As authoritarianism is on the rise in North America and Europe—particularly in view of the 2016 U.S. presidential election—it is now more important than ever that digital rights groups join the broader fight against the intensifying forces of fascism, where possible. On the ground, this means working with other groups who are already committed to this fight, in their work directly challenging the oppression of the vulnerable and the marginalized.
Focusing on the particular issue of immigration, refugees, and migrant rights, this roundtable discussion features invited activists, campaigners, and other experts in this area, who have agreed to share their experiences and expertise, in view of making digital rights campaigning more intersectional and prepared for upcoming broader battles. Examples of issues that may be discused include Internet access in detention centres, targeted surveillance, race or citizenship status-based registries, and other issues that may implicate our work in ways those who campaign exclusively on digital rights alone may not be aware of.
The goal of this session is to learn more about how digital rights advocates can best amplify and support the work of human rights activists, without trampling over or diverting from the work that is already being done while we are learning. Essentially, the session will be a space for digital rights advocates to ask migrant rights advocates, “How can we help you? What should we be cognizant of?” Participants should leave this discussion with new knowledge and perspectives, as well as potential next steps regarding how to be sensitive to and support migrant rights and related human rights advocacy work in our own campaigning and advocacy in digital rights.