Conferences & lectures


Tuesday, June 15, 2021 –
Friday, June 18, 2021
12:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Registration is closed




This event is free


Marie Lamensch



#RightsCity is Canada's premier conference at the intersection of human rights and technology. This event is organized in partnership with the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights, the Department of National Defense, the UOttawa Human Rights Research and Education Center, the Embassy of the Netherlands, GAAMAC, the US Embassy, and under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Now in its third year, this event will be held online in light of the pandemic.

This event will take place over four days and will feature keynote addresses and panel discussions from leading global experts working at the intersection of technology and human rights.

Panels will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook.

Agenda (EDT)

Day 1: June 15

12:15 p.m.
Opening Statements

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Can Democracy Survive the Internet: Foreign interference and disinformation campaigns

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Confronting Digital Authoritarianism

Day 2: June 16

12 to 1 p.m.
The Case for a Digital Geneva Convention

1 to 2 p.m.
Digital Attacks on Human Rights and Democracy Activists

Day 3: June 17

12 to 1 p.m.
Moving to Unite Democracies on Tech

1 to 2 p.m.
Social Media as a Tool to Investigate and Prosecute Atrocity Crimes

Day 4: June 18

12 to 1 p.m.
Confronting Online Hate Speech

1 p.m.
Closing Comments


  • Irwin Cotler, Founder and Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
  • Chris Walker, VP Studies and Analysis at National Endowment for Democracy
  • Alexa Koenig, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley
  • Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, Senior Fellow at the the University of Ottawa's Institute for Science, Society and Policy
  • Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch
  • Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China Reporter at Axios
  • Nick Waters, Senior Investigator at Bellingcat
  • Emily Dreyfuss, Fellow & Senior Editor at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
  • Steven Feldstein, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment and author of the book Rise of Digital Repression
  • Chris Meserole, Research Director, AI and Emerging Tech Initiative and Fellow, Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution
  • Yves Daccord, Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, formerly Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kristin Lord, President & CEO of IREX
  • Iain Levine, Senior Human Rights Advisor at Facebook
  • Stéphane Duguin, CEO of Cyber Peace Institute
  • Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Chair of GAAMAC, Former Judge and President of the International Criminal Court
  • Stephanie Barbour, Senior Advisor on sexual and gender-based violence at the Commission for International Justice & Accountability
  • Thorsten Benner, Co-Founder and Director of the Global Public Policy Institute
  • Colin Robertson, Vice President and Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute
  • Fernand de Varennes, United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues
  • Ana Beduschi, Associate Professor at the University of Exeter and Associate Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director at Defend Democracy
  • Michael Petrou, Editor-in-Chief of Open Canada
  • John Packer, Professor of International Conflict Resolution and Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at UOttawa
  • Rafal Rohozinski, Founder and Principal at SecDev Group
  • Naomi Kikoler, Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Isabel Linzer, Research Analyst, Technology and Democracy at Freedom House
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