[cc-humanrights] comment on specific human rights

susan aaronson saaronson2 at verizon.net
Thu Sep 24 23:53:19 UTC 2015

Niels: As usual, you bring up an important point.  While ICANN 
activities may affect many human rights indirectly and directly, in 
trying to develop human rights guidance it makes sense to focus on 
specific human rights that are directly affected by ICANN activities. 
Some of these rights may be economic and social rights.   But the 
problem is if we are going to demand ICANN take steps to protect respect 
and remedy its human rights impact, ICANN must be able to measure its 
effects upon human rights (as put forward in the Guiding Principles).  
But as of today, the metrics for human rights accountability are 
inadequate. We have plenty of metrics of government respect for human 
rights (as in political or civil rights). I call this supply side data 
on human rights.  It is all based on the perception of experts (which 
makes me uncomfortable).  In contrast, UNDP and other organizations have 
started multidimensional polling of people around the world, essentially 
asking them if they think they are "realizing" their rights. This kind 
of demand side human rights metric is not widely available, but there is 
a good start in the multidimensional poverty metrics done  by UNDP when 
it asks people about whether they have access to sanitation or access to 
education.  so my long winded point is that in delineating that ICANN do 
x, y and z, it will be very difficult to measure if they are actually 
doing things right or wrong.

Susan Ariel Aaronson, Ph.D.
Research Professor of International Affairs, Institute of International Economic Policy
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Please visit the Trade and the Internet Project Web site:
The Trade, Trust, Transparency and Accountability page is: http://www.gwu.edu/~iiep/signatureinitiatives/governance/Trade_Trust_Transparency_Accountability/

For the Repression, Civil conflict, and Leadership Tenure Project:

To see many of my publications go to:   http://ssrn.com/author=1145702

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