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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Friday, May 18 • 17:15 - 18:15
Lightning Talks: Important issues facing the future

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The State of the Internet in Syria: Critical and Challenged (The SecDev Foundation)

Speakers: Abdulrahman al-Masri

Accessing the internet has become a critical need for Syrians, especially after war erupted in 2011. All Syrian actors use the internet to organize, plan, and share information. Syrian non-militant actors rely heavily on the internet to maintain contact with scattered family members and communities, and to access vital information on local threats, risks, and resources, as well as news and education more broadly. Local governance actors depend on the internet to communicate with partners and beneficiaries. Activists leverage the internet to document human rights abuses, bear witness, and reach out to the world.

The capacity of the Syrian civil society is dependent on its ability to operate online, safely and effectively. At the same time, cyberspace is awash in risk for these users - both political and opportunistic - with devastating real-life consequences. This talk will explore how and why the internet became essential for the resilience of Syria's civil society.

First Steps in Understanding Freedom of Expression Online and Offline

Bogdan Manolea

The Internet has significantly changed our lives in the past years in many areas, including the way we access and publish information. But most importantly, it has enhanced the exercise of our freedom of expression rights both by allowing access to various sources of information but also by significantly democratizing the open publishing of any kind of information both by allowing access to various sources of information but also by significantly democratizing the open publishing of any kind of information.

Consequently, this has turned the freedom of expression – especially in the online environment – in a subject that concerns us all. Not just the journalists or the NGOs dealing with freedom of expression. Also it has become essential that the information explaining the basic concepts around freedom of expression and the relevant court’s jurisprudence are simplified and explained to a large audience that could be interested in the subject. While many books and legal studies for judges or other legal practitioners have been published on the subject matter, we believe there is now even greater need to simplify and explain the fundamentals of freedom of expression, especially as applied to the digital world. All this is presented through the lens of the current jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that should be the main reference point for all European Internet users.

Involving rural women in climate change fight. Why innovative solutions should provide reality to them

Elizabeth Musoki

In most African countries, agricultural policies and investments like block chain still fail to take into account the differences in resources available for men and women, their roles, workloads and the differential constraints they face.
Both men and women engage in activities catalyse the degradation of water, environment and related resources. Land use practices such as bush burning, deforestation for wood and charcoal, farming on river banks and wetlands and poor disposal of waste products  leads to natural forest cover, top soil and water body depletion. As a result, global warming, prolonged droughts, floods, landslides, soil erosion and soil infertility are affecting some parts of the world, including Uganda.
Whereas climate disasters strike indiscriminately, research shows that women and children become more affected than men. “Forced” migration, displacement, water scarcity, low agricultural production and productivity, hunger, disease and loss of income affect women the most. Rural Women stand 70 per cent vulnerability in respect to climate variability, natural disasters and food insecurity. Such a trend calls for deliberate efforts towards enhancing women’s resilience to match the men.

avatar for Abdulrahman al-Masri

Abdulrahman al-Masri

Fellow, The SecDev Foundation
Abdulrahman al-Masri is a Fellow with the SecDev Foundation, where he focuses on digital safety and information warfare in Syria. He is also an independent journalist and analyst, covering Middle East politics and security and foreign policy.
avatar for Bogdan Manolea

Bogdan Manolea

Executive Director, NGO “Association for Technology and Internet”

Friday May 18, 2018 17:15 - 18:15 EDT