About Freedom Online Coalition Movement
In December 2011, the first Freedom online Conference was hosted at The Hague, Netherlands. The highly successful Inaugural meeting jointly endorsed the outcome declaration for the formation of a coalition membership movement for internet freedom.
The agenda of the coalition is to facilitate a global dialogue about the responsibilities of governments from around the world in pro-actively furthering freedom on the internet. The Coalition draws its membership from countries that subscribe to the ideology that keeping the internet open and free is a worldwide endeavor, which requires worldwide efforts. So far, 17 member countries from across Europe, Asia, US and Africa are members of the movement. The Key goals of the coalition for Freedom Online are:
● Sharing information between the States on potential violations and other measures that undermine Internet freedom, in order to act effectively and efficiently.
● To collaborate closely to support, the ability of individuals, particularly those operating in repressive environments, to exercise their freedom through the Internet.
● To promote Internet freedom in appropriate international, regional organizations and individual countries.
● To engage ICT businesses from across the globe on their responsibility to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms online.
Please click this link for more information about the Hague meeting and other related background information.
Kenya Hosts 2nd Freedom Online Conference 6-7 Sept 2012
Kenya respects human rights and the freedom of expression, and by extension freedom online. This is well captured in Kenya's new constitution signed into law in Aug 2010.
This is why Kenya subscribed to the freedom online declaration at the Inaugural event in the Hague and immediately took the opportunity to host the 2nd Freedom Online Conference on 6th & 7th Sept 2012.Hosting the conference was therefore not only important for spearheading policy debate about Internet freedom in Africa but also for the Coalition’s efforts globally.
By building stronger support for Internet freedom across Africa and articulating its importance for development, participating African states could be a model for developing countries around the world. In the same way, by focusing on the importance of Internet freedom for development and governance, the Coalition would underscore the potential of a free and open Internet for people around the world.
The Kenyan conference had a strong representation from African states and other stakeholders who interrogated the forum’s goals and the value that Internet freedom has for development. Delegates engaged in themed discussions that equipped them with the right information to effectively inform and advise their governments. Drawing on the global nature of the Coalition and the model set in The Hague, the conference had international multi-stakeholder participation, enabling participants who learnt from experiences across regions and build a truly global conversation on Internet freedom.