nationalist Populism on Racial Equality (2018 Report to the General Assembly)

The Contemporary Use of Digital Technology in the Spread of Neo-Nazi and Related Ideology (2018 Report to the General Assembly)

Thematic Report on Racial Discrimination in the Context of Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration (2018 report to the Human Rights Council)

How to contact the Special Rapporteur

E. Tendayi Achiume
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: racism@ohchr.org

background photo credit (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0): United Nations Photo



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