By Brad Smith & Carol Ann Browne
Seven decades ago on this day, the world came together to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Eleanor Roosevelt, who led much of the work to craft the declaration, called it a “Magna Carta for all mankind.” As she hoped, it remains an important document that has stood the test of time, in large measure because of the timeless values it protects. Today’s anniversary provides a moment for reflection around the world. From our vantage point at Microsoft, part of this reflection should include the role of technology, both in its impact on human rights in the past and even more for its role in the future.
We should use today’s anniversary to reflect on the role technology can and should play in advancing human rights in the future. This calls on us to think about three things.
First, it’s as important as ever to address clear-eyed and head-on the risks that technology poses for human rights…
Second, on a brighter note, technology has become a powerful tool for protecting human rights…
Finally, the protection of people in the 21st century requires new forms of multi-stakeholder action, including to addressing the intersection between technology and human rights…
On a day that marks an anniversary of 70 years, we need to recommit ourselves to the hard work needed to address proactively and thoughtfully the thorny issues that connect human rights with technology. We need to make this more than a day to commemorate the past. It needs to be a day that moves toward a brighter future.
Here is a good place to start. I would also add to this about voting rights independent of political parties that rather certain people, like those pictured, not able to vote. Although this article is published 4 months ago, with recent news events of political expediency, a topical evergreen article.
Imagine a situation where you can’t prove to the world that you even exist. You are alive but you can’t prove your physical existence. Sounds horrible, Right! But according to the World Bank, there are more than a billion people in the world that have no means to prove their identity.
Without legal proof of your identity you officially have no rights. You can’t do many things like you can’t vote , you won’t have access to government services, you can’t drive etc. The people who come in this unverified category generally include refugees, the homeless, trafficked children and the people who have slipped in the society without developing any institutional affiliations.