IT for Change responded to the call for comments and textual suggestions to the second revised text of the draft convention on the right to development (Draft Convention) by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner.
Against the backdrop of rising digital inequalities and human rights violations by digital transnational corporations, the call for comments and textual suggestions to the Draft Convention is welcome and timely. Broadly, our submission makes inputs to the text with respect to:
- Emphasizing that the meaningful enjoyment of the right to development necessitates reducing the technological gap between the developed and developing countries.
- Acknowledging the concerns of the Global South regarding extractive data practices of transnational corporations.
- Ensuring that sustainable development includes within its ambit sustainable technological development to counter the increasing carbon footprint of digitization, including frontier technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence.
- Preserving the sovereignty of developing and least developed countries to regulate their policy space.
- Enshrining the commitment that the right to development must be realized in conformity with the full range of digital rights.
- Addressing the concerns of developing and least developed countries regarding rights violations and tax evasion on account of the virtualized nature of the business activities of transnational corporations.
- Imposing responsibility upon States Parties to conduct prior assessment of risks and potential extraterritorial impacts of their laws, policies, and practices on the enjoyment of a spectrum of rights.
- Ensuring capacity-building support is carried out in a manner that safeguards developing countries’ sovereignty over the data resources of their citizens.
- Enabling adequate benefit-sharing mechanisms in international data regimes, akin to the Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol.
- Underscoring that barriers to development include technological barriers.
- Foregrounding the prerequisite for the right to development to recognize intersectional forms of discrimination as an impediment to achieving substantive gender equality.
Read our full submission here.