1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development

New Technology and Human Rights Project Development Workshop

Date: 16 Feb 2018

  • Time: 10.30 - 16.30
  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland


In 2017, UNRISD developed a set of new research ideas, the Ideas Incubator.These projects either follow in the tradition of the Institute’s past work or stretch the boundaries in new directions.

Two of these projects look at the impact of technology on human rights and sustainable development. Social Policy 2.0: Responding to New Tech Divides focuses on the impact of new technologies on poverty, inequality and human rights in the era of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Gig Economy and Social Security: Towards a (New) Digital Precariat? examines the increasingly blurred lines between formal and informal employment through the rise of platforms such as Uber and AirBnB. The growth of non-standard forms of employment around the globe has uncertain impacts on the welfare of workers and their basic rights to work and to social security.These emerging technologies have significant impacts on industries, labour markets and jobs, as well as privacy implications, consequently affecting the welfare of people in both developed and developing countries.

To help policy makers and other stakeholders respond to these new challenges, these projects ask:
  • What is the impact of new technologies on poverty and inequality?
  • How can governments continue to protect the human right to privacy in the midst of new technological advancement?

This project development workshop will serve as a brainstorming session exploring the intersections between new technology and human rights across a range of dimensions relevant to inclusive, sustainable development. The event’s aims are to identify and discuss key questions and areas of research on the issues of human rights and new technology. Participants from academia, civil society and international organizations will discuss how to incorporate a human rights-based approach to the challenges and opportunities of what is often called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and develop a collaborative research proposal to further explore these issues. This thematic approach, intentionally broad, covers a range of different questions related to privacy, employment, social security, health care, migration, gender, inequality and social dimensions of sustainable development.

The workshop’s aims are to further elaborate research questions and areas of research, and develop strategies to strengthen and expand research communications and partnerships.

A think piece series will be launched on 26 February in which experts from a range of disciplines will explore ideas related to the workshop themes.

For further questions, please contact kelly.stetter@un.org.

Photo by rawpixel.com (via Unsplash).