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Digital technologies provide a means of anticipating, analyzing, and responding to human rights concerns, but they also present human rights challenges. These technologies have expanded opportunities for individuals and organizations to mobilize, document, and advocate, including around human rights and humanitarian crises; however, with these opportunities come certain concerns. Digital technologies have, for instance, been used to spread disinformation, surveil human rights defenders, and promote and incite violence. Discrimination in the use of, and access to, digital technologies presents another serious concern.

On September 18, 2019, the Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine gathered experts in the fields of human rights and digital technology to examine these and other challenges and to explore ways of leveraging digital innovations in a manner that helps protect internationally recognized human rights. Human Rights and Digital Technologies: Proceedings of a Symposium of Scholars and Practitioners briefly summarizes themes discussed at the symposium.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Human Rights and Digital Technologies: Proceedings of a Symposium of Scholars and Practitioners–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

14 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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