Blockchain for Human Rights Workshop and Panel Discussion

12.04.2024 | 18:00 - 20:30
Impact Hub Zürich, Viaduktstrasse 93, Bogen D, 8005 Zürich
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Our event is dedicated to tackling the challenges that vulnerable populations, including refugees, asylum seekers, stateless individuals, and other forcibly displaced persons, face in the attempt to accessing basic human rights services, due to lack of proper identification, and encourages the use of blockchain to create an inclusive digital identity to address identification challenges and promote access to human rights. The absence of a valid identity document not only violates an individual's right to an identity and freedom of movement but also creates significant barriers to their ability to work, earn a living, access healthcare, housing, aliments,

What sets this event apart is that it's organized with the affected communities, providing insightful perspectives into the challenges and opportunities at the grassroots level. Experts in Human Rights, Blockchain, and digital ID will convene to share successful cases and brainstorm solutions.

The discussion will be held by representatives of NGOs, as well as Blockchain, digital ID, and Human Rights experts, private sector companies, public administration representatives, academia, and civil society and should serve as the platform to share showcase from cities, states or countries that have adopted digital IDs. This would also be the moment to suggest ways to increase the use of digital IDs, but also to raise awareness of the risks (e.g., Indian digital ID were deactivated). Trigger Q: Could there be a global standard decentralized digital identity?

After sharing the outcome of the discussion, we will be launching the Blockchain for Human Rights web. The initiative promotes a global partnership of different actors towards the adoption of inclusive digital ID for all, by using Blockchain-based technology to overcome barriers and provide equal access to fundamental human rights like identification. It focuses on advocacy work for the responsible use of the technology, aiming to connect and influence Blockchain actors, state actors, regional and international organisations, NGOs, the academia, and the civil society.

Whom / Organizers:

·         The Swiss association Save My Identity, 

·         The European stateless-led coalition Apatride Network, 

·         The CoalitionVe, a US non-profit federation led by migrants and refugees, 

·         The Rohingya Project,

·         Supports: Prof. Hubert Klumpner from the ETHZ and Urban-Think Tank Next. 

Sponsors: UZH Lateinamerika Zentrum Zürich Impact Hub Zürich, Österreichisches Kulturforum, and ETHZ. 

Panel Discussion Composition:

Persons participating and engaging during the Panel discussion onsite: 

Prof. Dr. Tim Weingärtner of the HSLU Lucerne School of Computer Science and Information Technology,

Prof. Dr. Manfred Nowak, President of the Global Campus on Human Rights in Venice, Italy, 

Mrs. lic. iur. Lea Hungerbühler, Attorney and president of the Swiss NGO Asylex,

Dr. Emrys Schoemaker, Decentralized digital ID, Caribou, UNDP consultant.

Persons participating online:

Yodahe Zemichael, Executive Director, National Digital ID office of the Ethiopian government, 

Mercedes Rodríguez, founder of Ethereum Venezuela, 

Marianne Díaz Hernández, in charge of the Digital ID project at AccesNow, 

MD Noor, cofounder in charge of The Rohingya Project,

Trevor Butterworth, cofounder, and VP of governance of INDICIO, 

Dr. José María Arraiza (Spain), human rights specialist. Digital ID for democracy and human rights.

Professor from the St. Gallen, Zürich, ETHZ and Bristol Universities have registered to attend the workshop, but the event will remain incomplete if the UZH Blockchain Center is not part of the Panel Discussion.